Open Access Transformation in Switzerland & Germany
Open Access

Christian Gutknecht published an exciting posting on the Swiss EUR 57 million Elsevier deal in which he outlines the transformative Open Access agreement between Elsevier and swissuniversities. Since Germany has been trying for years to reach such a contract with Elsevier, it is worth comparing it with the two transformative contracts with Wiley and Springer Nature in Germany, which were reached and coordinated by Project DEAL. Both German agreements were discussed here before just as other transformative Open Access agreements. For those in a hurry: At the end of the posting there is a synopsis of the costs and Open Access components of the Open Access Transformation in Switzerland & Germany. At the very beginning I would like to thank Christian Gutknecht very much for sharing and discussing information that went into this posting.

Update as of 23.08.2020: Many thanks to Martha Retzlaff, who reminded me that not the Max Planck Digital Library, but Max Planck Digital Library Services GmbH charges a fee of €150 per item in the case of DEAL contracts in Germany.

1 DEAL agreement with Wiley (Germany)

Contract available under: https://doi.org/10.17617/2.3027595, please note that the following information on the arrangement is mostly taken from the DEAL website.

Term

2019-2021, option for a further year

Eligible institutions

All German scientific institutions that are also entitled to participate in the Alliance and National Licences funded by the German Research Foundation (including: universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions, state and regional libraries) are generally eligible to participate.

Read / Access

Participating institutions receive permanent access to the entire portfolio of electronic journals published by Wiley, including the volumes published up to 1997, which includes more than 1,600 journal titles (“Wiley Online Open”). There are permanent access rights to the licensed volumes and back to 1997 inclusive.
Journal title list: The complete and continuously updated list of Wiley journals that are part of the DEAL contract can be downloaded here: https://keeper.mpdl.mpg.de/f/1578cfa1ea894d50970f/?dl=1
Journal titles that are added to the Wiley portfolio over the contract period are automatically included.

Open Access

CC licence type

CC-BY is the preferred licence type, for some journals only CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-ND licences are currently available.

Authorized authors

Authors with the status “submitting corresponding author” from eligible institutions publish Open Access (= meaning those authors who submit the manuscript to the publisher and are responsible for the correspondence regarding the article).

Article types

Articles of the type “Primary Research Article” and “Review Article” are published Open Access. Editorial Articles such as Letters or Book Reviews are not among the covered article types.

Publishing in subscription journals (hybrid Open Access)

Currently, 1,420 Wiley subscription journals (“Wiley Online Open”) provide hybrid Open Access to publications by authorized authors. At present, hybrid Open Access publishing is not yet possible in about 77 online open subscription journals. However, they should offer a corresponding option during the contract period.

Publishing in Gold Open Access journals

Publications by authorized authors in currently 110 Wiley Open Access journals are also covered by the contract. There is a 20% discount on the APC list prices of all Wiley Open Access journals.

Publish & Read Fee (PAR Fee)

The fee for hybrid Open Access publications in Wiley subscription journals (“Wiley Online Open”) has been set at €2,750 plus a service fee of €150 for the Max Planck Digital Library Services GmbH for the administration of the consortium. This fee is not equivalent to a standard APC. It also includes the costs for read access to the complete editions of the hybrid titles.

2 DEAL agreement with Springer Nature (Germany)

Contract available under: https://doi.org/10.17617/2.3174351, please note that the following information on the arrangement is mostly taken from the DEAL website.

Term

2020-2022, option for a further year

Eligible institutions

All German scientific institutions that are entitled to participate in the Alliance and National Licences funded by the German Research Foundation (including: universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions, state and regional libraries) are generally eligible to participate. Hospitals (except for university clinics) and private companies of any kind are not eligible to participate.

Read / Access

Included imprints and/or magazines: Permanent access to the current volumes of the contract period of all the approximately 1,900 Springer journals (including Springer Medical, Palgrave, Adis and Macmillan Academic).

Journal title list: The complete and continuously updated list of Springer Nature journals, which are part of the DEAL contract, can be downloaded here
https://keeper.mpdl.mpg.de/f/a6dc1e1ed4fc4becb194/?dl=1. Journal titles that are added to the Springer portfolio over the contract period are automatically included. Imprints and/or journals not included: Nature journals, magazines (e.g. Scientific American, Spektrum der Wissenschaft), technical journals (e.g. ATZ, MTZ) are not included.

Backfiles, archives: Participating institutions are granted free backfile access to the journal portfolio during the contract period until 1997 (as far as the rights of Springer Nature allow). A DFG-funded acquisition of archive rights will be used to connect to the existing DFG national licence for Springer journals from 2003-2019 onwards and to close the gap for newly added titles.

Open Access

CC licence type

CC-BY, for a few journals CC-BY-NC.

Authorized authors

Authors with the status „corresponding author“ from eligible institutions publish Open Access (i.e. authors who submit the manuscript to the publisher and are responsible for the correspondence regarding the article).

Article Types

Article types for hybrid open access publishing in Springer Nature subscription journals („open choice“): Research Articles (= Original Paper, Review Paper, Brief Communication) and Non-Research Articles (= Editorial Notes, Book Reviews, Letters, Reports (excluded: Non-Research Articles in medical journals).

Article types considered in Springer Nature Open Access Gold journals: Research Articles (= Original Paper, Review Paper, Brief Communication).

Publishing in subscription journals (hybrid Open Access)

From 1 January 2020, publications by authorised authors can be published Open Access in currently around 1,900 Springer subscription journals. The reference date is the online publication date of the article. Articles in the approximately 70 Springer Nature medical journals (see title list) will only be published Open Access under DEAL if they a) have not been requested and have been actively edited and b) are of the „research article“ type.

Publishing in Gold Open Access journals

Publications by authorised authors in currently around 440 Springer Nature Open Access journals (including Scientific Reports and Nature Communications) will be covered by the contract from 1.8.2020. A discount of 20% will be granted on the APC list prices of all Springer Open Access and BMC titles. This does not apply to Nature Communications and Scientific Reports. The annual price increase for Open Access Gold APCs is limited to 3.5% per year and journal from 2020.

Publish & Read Fee (PAR Fee)

The fee for hybrid Open Access publications in Springer Nature subscription journals has been set at …

  • €2,750 per research article plus a service fee of €150 for the Max Planck Digital Library Services GmbH for the administration of the consortium.
  • €917 per non-research article

3 swissuniversities agreement with Elsevier (Switzerland)

The data is mainly taken from Christian Gutknechts posting and other information linked from it as the contract between swissuniversities and Elsevier. I use the term “agreement” here, because “deal” might misleadingly give the impression that the contract was actually negotiated by the project DEAL, which was responsible for the arrangements with Wiley and Springer Nature in Germany.

Term

2020-2023

Eligible institutions

All Swiss universities, as well as Agroscope, FIBL, the University of Liechtenstein and the Swiss Ornithological Institute.

Read/ Access

Electronic access to the full text of all articles from the Elsevier journal titles published since 1 January 1995, as may be updated annually with the changes effective as of 1 January of the following calendar year of the Term of the Agreement.

Open Access

CC license type

No definition of a preferred CC licence. CC-BY or CC-BY-NC-ND are allowed.

Authorized authors

Corresponding authors of the Swiss academic institutions that are part of the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries and that are referred to as „Corresponding Author (s)“ can publish in the hybrid and Gold Open Access programme of Elsevier Open Access, excluding Cell Press and The Lancet and certain society titles.

Article types

The contract does not mention special types, but mentions only journal articles. Christian Gutknecht shared information with me, which he himself received on request: According to this information, the following publication types seem to be covered: Original Research Articles, Review Articles, Data Case Reports, Microarticles, Original Software Publications, Practice Guidelines, Protocols, Replication Studies, Short Communication, Short Survey, Video Articles. Christian deduces this from the ESAC entry as well as from the information he has been given, that Editorials and Letters are excluded from the types mentioned there. The lack of clarity regarding the types of documents covered certainly explains the underuse of open access options that Christian complains about.

PAR fee

The PAR fee for both hybrid and Gold Open Access publications is calculated as the subscription sum divided by the number of Open Access articles allowed:

YearOpen Access Articles includedPrice Read-and-PublishPAR-fee
20202850 APCs€13.8 Mio€4,842
20213000 APCs€14.1 Mio€4,692
20223150 APCs€14.4 Mio€4,558
2023Unlimited (all you can publish)€14.6 Mio?
taken from: https://oa-monitoring.ch/post/the_swiss_57_mio_euro_deal_with_elsevier/

4 Synopsis: Open Access Transformation in Switzerland & Germany

Open Access AgreementWiley (Germany)Springer Nature (Germany)Elsevier (Switzerland)
CC license typeCC-BY is the preferred license type, for some journals only CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-ND licenses are currently availableCC-BY, for a few journals CC-BY-NC.No definition of a preferred CC license. CC-BY or CC-BY-NC-ND are allowed.
Authorised authorsAuthors with the status „submitting corresponding author“ from eligible institutions publish Open AccessAuthors with the status „corresponding author“ from eligible institutions publish Open AccessAuthors with the status „corresponding author“ from eligible institutions publish Open Access
Article types hybrid Open AccessPrimary Research Article
Review Article
Research Articles (= Original Paper, Review Paper, Brief Communication) and Non-Research Articles (= Editorial Notes, Book Reviews, Letters, Reports (excluded: Non-Research Articles in medical journals)Presumably: Original Research Articles, Review Articles, Data Case Reports, Microarticles, Original Software Publications, Practice Guidelines, Protocols, Replication Studies, Short Communication, Short Survey, Video Articles.
Publishing in subscription journals (hybrid Open Access)Currently 1,420 Wiley subscription journals provide hybrid open access. At present, open access publishing is not yet possible in about 77 subscription journals. Ratio Hybrid Open Access vs. Subscription only journals: 95%Publications by authorised authors can be published hybrid Open Access in currently around 1,900 Springer subscription journals.Publications by authorised authors can be published in the hybrid Open Access programme of Elsevier Open Access, excluding Cell Press and The Lancet and certain society titles. According to Elsevier over 1,900 of its journals offer the option to publish hybrid open access
Article types Gold Open AccessPrimary Research Article
Review Article
Research Articles (= Original Paper, Review Paper, Brief Communication)Presumably: Original Research Articles, Review Articles, Data Case Reports, Microarticles, Original Software Publications, Practice Guidelines, Protocols, Replication Studies, Short Communication, Short Survey, Video Articles.
Publishing in Gold Open Access journalsPublications by authorised authors in currently 110 Wiley Open Access journals are also covered by the contract. There is a 20% discount on the APC list prices of all Wiley Open Access journals. These publications are not covered by the PAR fee.Publications by authorised authors in currently around 440 Springer Nature Open Access journals (including Scientific Reports and Nature Communications) will be covered by the contract from 1.8.2020. A discount of 20% will be granted on the APC list prices of all Springer Open Access and BMC titles. This does not apply to Nature Communications and Scientific Reports. These publications are not covered by the PAR fee.Publications by authorised authors can be published in the Gold Open Access programme of Elsevier Open Access. According to Elsevier, this relates to over 400 Gold Open Access journals. These publications are covered by the PAR fee.
PAR fee net
€2,750 per research article plus a service fee of €150 for the Max Planck Digital Library Services GmbH for the administration of the consortium

Covers hybrid Open Access
€2,750 per research article plus a service fee of €150 for the Max Planck Digital Library Services GmbH for the administration of the consortium & €917 per non-research article

Covers hybrid Open Access
2020 €4,842
2021 €4,692
2022 €4,558
2023 €?,???

Covers hybrid and Gold Open Access

First, it should be noted that the agreements for Open Access Transformation in Switzerland & Germany do show some differences at the level of publishers involved. The document types covered show very big variations, e.g. Editorials are covered by the contract with Springer Nature, but not Wiley and Elsevier. Conversely, numerous types are covered by the Elsevier contract, which are not relevant for Wiley and Springer Nature: Data Case Reports, Microarticles, Original Software Publications, Practice Guidelines, Protocols, Replication Studies, Short Communication, Short Survey, Video Articles. In my opinion, this gives rise to the question whether this variance might not perhaps make Open Access transformation by national consortia more difficult. On the other hand, the question of purely financial value also arises: Does a higher fee really have to be paid in Switzerland for the publication of a Practice Guideline (2020: €4,842 net) than in Germany for a research article (€2.7.50 net)?

Furthermore, there are some remarkable differences in the Open Access transformation in Switzerland & Germany: Unlike the German DEAL agreements with Wiley and Springer Nature in Switzerland, only a certain number of Open Access Publications / APCs are covered. If the number is not reached, the quota expires. If it is exceeded it is up to the authors to decide whether to publish (and pay) Open Access or not. Only for the year 2023 in Switzerland all Open Access articles are covered, which also means the APC for that year can not be quantified by now.

Another difference is that in Switzerland, unlike in Germany, no distinction is made between Gold Open Access and Hybrid Open Access, which certainly simplifies the procedure. The considerably higher PAR fee in Switzerland is striking, which is partly due to the fact that the Gold Open Access articles here are not only discounted (as in Germany with 20 %), but fully taken into account. But one should also consider that the uniform APC for Wiley and Springer Nature in Germany is only seemingly uniform and even this seeming uniformity was bought with a trick. The privilege of Springer Nature to also charge PAR fees of €917 net per non-research article is due to the fact that on the one hand Springer Nature a) has higher revenues than Wiley in Germany and b) wants to maintain this level of revenues and on the other hand, the DEAL consortium did not want to grant Springer Nature a higher PAR fee than Wiley in order not to have to face the demand for even higher PAR fees in negotiations with Elsevier.

The procedure in Switzerland differs only apparently in one respect: while in Switzerland the PAR fee is calculated by dividing the subscription fee by the number of Open Access articles, in Germany one pretends to orientate oneself by the production costs of the articles (the target amount of max. €2,750 net cannot be explained otherwise). In fact, however, by defining different eligible publication types for Wiley and Springer Nature, the PAR fee in Germany is in the end also based on the desired revenues of the publishers. Also in view of the above mentioned different PAR fees for Practice Guideline (2020: €4,842 net, paid in Switzerland) and a Research Article (€2.750 net, paid in Germany) it can be assumed that the fees paid are not based on the production costs of the publications, but on the expected profits of the publishers and the willingness of the consortia to pay these fees.

Ulrich Herb
Open Access Transformation in Switzerland & Germany

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