"Turning Point in the Relationship between Science and Publishers" (translated from German) / "Zeitenwende im Verhältnis zwischen Wissenschaft und Verlagen" | Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
flavoursofopenscience's bookmarks 2019-01-18
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
After long and tough negotiations, the deal negotiation partners and the publisher Wiley signed a joint contract. Heinz Pampel from the Helmholtz Open Science Office comments on what this means for science.
Heinz Pampel works as a lecturer in the Helmholtz Open Science Coordination Office of the Helmholtz Association.
With the DEAL project, the science organisations are pursuing the goal of reaching national licensing agreements under the premise "Publish & Read" for the electronic journals of the three largest academic publishers Elsevier, Springer Nature and Wiley. The project, which began in 2016 with the collaboration of committed colleagues from the Helmholtz Centres in workshops with the three publishers, has now concluded its first contract with Wiley. The core of this three-year agreement is access to Wiley's journals back to 1997, as well as the possibility of Open Access publications in these Wiley journals.
Thanks to the colleagues involved in DEAL for many hours of hard negotiations! DEAL marks a turning point in the difficult relationship between science and major publishers. Over the past few years, negotiations have always been conducted in small specific consortia, but this is the first time that DEAL has been able to speak with one voice with publishers at the federal level. The DEAL negotiating team thus has the backing of a heavyweight consortium. Almost 700 scientific institutions in Germany, including the Helmholtz Centres, can now participate in the first DEAL contract.
DEAL has enormously strengthened the ability of science to cooperate! With the common goal of promoting Open Access, regional and organisational boundaries have been overcome. While in the past individual institutions and organisations negotiated alone and with little coordination, DEAL speaks with one voice and one message.
The trust placed in the DEAL team by the universities, non-university research institutions and participating libraries has paid off. With the contract now concluded, Open Access publishing in Germany will receive a further boost. At the core of the agreement is an innovative "Publish & Read" model, which covers not only access to the publisher's closed-access journals but also the publication of articles as Open Access publications. A corresponding cost model for both components (Publish & Read) has been agreed with Wiley.
Thanks to the use of a permissive Creative Commons licence, the Open Access articles will be available to interested parties all over the world, whether in science, society or business. This will also make it possible to analyze articles automatically. This is crucial for digital science. For example, in order to extract the description of individual genes from thousands and thousands of essays, the financial, legal and technical barriers that Open Access overcomes must be eliminated. In addition, the researchers' copyright position will be strengthened. The DEAL Treaty ensures that it treats the rights to its publications. The publisher thus becomes a service provider. It is no longer the rights holder who can control the free distribution of publications according to business interests.
DEAL is attracting worldwide attention. Accordingly, there is great international interest in DEAL and Wiley disclosing their contract. This approach is central to DEAL: transparency as the engine of further transformation towards Open Access. It should be noted that the agreement now concluded stimulates Open Access, but does not automatically lead to the contracting party converting all its journals to Open Access.
DEAL is part of the many worldwide initiatives to promote Open Access. The initiative shows a way to promote Open Access based on cooperation with for-profit publishers. Other projects show that it is also possible for academia to successfully operate its own publishers of Open Access. This option should remain open to the scientific community!
While DEAL is also on the right track with Springer Nature, negotiations with Elsevier remain difficult. All Helmholtz Centres have terminated their Elsevier contracts. Clever minds have stopped their work in the Elsevier editorial committees. The support in science for DEAL is enormous. In my work at the Helmholtz Open Science Coordination Office, not a single scientist has complained about our clear position to date; instead, there is support. We must now continue to negotiate with this backing.