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Free online access to 1,900 journals

Kiel University signs second agreement in world’s largest Open Access project.

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With a University Board Resolution on 3 March, Kiel University (CAU) has joined the national DEAL contract with Springer Nature, which was signed by the negotiating partners on 8 January and has a term of three years. After the agreement with Wiley publishers in 2019, this is now the second contract as part of the DEAL project, which was initiated by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany. On the basis of what the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) referred to as “the world’s largest Open Access agreement”, up to around 13,000 Open Access articles per year are anticipated from German researchers.

Joining means campus-wide and permanent access to full articles for approx. 1,900 subscription e-journals from Springer publishers for all CAU members, including the UKSH Campus Kiel, which is around 800 journals more than in the past. On top of this, all submitting/corresponding authors among the CAU members, including the UKSH Campus Kiel, have the option to publish their articles in the Gold Open Access Standard in the majority of these scientific journals as of now - plus in around 600 additional original Open Access journals as from August 2020 (such as BioMed Central, Nature Communications). This means worldwide, free access as from the first day of publication.

Vice President of Kiel University, Professor Anja Pistor-Hatam, is suitably pleased “that the visibility of research findings from Kiel will be further increased around the world.” The Managing Director of the University Library, Dr Kerstin Helmkamp, added “In addition to this, the research findings are freely available at any time and from any workstation, which means that they can be received more quickly.”

The CAU is financing this new licensing model during the three-year term of the contract, also known as the transformation phase. It merges reading access to journals and Open Access publishing in these journals in the form of a set “publish & read fee” from central funds, so the individual authors from the CAU and UKSH campus do not have to pay article fees. This does not include fees for Open Access articles in original Open Access journals, though, which the CAU is invoiced for and finances separately.

When the three-year term of the contract expires, the plan is to evaluate the contractual model and also consider whether switching to an article-specific payment system would be a good idea.