Here's the DEAL!

Scholars and scientists in Germany rely on the services of journals to discuss hypotheses, validate their methods and disseminate their findings in more than 100.000 peer-reviewed articles a year. This activity is an integral part of the research process and contributes to the progress of science, whereby new discoveries are built on previously established results. The more broadly research is disseminated, the greater impact it will have and the faster science can advance. But the subscription business model, which currently dominates scholarly journal publishing, is impeding that process. The Alliance of Science Organizations in Germany instituted Projekt DEAL to enable open dissemination of research through journal publisher negotiations that transform the current system of scholarly publishing.

It’s time to change the system

To publish in most scholarly journals, researchers are required to transfer copyright of their articles to the publishers who, in turn, sell access and re-use rights of their articles many times over, but only to those who can afford it. The fruits of German research therefore remain inaccessible to a vast portion of the scientific community and society. At the same time, the undisclosed sums of money that the libraries of German institutions must pay each year in journal subscription fees are increasingly unaffordable. Even worse, many publishers have been cashing in on the appeal of increased visibility, offering authors the option to publish their articles openly in, otherwise, closed subscription journals—for an additional fee on top.

These opaque, duplicate financial streams lead to gross inequities across the knowledge landscape in Germany and financial inefficiency.

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The nationwide Projekt DEAL approach

The German research community, represented by the Alliance of Science Organizations, instituted Projekt DEAL to change the way they do business with the scholarly journals publishers whose services are most used by German researchers. By repurposing the collective library subscription expenditure in Germany to support open access publishing services, instead, the nationwide DEAL agreements rein in the costs of scholarly communication and empower every scholar in Germany with the opportunity to retain copyright over their scholarly articles, the freedom to publish them in the trusted journals of their choice, and the means to do so openly to maximize their global visibility and impact.

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Reduce and restructure costs

The DEAL agreements introduce an equitable and transparent cost model for scholarly journals that repurposes the former subscription expenditure of German universities and research institutions and rolls up the costs for open access publishing services and reading access into one fixed, all-inclusive fee paid for each article published. In addition to securing more services for the same overall level of investment, the DEAL agreements provide a framework to orient institutional investments around open dissemination of research.

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The DEAL Cost Modeling Tool

To help libraries, research administration and other stakeholders assess the development of costs with the publishers contracted by DEAL, the interactive DEAL Cost Modeling Tool gives them to ability to generate midterm expenditure projections based on different cost scenarios relevant to the scholarly publishing needs of researchers.

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