FAQ for Authors

How to publish Open Access with DEAL:

How do authors benefit from the DEAL agreements?
In 2019, DEAL concluded transformative agreements with Wiley (starting January 2019) and Springer Nature (starting January 2020), so that your articles accepted for publication in Springer Nature and Wiley journals can now be published immediately Open Access, making your research more visible, freely and legally accessible by scholars and scientists from around the globe.

The agreements are conceived as all-in, meaning that all articles from more than 700 institutions included in Project DEAL will be published Open Access, unless you as an author actively choose not to, and the relative payments for open access services will be managed centrally by your institution. When submitting manuscripts to a journal covered under one of the DEAL agreements, authors will be appropriately signaled on how to ensure coverage in case their manuscript is accepted. At the same time, the agreements massively increase your access to scholarly journals, as all participating institutions receive extended access to the publishers’ journal portfolios in perpetuity, independent of their size and former subscription schemes.

DEAL-Wiley contract

Agreement period:
2019-2021, with optional renewal for 2022

Open Access publishing in subscription (closed access) journals:
Publish Open Access in over 1,400 Wiley (hybrid) subscription journals (“Wiley Online Open”), such as Angewandte Chemie, EMBO, and Advanced Materials, to name just a few. A small number of subscription journals do not yet offer open access publishing, but will be transitioned into the OA publishing scheme of the agreement in the course of the contract period. See title list.

Publishing in fully Open Access journals:
Publish in around 100 Wiley Open Access journals (eg Advanced Science), with a 20% DEAL discount granted on the APC list prices. https://authorservices.wiley.com/open-research/open-access/browse-journals.html

DEAL-Springer Nature contract

Agreement period:
2020-2022, with optional renewal for 2023

Open Access publishing in subscription (closed access) journals:
Publish Open Access in around 1,900 Springer (hybrid) subscription journals (“Open Choice”). Note: Nature and Nature branded journals are not included in the agreement, nor are purely professional journals (including but not limited to ATZ, MTZ) and magazines (including but not limited to Scientific American, Spektrum der Wissenschaft).
See title list.

Publishing in fully Open Access journals:
Publish in around 600 Springer Nature fully Open Access journals (eg Scientific Reports, Nature Communications) and Open Access brands (eg Springer Open journals, Nature Partner Journals, BioMed Central titles) with a 20% DEAL discount granted on the APC list prices. https://www.springernature.com/gp/open-research/journals-books/journals

Is open access publishing now mandatory for German authors?
Through the DEAL negotiations the Alliance of Science Organizations (including the German Rector’s Conference and all German research organizations) seeks to deliver to its affiliated authors the benefits of increased visibility and impact that come with publishing open access to German authors. As Projekt DEAL addresses the three most important publishers for German scholars and scientists, in terms of the number of articles they publish each year with them, the DEAL agreements will greatly increase the open access publishing opportunities for German authors and, at the same time, advance the large-scale transition of scholarly communication to open access.

Nevertheless, the ultimate choice whether to publish open access and retain copyright over their works with a Creative Commons license or to transfer their copyrights to the publisher and allow it to be subject to a subscription paywall lies with authors. With regard to the DEAL-Wiley agreement, authors should be aware that even if they opt out of publishing an article open access, their institution will be charged for the unused open access publishing service granted for that article, due to the comprehensive nature of the agreement.

Will the publisher charge open access publication fees to authors?
Whereas in the past authors may have paid “APC’s in the wild” to publish their works open access, Projekt DEAL negotiates transformative agreements with major scholarly publishers in order to effect a positive shift in the business model underlying scholarly publishing, moving from one based on toll access (subscription) to one in which publishers are remunerated a fair price for their open access publishing services. Fees previously paid by German institutions for subscription access are systematically repurposed to support open access publishing. In this way, authors will not be charged APCs by the publisher for open access publishing in their subscription (hybrid) journals, although some institutions may implement internal cost-sharing or co-funding schemes with authors where the institution’s previous subscription spending is not sufficient to cover the entirety of its publishing output; nevertheless, the share of a library’s acquisitions budget previously dedicated to subscriptions with a publisher should be used in full.
Which Creative Commons license am I supposed to choose?
While authors have traditionally transferred all rights over their works to a publisher, when publishing open access, a Creative Commons license enables the author to retain copyrights to their works but grant the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.

The Alliance of German Science Organizations (as well as cOAlition S) recommends the Creative Commons License CC-BY for scholarly and scientific publications, as CC-BY allows for the greatest possible re-use of your work while ensuring that you are referenced as the creator.

Projekt DEAL aims to establish CC-BY as the standard license for open access publishing under their agreements, but this does not always happen automatically during the course of the publishing workflow, e.g. with some Wiley journals. Authors are therefore encouraged to specifically select the CC-BY license when prompted during the submission process, as this is the only way to avoid legal uncertainties in the distribution and re-use of their works, including in use cases such as text and data mining. For instance, we do not recommend choosing the non-commercial variation (CC-BY-NC) as it may already lead to unintended restrictions in re-use. Please note, that for some Wiley journals, only CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-ND licenses are currently available.

What needs to be considered when submitting an article in order to benefit from the DEAL agreements?
  • Articles by submitting corresponding authors from entitled institutions are eligible for open access publishing under the DEAL agreements. These are more than 700 German universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions, and state and regional libraries. To verify that your institution is entitled to coverage under the DEAL agreement, please contact your institution’s library.
  • For the purposes of determining coverage, the date of reference for Wiley is the date of the acceptance of the manuscript for publication (“acceptance date”). For Wiley gold open access journals, articles with an acceptance date of 22 January 2019 or later will be covered by the agreement. For Wiley subscription journals, accepted articles must have a publication date of July 1st 2019 or later to be published open access under the agreement.
    Article(s) accepted for publication in Springer Open Choice (hybrid) journals must have a publication date of 1 January 2020 or later to be published open access under the DEAL agreement. Article(s) accepted for publication in BMC, SpringerOpen and Nature open access journals must have a publication date of 1 August 2020 or later in order to be covered by the agreement.
  • Corresponding author affiliation of each article submitted under the DEAL agreements will be checked by the relevant institution or by MPDL Services gGmbH to ensure that the PAR fee or APC is uniquely and appropriately allocated. The costs associated with open access publishing will be attributed according to the affiliation stated by the corresponding author submitting the article, even if more than one author acts as corresponding author for your article.
  • If the corresponding author is affiliated with more than one institution, a primary affiliation should be indicated consistently in the course of the publishing workflow for cost attribution purposes. Please also state this institution in the published manuscript.
Are contracts concluded within Projekt DEAL compliant with 'Plan S'?
Yes, cOAlition S recognizes publications that become freely available via open access transformative agreements, such as the DEAL-Wiley contract, to be compliant with the principles of Plan S.
Further information on the contracts
Further information on the DEAL-Wiley contract can be found on the following pages:


Further information on the DEAL-Springer Nature contract can be found on the following pages:


Last update: January 10, 2020.