FAQ for Authors

How to publish Open Access with DEAL:

Fostering the transformation to Open Access publishing is a key element in the negotiations of Projekt DEAL. Publicly funded research is thereby made accessible freely from all over the world, at the same time researchers are supported in a sustainable manner. Projekt DEAL expects publications issuing from German research institutions to reach higher visibility, higher citation rates as well as higher impact.

Normally, Open Access publications are conducted under a Creative Commons License in order to reuse and share the work easily, while respecting the author’s rights. It is important to Projekt DEAL to maintain the established standards and processes with regards to quality protection (peer review, editorial review).

What needs to be considered when submitting an article in order to benefit from DEAL agreements?

Articles by submitting corresponding authors from entitled institutions are eligible for Open Access publishing under the DEAL agreements. All academic and research institutions in Germany that are entitled to participate in the Alliance and national licenses funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) (including: universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions, state and regional libraries) can also participate in DEAL agreements. To verify that your institution is entitled, please contact your institution’s library.

Authors must always state their institution and use their institutional email address when submitting manuscripts. Additionally, authors must state their institution in the manuscript itself; please check the specific naming convention of your institution with your administrators.

If you belong to more than one entitled institution, you must choose one institution to which the article should be assigned when submitting your manuscript.

DEAL-Wiley contract specifics

At the time of acceptance of your article, you must be affiliated with an entitled institution.

Publishing in Wiley Open Access journals: In order to publish in Wiley pure Gold Open Access journals under the DEAL-Wiley contract and receive the agreed discount of 20% on the list APC, the date of acceptance of your article must be after 21.1.2019.

Publishing in Wiley subscription, ie hybrid, journals in the portfolio “Wiley Online Open”, the date of acceptance of your article must be after 1.7.2019.

Your article must be of the type “Primary Research Article” or “Review Article”.

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


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. 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. When in doubt, please contact your institution’s library.

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.

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.

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.

Last update: August 22, 2019.