FAQ for Participating Institutions

How to benefit from DEAL:

Which institutions are eligible to participate?
Replacing former regional consortium agreements and other bilateral contracts, DEAL agreements are negotiated on behalf of 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). In total, more than 700 German institutions including universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions, state and regional libraries, are eligible to participate in the DEAL agreements.
How can I participate?
Institutions can sign up for the DEAL agreements via MPDL Services gGmbH, Participants will be asked to provide a list of their affiliated sites and facilities and agree to the publisher’s terms and conditions. Institutions that have not yet been contacted but consider themselves entitled to participate in DEAL agreements should contact MPDL Services gGmbH (support@mpdl-services.de) to request sign up forms.
What is MPDL Services gGmbH?
MPDL Services gGmbH acts as signing contractual partner for Projekt DEAL, which is a project in the “Digital Information” priority initiative of the Alliance of German Science Organizations. The Max Planck Society, as a member of the Alliance of Science Organizations – after approval by the federal and state governments financing it in the Joint Science Conference (GWK) – founded MPDL Services gGmbH, an affiliate of the Max Planck Digital Library, as the “DEAL operating entity and 100% subsidiary of the Society specifically to act as the contracting party for the DEAL contracts and to facilitate implementation of the agreements among German institutions.
Have the terms of the agreements been publically disclosed?
Yes, in keeping with the ESAC Guidelines for Transformative Agreements which call for transparency, both DEAL agreements signed to date have been published online.

The DEAL-Wiley contract, signed on January 15, 2019 by Wiley and MPDL Services GmbH (meanwhile MPDL Services gGmbH), was published at:


The DEAL-Springer Nature contract, signed on January 8, 2020 by Springer Nature and MPDL Services GmbH (meanwhile MPDL Services gGmbH), was published at:


What are the costs for my institution to participate in the DEAL contracts?
The DEAL agreement ushers in a new era in scholarly communication in which institutions, and, in particular, their libraries will begin to shift workflows and funding schemes currently centered around subscriptions toward open access publishing.

Participating institutions are billed an individual participation fee by MPDL Services gGmbH that is based on their former subscription spend with the publisher. However, the aim is that the costs should ultimately also be determined at the level of each individual institution on the basis of the volume of publications. To ease this transition, an innovative consortium cost model is being implemented for the DEAL agreements. MPDL Services gGmbH has been tasked to act as the central contractual partner for the publisher and, consequently, participating institutions are billed for all contractual services by MPDL Services gGmbH, including article fees for publications in the publishers’ gold open access journals. Contract-specific conditions are communicated to the participating institutions in the sign up process.

How will publications be assigned to my institution within the framework of a DEAL agreement?
The publisher identifies authorized authors during the submission and publication process and initiates subsequent verification processes with the participating institutions.

The verification process is carried out with the help of open access dashboards or approval systems provided by the publishers; these are online platforms through which the participating institutions can view and confirm the publications assigned to them.

When signing up for the DEAL agreements, institutions receive individual accounts for these platforms where they can check and verify the eligibility of the publications that have been assigned to their accounts.

For more information on managing open access publications using the OA dashboards, click here:

https://secure.wiley.com/DEAL_FAQ https://secure.wiley.com/DEAL

What does 'submitting corresponding author' mean?
This refers to the author who submits the manuscript to the publisher and who is responsible for correspondence related to publication of the article.
How can I estimate the number of publications from my institution with individual publishers in order to prepare the necessary funding?
The Open Access Monitor developed and hosted by the Forschungszentrum Jülich provides a preliminary orientation:


When using the Open Access Monitor, please be aware that all publications from your institution will be shown, including those where a researcher from your institution was merely a co-author and not the submitting corresponding author. For cost estimations, please note that you only need to take into account the proportion of your publication volume in which the corresponding author is from your institution. To break down the total publications to corresponding author shares, you may factor out 30%-50% of the total number. Publication figures of university hospitals must also be queried separately; please note that in these cases there may also be double counting of publications with the hospital’s’ corresponding universities to be factored out.

How does the PAR fee relate to the DFG funding limit of 2000 € for open access publishing?
The Publish and Read Fee (PAR fee) introduced in the DEAL agreements cannot be equated with an Article Processing Charge (APC), for which a funding limit of 2,000 € has been set as part of the DFG’s “Open Access Publishing” funding program. In contrast to an APC, which only covers the publication services rendered by a publisher for a single contribution/professional article, PAR fees also cover the costs for unrestricted reading access for the journals covered in the agreement. All participating institutions benefit from this level of access, including those that previously had few or no previous subscriptions with the publisher.

The PAR fee model is merely an intermediate step in the open access transition. This step is, however, necessary in order to enable future oriented adjustments in the workflows, payment streams and service portfolios of academic libraries and publishers. The next step will be to transition the PAR fee model to a transparent and purely publication-based cost model as open access publishing increases and paywalled content decreases.

Is there a way for my institution to save money by participating in the DEAL agreement?
Before the DEAL-Wiley agreement, authors who elected to publish their articles open access in ‘hybrid’ subscription journals paid article processing charges, often from grants or their own research funds. These costs have run typically between 2,000 € and 3,800 €, and sometimes up to 4,700 €, per article over and above the subscription fees paid by their institutions for access to the same journals. This practice, which has been strongly criticized in recent years under the buzzword “double dipping”, is now brought to an end by the DEAL transformative agreements, representing a significant overall savings to German institutions.

Last update: June 19, 2020.