FAQ Wiley Contract

The present FAQ addresses some general questions of interest to the international community.

A more detailed FAQ in German has already been provided directly to the research institutions covered in the present agreement. Updates for the German research and library communities will be provided on the dedicated webpage https://www.projekt-deal.de/wiley-vertrag/.

What is Projekt DEAL?

The German Rectors’ Conference (https://www.hrk.de) was tasked by the Alliance of German Science Organizations (https://www.allianzinitiative.de) to institute Projekt DEAL to conclude nationwide “publish and read” agreements with the largest commercial publishers of scholarly journals.

DEAL has negotiated the present agreement on behalf of all German publically and privately funded academic institutions including universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions, state and regional libraries.

What are the objectives of Projekt DEAL?

The objectives of DEAL are to achieve:

  • Immediate open access publication of all new research articles by authors from German institutions
  • Permanent full-text access to the publisher’s complete journal portfolio
  • Fair and reasonable pricing for such services articulated with a simple and future-oriented model based on the number of articles published,

These objectives are in line the LIBER principles for publisher negotiations, the principles of Plan S, and the objectives of the global OA2020 Initiative to accelerate the transition to open access.

What is the „Publish&Read“ model?

The Publish&Read (PAR) model proposed by DEAL is a transformative framework that places open access publishing at the forefront and institutes the financial and operational preconditions for the large-scale transition of scholarly publishing to open access.

The PAR framework constitutes a transitional cost model that enables 100% of the research outputs of German institutions and accepted for publication in Wiley journals to be published immediately open access without infringing upon the publishing preferences and workflows of authors and without having to invest further resources.

Based on the principle that “there is enough money in the system”, the funds previously paid for subscription access to journals are, instead, used to remunerate publishers with a fair and transparent price (PAR fee) for services rendered in open access publishing of scholarly articles by eligible authors and, to a much lesser degree, compensate them for the reading access still required during the transition phase.  

What impact does the agreement have in the broader landscape of open access and scholarly communication?

Placed in the context of the broader open access movement, transformative agreements, such as this “Publish and Read” model and others, are an effective and high-impact strategy to affect the transition of scholarly journals to open access. At an individual institution, consortium or country level they have the potential to convert 100% of an entity’s research outputs to open access, and as national consortia and individual institutions around the world increasingly negotiate such agreements, the transition can be swiftly induced at scale.

The DEAL-Wiley “Publish&Read” agreement has transformative impact on multiple levels.

Through the sheer volume of the agreement, on the level of 10,000 new peer-reviewed articles per year, a significant amount of the latest, high quality research from German institutions will be made freely available to the world’s scholars and scientists to build upon, reinforcing the very principle of open access to knowledge as defined in the Berlin Open Access Declaration. Authors are granted the means to achieve the highest visibility and impact possible for their work and the freedom to use and re-use their published works in ways that will enhance and advance the scientific endeavor, taking full advantage of the opportunities today’s digital environment provides.

From a financial perspective, there is a clear departure from the subscription logic based on opaque, lump-sum fees, as costs are no longer articulated at the package or journal level, but at the article level, enabling a more fluid scholarly communications market in which funds are free to flow to the publishing venues that authors most value. Additionally, the overall costs remain within the range of the previous total subscription expenditure, providing a clear example of how a cost-neutral transition to complete and immediate open access on a large scale can be achieved.

At an operational level, the agreement has instituted certain technical obligations on the part of the publisher that are necessary to support open access publishing workflows, from submission interface customization, to metadata requirements, to tracking author affiliation, invoicing and reporting. With open access workflows of this entity fully integrated into their processes and systems, the publisher will be better positioned to transition at scale as further research producing organizations of the world step up the demand for a definitive transition to open access.

Is the agreement compliant with “Plan S”?

Yes, cOAlition S recognizes “transformative agreements”, of which the Publish&Read model is one, as compliant with the principles of Plan S and, as such, the contract will be listed on the ESAC Initiative Transformative Agreement Registry in accordance with Plan S implementation guidelines.

How does the „Publish&Read“ model work in practice?

Under the predominant subscription model, libraries pay annual lump-sum fees for read access to journal packages, and authors wishing to publish open access in an otherwise closed, or “hybrid”, journal pay Article Processing Charges (APCs). In the PAR model, the economic transactions and revenue flows are shifted and open access publishing is guaranteed. Authors no longer pay APCs and, instead, PAR fees will be sustained by institutions in proportion to the number of articles published by their authors. Authors simply follow their habitual submission workflows and are prompted to publish open access with a Creative Commons license.

What are the fees and how are they calculated?

  1. The key financial component is the “Publish&Read Fee”. Multiplied with the factual annual publication volume it will constitute the core invoice amount as per the contract. The PAR fee, relevant only to open access publishing in hybrid journals (“Wiley OnlineOpen”), is set at Euro 2750 and will remain unchanged over the course of the 3-year agreement. The PAR fee itself is a key transitional element in that it builds a bridge for the previous total subscription expenditure of German institutions to be shifted to support the country’s research output under a realistic publication scenario while at the same time minimizing the risk of massive financial disruption for both parties. The PAR fee of this contract is unique to the German setting and constitutes a context-specific balance between a given historic situation and an anticipated future objective. Others may find inspiration in this principle but should not be preoccupied with the figure as such, as the starting point will be different in other contexts.
  2. A second cost component of the contract is the fee for publishing in pure (“Gold”) open access journals of the Wiley portfolio (“Wiley Open Access”). The fees for publishing in Gold OA journals are based on Wiley’s list prices, with a 20% discount.
  3. A third cost component is the consolidated access fee. This is a one-time fee of Euro 2M to reflect additional value and services delivered to support the transformation towards Open Access and Open Science, including the perpetual access rights for archival content.

What publishing services are covered in the agreement?

The agreement covers the open access publishing of accepted articles by submitting corresponding authors affiliated with a publically or privately funded German research institution entitled under Projekt DEAL in Wiley “hybrid” journals, ie those journals behind paywalls for which open access publication of individual articles is allowed, and Wiley pure “gold” open access journals.

The title list included in the agreement represents the portfolio at the outset and will evolve over the course of the agreement.

Under what kind of license will articles be published?

Authors have absolute freedom of choice in where and how they choose to publish but will be prompted, by default, to choose a CC-BY license.

When will eligible authors be able publish open access under the agreement?

The agreement covers manuscripts accepted for publication in fully open access journals beginning 22 January 2019 and manuscripts accepted for publication in subscription journals from 1st July 2019.

What reading access is covered in the agreement?

The agreement extends reading to the complete Wiley Online Journal portfolio, including backfiles from 1997 forward, to all DEAL member institutions. Participating institutions will also have permanent access to all content published in the course of the agreement as well as retrospective content.

In what additional ways is Projekt DEAL collaborating with Wiley?

As illustrated in the Prelude and Intent of the agreement, Projekt DEAL and Wiley “aim to build a progressive and sustainable future that creates impact for publishing and scholarly research” and “jointly strive to meet the needs of German researchers.” In this context the parties have agreed to collaborate in a Wiley journal publishing program and other dedicated projects:

  1. Wiley will launch a flagship journal which will publish top-tier scholarship from the global research community and serve to deliver open science innovation and proof that open access publishing can thrive as a publishing format for the best in global research. Projekt DEAL and Wiley have agreed to endorse the principles and launch of the flagship journal and collaborate to define its scope.
  2. Wiley and Projekt DEAL have agreed to establish an Open Science and Author Services Development Group which will develop innovative approaches for integrating open data, open standards and open metrics into the core publishing functions; develop faster and more efficient submission, peer review and revision processes; and provide authors with dissemination service upon publication.
  3. Wiley and Projekt DEAL have agreed to jointly convene a symposium for early stage researchers to commonly develop the evolution of scholarly communication through discussion, workshops and other activities.

How is this agreement operated at the country level?

In contrast to standard consortium agreements which are typically based on opt-in participation, the present is a centralized agreement for the entire German research and higher education system (“all-in”). As contract partner, MPDL Services GmbH, a wholly controlled subsidiary of the Max Planck Society, acts as a single point of contact for Wiley and is responsible for managing the operations on behalf of the participating institutions.

Why has the agreement been published CC-BY-ND?

In keeping with principle of openness, and to stimulate further advances in the transition to open access, the full text of the agreement has been published in the public domain. The unique setting in which it has been written requires that each specific component of the present agreement be interpreted exclusively within the larger context of the agreement as a whole; the–ND restriction has therefore been applied.

Standardized language and clauses that can be useful to those in the community who wish to apply similar principles in their own transformative agreements is available via the ESAC Initiative.