Springer Nature Opens Open-Access Book Deal with Max Planck Society

In News by Porter Anderson

Springer Nature calls its arrangement, through the Max Planck Digital Library, its largest open-access institutional book deal yet.

At the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research – one of the institutes participating in the new Springer Nature open-access deal – on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Ginton

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

More Than 80 Max Planck Institutes Participating
Iin an agreement the company calls its largest institutional open-access book deal to date, Springer Nature has announced a contract with the Max Planck Society through the Max Planck Digital Library, which covers all of Springer Nature book imprints.

The company reports that the agreement provides open-access funding to affiliate authors from more than 80 Max Planck Institutes.

This agreement marks the fifth open access book partnership and the second and largest national open access book deal for the publisher so far.

It’s seen by Springer as an important step in driving a sustainable transition to open access for book authors. With what it says is research showing that open access books are downloaded 10 times more often and cited 2.4 times more than non-open-access books, Max Planck authors who are publishing as part of this agreement will benefit from what Springer Nature describes as even greater reach and impact.

Speaking of the partnership, Niels Peter Thomas, the president of Springer Nature China and managing director of books for the corporation, is quoted, saying, “Open research across books, data, and journal articles is important for advancing discovery.

Niels Peter Thomas

“The journey to sustainable open-access publishing for books, however, is progressing at a slower pace than that of journals because of different complexities, awareness, policy and funding facing the community.”

Thomas praises “our longstanding partnership with the Max Planck Digital Library to enable authors to publish their books open-access, advance sustainable routes for OA book publishing, and strengthen our shared goals for open research.

“It marks a pivotal step in the support for open-access books and we look forward to working with more partners to extend this commitment further.”

Schimmer: ‘Beyond the Restrictions of Paywalls’

The initial three-year agreement, which has been live since January 1, will enable authors from all 86 Max Planck Institutes to receive a discount on the standard book publishing charge (BPC) to publish a book open-access.

Max Planck Digital Library will contribute central funding toward the coverage of the discounted BPC, further lowering the costs for authors. The discount and funding will be available across all of the publisher’s book imprints, under a CC BY license, ensuring authors’ work is freely accessible and discoverable to all communities across science, technology, medicine, the humanities, and social sciences.

They’ll be available to readers around the world through Springer Nature’s content platform SpringerLink.

Ralf Schimmer

For the Planck side of the agreement, Ralf Schimmer, head of information at the Max Planck Digital Library, says, “In establishing this new agreement with Springer Nature, we further advance one of our core missions: to support our authors in the dissemination of their research beyond the restrictions of paywalls.

“By covering a significant share of the open access book publication costs,” he says, “we are enabling more of our authors to publish their work openly, increasing readership and impact, in particular for those disciplines in which books play a crucial role in the scholarly communication process.”

Springer Nature characterizes itself as “the largest open-access book publisher and pioneer in open-access book models since the launch of its open-access books program in 2012. Since then, the publisher says it has published more than 1,500 open-access books, with its book chapters being  downloaded more than 200 million times.

You can see how Springer Nature is presenting its arrangement with the Max Planck group here. On that page, a spreadsheet is offered for authors to use in checking to see which institutions are part of the agreement—everything from the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics to the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.

And at the Max Planck Society today (May 12), you’ll find an article on today’s much-discussed image of Sagittarius A, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, a view captured by the Event Horizon Telescope.

The Max Planck Digital Library is described as “a central scientific service unit within the Max Planck Society dedicated to the strategic planning, development and operation of the digital infrastructures necessary for providing its institutes and their scholars and scientists with research information, support for web-based scholarly communication, research tools and research data management and software licensing.”

More from Publishing Perspectives on academic and scholarly publishing is here, more on open access is here, and more on Springer Nature is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.