Springer Nature Says More than 99 Percent of German Higher Learning Joins DEAL

In News by Porter Anderson

Springer Nature, one of three Projekt DEAL publishers, cites agreements with 99 percent of Germany’s higher-learning institutions.

Research in Europe: The astronomical observatory Roque de los Muchachas, at La Palma on the Canary Islands. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Simone Tognon

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

Subscription Content Downloaded by DEAL Participants Up 53 Percent
As Publishing Perspectives readers will remember, Germany’s Projekt DEAL is a collective of more than 1,000 academic institutions in a structure initiated by the German Rectors’ Conference to create transformative agreements with the three biggest publishers of scholarly journals—Wiley, Springer Nature, and Elsevier.

As we reported in November, Holtzbrinck‘s Springer Nature group and the Berlin-based Projekt DEAL were at the time close to signing renewed five-year transformative agreement.

Today’s news (May 7) from Springer offices in Berlin, London, and New York City is that 99 percent of Germany’s universities and other higher-education institutions have joined Springer Nature’s renewed Projekt DEAL open-access agreement.

The publisher offers several more points of interest:

  • The number of freely immediately accessible publications by researchers in Germany has more than quadrupled to 15,000 per year
  • The international download figures for such articles increased by more than five-fold to an average of almost 1,300 per article
  • The number of downloads of subscription content by DEAL participants rose by 53 percent to 18.8 million

“The new agreement signed last November,” according to Springer Nature‘s media messaging, “enables researchers from participating institutions to publish content in the open-access and hybrid Springer, Palgrave and Adis journals as well as in the open-access titles of Nature Portfolio and the BMC journals at attractive conditions. They also receive reading access to subscription articles from the entire Springer, Palgrave and Adis portfolio.”

Dagmar Laging

In a prepared statement from the company’s offices today, we read Dagmar Laging, vice-president for institutional sales in Europe at Springer Nature, refers to “the great interest shown by German institutions in working with us under the new DEAL agreement.

“Thanks to open access, research from Germany will become more visible worldwide and, in addition, institutions in Germany get access to high-quality scientific subscription content.”

And as a note, we point out in this article the fact that the Big Three of academic publishing in the German sphere (including Wiley and Elsevier, in other words) are all part of Projekt DEAL, not just Springer Nature. We cordially note this  because the promotional operations of many scholarly publishing programs are among the most robust in all publishing and they are understandably adept at advocating for their own successes.

Some who know the infamously zealous politics of university faculties may see a correlation there: perhaps major scholarly programs are as self-promotional as they are because the campus context on which they rely are places of such scrappy energy.

In the age of open-access, when announcing one’s growing roster of transformative agreements can be seem to be an end unto itself, it’s always good to greet messages about broad successes by one house or another as part of a much bigger picture.


More from Publishing Perspectives on scholarly publishing is here, more on Springer Nature is here, more on Wiley is here, more on Elsevier is here, more on Projekt DEAL is here, and more on open access 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.