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Free Access to Scholarly Publications Worldwide

Implementing the Open Access Transformation at the University of Regensburg

April 25, 2024

For more than a decade, the University of Regensburg (UR) has been promoting the creation of worldwide free and re-usable access to scientific and scholarly publications ("Open Access Transformation"). At the suggestion of the UR, the Bavarian universities presented a comprehensive Open Access strategy in 2023, which holds out the prospect of financial support for the transformation process from the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts from 2024.

The DEAL project is a central commercial component of the Open Access transformation: On behalf of an Alliance of Science Organizations, it concludes nationwide contracts with the three publishers Elsevier, SpringerNature and Wiley, which together cover almost 60% of all German scientific journal publications. Important for researchers: The costs for 2024 will be covered by the library budget at the current level, as well as by additional funds from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and central University funds. Faculties and individual researchers will not incur any costs. This applies to publication in hybrid journals; publication in pure "Gold Open Access" journals will continue to be subsidized for individual researchers via the publication fund.

In the contracts with the publishers, the financing of the provision of literature and information in the area of journals was changed from license/subscription costs to publication costs per article: Instead of reading access, UR now finances the use of publication services. As a result, the provision of literature is moving more into the focus of research and academic policy debates.

University Library Regensburg. Photo © Antonia Proels / University of Regensburg

In the first phase of the project, from 2019 to 2023, UR participated in the Wiley and SpringerNature contracts; no agreement was reached with Elsevier nationwide. In this phase, the costs for the university remained within the previous literature budget. The German Rectors' Conference has now negotiated new contracts with all three publishers for the DEAL consortium for the period 2024 to 2028. The UR signed these contracts with all three publishers at the end of 2023. This means that Regensburg's scientists and scholars will be able to publish OA articles with the respective publishers and at the same time have reading access to the publishers' full range of journals (including backfiles for Wiley and SpringerNature).

In the course of 2024, the contracts will be evaluated according to cost-benefit criteria. The University management will then decide whether to continue.


For general questions about the strategy, please contact the Director of the University Library of Regensburg, Dr. André Schüller-Zwierlein, andre.schueller-zwierlein@ur.de.

If you have questions about coverage for individual articles, please contact the University Library's open access publications team at oa@ur.de.

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