What is Open Access?

What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) refers to a publishing and distribution model for scholarly communication that makes research information available to readers online at no cost, rather than the traditional model of charging readers for access. 

A key motivation for the development of the OA concept was that scholarly literature should be publicly available on the Internet free of charge, so that anyone interested can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, link to, and use full texts in any other conceivable legal way, without encountering financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those associated with Internet access itself.

The Max Planck Society is one of the founders of the international Open Access movement. The publication of the "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities" on October 22, 2003 and the subsequent annual conferences initiated a process that has raised awareness of the issue of access to scientific information. 2023 thus marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Berlin Declaration.

New Open Access agreement between DEAL consortium and Springer Nature

New Open Access agreement between DEAL consortium and Springer Nature

The DEAL consortium, represented by MPDL Services gGmbH, signed a new contract with the publisher Springer Nature on 24 November 2023. With a contract start date of 1 January 2024, the new agreement follows on seamlessly from the contract concluded in 2020, under which over 50,000 articles have now been published Open Access throughout Germany.

As called for by the German Council of Science and Humanities, this agreement also serves the goal of establishing open access as the standard for academic publishing and increasing the global visibility and reach of research at German academic institutions. 

The preamble to the agreement formulates a joint commitment to the transformation of hybrid journals into Gold Open Access.

It is an opt-in contract with a term from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2028. 

The agreement covers all Springer Nature journals with the exception of Nature-branded journals, for which the Nature framework agreement of the Max Planck Digital Library still applies until the end of 2024. It was agreed with the publisher that negotiations on the integration of the Nature-branded journals into the DEAL contract will be conducted in 2024.

Open Access 2020

The OA2020 Initiative was established at the 12th Berlin Open Access conference in 2015, where thought leaders in the global Open Access movement came together to deliberate on concrete actions that would finally offer an incisive, feasible and rapid path toward an open information environment.

The Berlin Declaration

20th anniversary of the Berlin Declaration
With the 16th Berlin Open Access Conference, organized by the OA2020 Initiative and hosted by the Max Planck Society, participants returned to the setting where the Berlin Declaration originated. There, they discussed how to refine and renew our approaches to achieving the vision for an open information environment in the service of science and society, with a particular focus on transformative agreements.

A representative selection of leaders in scholarly publishing were invited to summarise their perspectives on the current state of the Open Access transformation in scholarly publishing and, looking ahead to the medium term, their thoughts on the opportunities and challenges for providing the best possible scholarly publishing services to researchers, in support of an open, transparent, sustainable, inclusive and globally equitable scholarly communication paradigm.


The DEAL / Elsevier Agreement

The DEAL / Elsevier Agreement

September 06, 2023
The DEAL Consortium and Elsevier Signed Transformative Open Access Agreement
New Open Access agreement with IoP Publishing
The Max Planck Digital Library has established a new transformative open access agreement with Insitute of Physics Publishing
Transformative agreement with PNAS
The three-year pilot agreement, which runs from May 1, 2023 through April 30, 2026, enables corresponding authors affiliated with the Max Planck Society to publish their research articles open access in PNAS without paying individual article processing charges (APCs). The agreement also includes access to PNAS content for all Max Planck Society researchers.
Open Access Books: New contract with Springer Nature
Max Planck Digital Library Signs Open Access Book Contract with Springer Nature
The DEAL / Wiley Agreement

The DEAL / Wiley Agreement

October 28, 2021
Results of the publication year 2020
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