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The President and scientific council members of the Max Planck Society (MPS), one of the world’s largest research performing organizations, counting 14,000 scientists who publish 12K new research articles a year—around 1500 of which in Elsevier journals, have mandated the Max Planck Digital Library to discontinue their Elsevier subscription when the current agreement expires on December 31, 2018. With this move the Society joins nearly 200 universities and research institutions in Germany who have already cancelled their individual agreements with Elsevier in the course of 2016 and 2017 and affirmed their support of the national licensing framework Projekt DEAL, led by the German Rector’s Conference.
In response to the untenably increasing cost of access to scholarly journals and, more importantly, the stifling effect of the antiquated paywall system on the research process, Projekt DEAL was established to negotiate nationwide transformative agreements as a means to transition from the current subscription system to one based on open access publishing models that enable complete and immediate access to the latest research for scholars and citizens alike, free of cost or other barriers. “DEAL is fully in line with the objectives of the OA2020 Initiative, which is strongly supported by the Max Planck Society,’ emphasized MPS President Martin Stratmann.
The transformative agreement that the DEAL negotiators propose to the major academic publishers is a “publish and read” model covering open access publication of all scholarly articles by authors affiliated with German institutions and, at the same time, grant reading access for German institutions to the publisher’s entire portfolio of electronic journals still behind paywalls.
As no sustainable offer according these fundamental criteria has been forthcoming from the publisher, negotiations with Elsevier were suspended last July. Researchers at the 200 institutions supporting the DEAL negotiations have consequently foregone access to the Elsevier platform and are broadly making use of alternative routes for their research needs. The Max Planck Digital Library has already set in place mechanisms to address the content needs of its researchers when Elsevier shuts off access at the beginning of January.
“The system of scholarly publishing today is a relic of the print era, and we want to activate a real paradigm shift in order to finally utilize the opportunities of the digital age”, says Gerard Meijer, director at Max Planck Society’s Fritz Haber Institute and a member of the DEAL negotiation team. In a strong show of support for the DEAL negotiations, 13 prominent Max Planck Society scientists resigned from their positions as editors and members of the editorial and advisory boards of Elsevier journals in 2017.
“Transformative agreements are one of the primary strategies for driving large scale transition of scholarly publishing to open access and are increasingly being adopted by the scores of international supporters of our global Open Access 2020 Initiative”, says Ralf Schimmer, Deputy General Manager of the Max Planck Digital Library. ”As both producers and consumers of the research articles circulated through their journal platforms, we have the leverage to demand a system that meets the needs of our researchers, and by adopting these transformative agreements, we will be able to achieve our Society’s goal of publishing the vast majority of our researchers’ articles open access in a matter of a few short years. We have already accomplished such deals with some of the most relevant publishers to Max Planck researchers, such as Springer Nature, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics Publishing. Further publishers will follow in 2019.”
A strong signal to the publishers from the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference
The 14th Berlin Open Access Conference, hosted by the Max Planck Society and organized by the Max Planck Digital Library on behalf of the Open Access 2020 Initiative (oa2020.org), has just come to an end after two intense days with 170 participants from 37 countries around the world discussing where the research organizations and their library consortia stand in their negotiations with scholarly publishers in transitioning scholarly publishing to open access. The participants represented research performing and research funding organizations, libraries and government, associations of researchers and other umbrella organizations, many of them holding high-level positions at their organizations. In his welcoming address, Max Planck Society President Martin Stratmann captured the spirit of the meeting when he stated: 'Open Access is the responsibility of all of us'.
The conference brought to light strong consensus and alignment among the diverse international communities represented around the necessity of stepping up efforts to move away from the subscription-based system of scholarly publishing to open access-based business models. A major focus was placed on transformative agreements (eg “read and publish”), which were identified as perhaps the most viable instrument at the moment to accelerate the transition to open access. As it became clear from statements made by representatives from Japan, the United States, South Africa and others, that readiness to adopt this approach is now extending beyond Europe, where it originated, and is currently being adopted in several countries; in particular, this was emphasized in a bold statement from China, the nation with the largest share of research publications.
After aligning on the goals and strategies during the first day of the conference, the CEOs of the three largest publishers of scholarly journals, Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, and Springer Nature, were invited by the President of the Max Planck Society, Martin Stratmann, to discuss the global demand for transformative agreements on the second day. The message conveyed to the publishers was that the global research communities are committed to complete and immediate open access, to retaining author copyrights and to negotiating transformative agreements that are temporary, transitional, and cost-neutral as a means to shift to full open access within just a few years with the expectation that cost savings in scholarly communication will follow as market forces take hold. The publishers were called upon to move towards complete and immediate open access according to these principles.
It also came out that there is a strong alignment between the approaches taken by OA2020, Plan S, the Jussieu Call and other approaches dedicated to drive more open access into the system of scholarly communication.
Further reports will soon appear on the homepage of the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference:
Read more in the Nature News
One of Germany’s leading research organizations secures access to 110,000 books from almost 170 years of publishing history for its researchers
The Max Planck Society, a highly reputed research institution, has bought the entire Springer Book Archives (SBA) consisting of 110,000 individual titles. The purchase gives staff in 82 Max Planck institutes in Germany direct online access to the retro-digitized books via the SpringerLink platform (link.springer.com).
The Springer Book Archives contain the digital copies of nearly all the books published by Springer from 1842, when the publishing house was founded, up to and including 2004. The works are divided into 11 collections in English (around 56,000 titles) and five in German (around 54,000 titles). Licenses are available for each of these individual packages. The Springer Book Archives give today’s researchers access to key academic work from the past two centuries, and researchers can use these e-books on a wide variety of electronic devices.
The Springer Book Archives contain around 50 different imprints, although scientific works published by Springer Verlag account for the majority of publications. In addition, there are also titles by the longstanding engineering publisher Vieweg (now SpringerVieweg), the economics book portfolio Gabler (now SpringerGabler), the U.S. IT publisher Apress, and the U.S. science publisher Copernicus.
“The Springer Book Archives clearly demonstrate once again that today’s scientists stand on the shoulders of giants. Our digitized titles include publications by prestigious researchers and a number of Nobel laureates,” commented Focko van Berckelaer, Vice President Library Sales, Springer. “All these works have been out of print for a long time and are now available again online in the Springer Book Archives. I am delighted that the researchers and post-doctorate students at the Max Planck Institutes now access this basic knowledge.”
“The Springer Book Archives books had only been available for a short time before the Max Planck institutes signaled their interest in acquiring these titles,” explained Dr Ralf Schimmer, head of Scientific Information Provision at the Max Planck Digital Library. “We would like to congratulate Springer on implementing this fantastic retro-digitization project, and we are pleased to be able to make this historical body of work available to researchers in the Max Planck Society in today’s digital working environment.”
Springer Science+Business Media (www.springer.com) is a leading global scientific, technical and medical publisher, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D departments with quality content via innovative information products and services. Springer is also a trusted local-language publisher in Europe – especially in Germany and the Netherlands – primarily for physicians and professionals working in healthcare and road safety education. Springer published roughly 2,200 English-language journals and more than 8,000 new books in 2012, and the group is home to the world’s largest STM eBook collection, as well as the most comprehensive portfolio of open access journals. In 2012, Springer Science+Business Media S.A. generated sales of approximately EUR 981 million. The group employs more than 7,000 individuals across the globe.
Contact: Renate Bayaz| Springer | Tel.: +49-6221-487-8531| E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Berlin/Munich, 24 January 2013 – The Max Planck Society and the academic publishing house De Gruyter have signed a groundbreaking agreement to cooperate in the publication of Open Access books.
The agreement covers texts intended for publication by scholars at the more than 80 individ- ual Max Planck institutes working around the world today. It encompass the full range of disciplines in which the Max Planck Society is active, including the natural sciences, social sciences, and humani- ties, and applies to both monographs and anthologies.
“Our collaboration with De Gruyter will enable us to offer our scholars a unified platform – both from a legal and an organizational perspective – for publishing books in Open Access,” explains Ralf Schimmer, Director of the Department of Scientific Information Provision at the Max Planck Digital Library. “In this way, we’re responding to an increasing number of requests from the Max Planck institutes, and are extending the support we give for Open Access publishing from journal articles to the arena of books.”
De Gruyter is providing the Max Planck Society an attractive opportunity to disseminate its content to the broadest possible audience. Alongside free, global access to content at De Gruyter Online (www.degruyter.com), print versions will also be released.
“Our agreement with the Max Planck Society underscores that De Gruyter’s Open Access model is a groundbreaking form of academic publishing,” says Anke Beck, Vice President of Publishing at De Gruyter. “Publications from the internationally renowned institutes of the Max Planck Society will enrich our program with the highest quality content across all fields of research.”
Already in the past several years De Gruyter has successfully published a number of Open Access books in collaboration with a variety of ongoing research projects, including with the Berlin College of Antiquities’ Cluster of Excellence project The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations (TOPOI) and with the Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
Contact: UlrikeLippe, PublicRelationsManager, Tel. +49(0)30-26005 153
Contact: Tina Planck, MaxPlanckDigitalLibrary, Tel. +49(0)89-909311249De Gruyter: The academic publishing house De Gruyter can look back on a history spanning over 260 years. The Berlin-based group of companies releases over 850 new titles each year in the fields of medicine,thehumanities, naturalsciences,andlaw,inaddition tomorethan 600journalsanddigital mediapublications.
The Max Planck Society: The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is an independent, non-profit research organization. It primarily funds research at its own institutions, which conduct basic research in the natural, biological, and social sciences, as well as in the humanities.
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imeji creates citable research assets from scientific media data like photographs, microscope im-ages or graphics. The Max Planck Digital Library has recently released a first version of this soft-ware for research institutions or other interested parties. As imeji is an open source project, it is free of charge and can be reused by everybody.
The publication and reusability of scientific media data are the focus of this application. imeji enables an easy-to-use upload of images, the description of data with freely definable parameters and the interlinking of data. Information can be handled with a non- restrictive metadata schema definition, as simple as de-sired or as complex as needed. Large collections can be organized in different albums to focus special items of interest or to ensure the citability for publications. Albums can be shared among users to enable collaboration for creating and enriching sets of images.
The development is distributed among the imeji-community, an open software developer partnership, which ensures the sustainability of the imeji software and enables further stable development. The com-munity consists, among others, of the Institute of Art and Visual History of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Max Planck Digital Library and Konrad Zuse Internet Archive of Freie Universität Berlin.
Dr. Frank Sander
Head Max Planck Digital Library
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