Search

link to homepage

Navigation and service


Open Access Framework with Frontiers

FAQs concerning the National Open Access Publishing Framework for Germany between Forschungszentrum Jülich and Frontiers

Teaser Open Access Frontiers


  1. What is this Framework about?
  2. Why is this Framework important?
  3. What are the benefits?
  4. Which institutions can participate?
  5. How can my institution participate?
  6. We already have an individual institutional membership with Frontiers. What will happen with this?
  7. Which researchers can benefit?
  8. How will publications be assigned to my institution and eligibility verified within the Framework?
  9. What are the costs?
  10. How does the publishing fee – the APC (“Article Processing Charge”) – of this Framework compare to the PAR ('Publish-and-Read') fee, which is used for the recent Projekt DEAL agreements with the subscription publishers?
  11. My university receives support from the DFG’s funding program „Open Access Publizieren“ for its open access publishing fund to cover publication costs. How is this compatible with the Framework?
  12. My university has an open access publishing fund with a cap (independent from the DFG programme) on APCs. How is this compatible with the Framework?
  13. What are the next steps?


1) What is this Framework about?

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed on 17 February 2020 in Jülich between Forschungszentrum Jülich and Frontiers, is an important first step towards finalizing a National Open Access Publishing Framework for Germany later this year, with the objective of making scientific research immediately free to access.

Under the Framework corresponding authors affiliated to German participating institutions can publish in Frontiers’ journals without direct invoicing to the researchers. The simplified and centralized invoicing process is handled directly between Frontiers and the institutions’ libraries. Depending on the respective regulations of the institution, the library of a participating institution will or will not charge the costs to the author's cost centre.

The Framework also comprises data reporting provided by Frontiers for the institutional as well as the national level.

For more information see the German and English press release of the MoU and the MoU itself.
Zenodo – Memorandum of Understanding concerning a National Open Access Publishing Framework for Germany (between Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH and Frontiers Media SA) (17.02.2020)
Frontiers Announcement – Forschungszentrum Jülich and Frontiers develop world’s largest pure open access framework agreement (18.02.2020)


2) Why is this Framework important?

Frontiers and Forschungszentrum Jülich have a common goal of making science open and this first step towards a final national framework publishing agreement (“Framework”) shows the strong commitment towards a transition to open science. The Framework reduces the administrative burden for researchers when publishing in Frontiers’ open access journals, reduces the total cost of ownership of scholarly articles for German research organisations, and makes the associated expenditures more transparent.

These goals are also in line with the strategic objectives of the large-scale open access transformation as defined by Germany’s Alliance of Science Organizations and the international funders’ initiative cOAlition S (coalition-s.org), which requires that from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant open access journals.
cOAlition S


3) What are the benefits?

Participating German institutions will benefit from Frontiers’ institutional collaboration programme. This programme provides dedicated workflows and support for research library staff dealing with publishing related questions and article processing charges (APCs), and centralized invoicing via the central libraries or departments of participating institutions. It also gives insights into open access uptake and expenditure via detailed data reports on articles published by their researchers, enabling time-savings and improving transparency, cost planning reliability and accountability.

The Framework also offers a national discount for Germany that will benefit all participating research organizations.

Researchers will continue to have permanent (open) reading access to the full contents of Frontiers’ journals and access to Frontiers’ open science tools, including collaborative peer-review, article and author impact metrics, and scholarly social sharing tools such as the Loop research network.


4) Which institutions can participate?

The Framework will be open to all institutions eligible to participate in the Projekt DEAL (projekt-deal.de) agreements, in total more than 700 German institutions including universities, universities of applied sciences and other research institutions.
Projekt DEAL – Nationwide licensing of services offered by major scientific publishers – about DEAL


5) How can my institution participate?

Right now, we are collecting feedback from the research organisations (deadline of 30 June 2020 to provide feedback, see below under “What are the next steps?”).

During the summer, a model agreement will be drafted by Forschungszentrum Jülich and Frontiers and any institution that wishes to participate per start of the agreement (aim is 1 January 2021) can indicate so before 30 October 2020.

When the Framework is in place, at any time, institutions can opt-in (with the possibility to opt-out each year).


6) We already have an individual institutional membership with Frontiers. What will happen with this?

The Framework will ensure that identical terms and benefits (such as the national discount) will be offered to all participating German institutions, and it aims to replace any current individual arrangements between Frontiers and those institutions which opt to join in this national initiative. Once the Framework is in place, if your organization has a membership with Frontiers already, you will be contacted by Frontiers to discuss the transition.


7) Which researchers can benefit?

Eligible are corresponding authors affiliated to a German institution that participates under the terms of the Framework. Eligible articles are articles submitted to Frontiers by an eligible author for which the participating organisation agrees central invoicing via the library and which are accepted for publication by Frontiers.


8) How will publications be assigned to my institution and eligibility verified within the Framework?

Articles will be identified by Frontiers as potentially eligible (based on payer information entered by the corresponding author during article submission, affiliation, email address, etc.) and the institution will be informed about new potentially eligible articles. A dedicated eligibility and APC verification workflow will allow the libraries of participating institutions to verify and manage APCs.


9) What are the costs?

The APCs of eligible articles will be invoiced by Frontiers to the respective libraries of participating institutions with the institution staying in control via the verification process.

As the workflows provided as part of this national Framework simplify the publication process for eligible articles (by default those are articles by corresponding authors of participating organisations) a national discount of 10% on the APCs will therefore apply for articles that will fall under the scope of the Framework. This discount will be applied automatically after the participating organisation has verified eligibility for the article.

Frontiers’ APCs vary per journal category and article type. As journals develop, they may move into a different category, with different APCs. As part of the Framework, Frontiers will not increase per-category fees during the term of the Framework.
Frontiers – About Frontiers – Publishing fees


10) How does the publishing fee – the APC (“Article Processing Charge”) – of this Framework compare to the PAR ('Publish-and-Read') fee, which is used for the recent Projekt DEAL agreements with the subscription publishers?

A PAR fee covers the publication services rendered by the publisher for a single article and the permanent reading access to all articles in the journals covered in the PAR agreement; this reading access is restricted to the participating institutions. Further to this, the PAR fee in the case of the DEAL agreements also covers the expenditures of Max Planck Services GmbH and the payments for archival rights to backfiles (Wiley) and a further subsidy for some Gold OA articles (Springer Nature).

The APC covers the publication services for a single article and provides universal and permanent access providing unrestricted reading access to anyone globally.


11) My university receives support from the DFG’s funding program „Open Access Publizieren“ for its open access publishing fund to cover publication costs. How is this compatible with the Framework?

The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, or DFG) supports German universities by providing temporary funding for the publication costs in open access journals via the programme „Open Access Publizieren“ in order to enable them to reorganise their budgetary processes during the transition towards the open access publishing model.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) – Funding Programme "Open Access Publishing"

The DFG has been vital in providing universities with necessary resources to pay for open access publications. While some universities still depend on this DFG programme for funding for their OA funds to cover APCs, it does not always cover the full APC of some Gold OA Journals including several of Frontiers’ journals. It is important to point out that:

  • the DFG-funding has an upper allowed limit of € 2,000 per article and does not allow partial funding, and
  • VAT must be included, resulting in a max net payment for publishing services from an OA fund partially financed by the DFG-programme of only € 1,680 (excl. VAT) per article.

This results in a maximum fee which can be paid via the DFG-programme for an article in an OA journal that is significantly less than for legacy publishing models such as the hybrid model.

We call upon the DFG to continue supporting open access publications, to consider supporting specifically “Pure Publish” deals, such as this Framework, and consider allowing partial funding of APCs, which is currently being tested by other consortia in other countries and which would make it easier for universities to only pay the difference when their researchers decide to choose for journals with a higher APC.

Frontiers operates an APC pricing spectrum, designed to be sustainable and inclusive (which considers for example open-access funding availability in different research communities) – with varying APC levels ranging for Original Research Articles, from US$ 950 (approx. €850) to US$ 2,950 (approx. €2,600), with the latter not eligible for support by the DFG.

For those current German institutional members of Frontiers that still depend on the DFG programme for APC support Forschungszentrum Jülich and Frontiers have agreed to seek a temporary and transitional solution.


12) My university has an open access publishing fund with a cap (independent from the DFG programme) on APCs. How is this compatible with the Framework?

Unfortunately, Frontiers will not be able to accommodate such caps and advocates for a re-consideration of your institution’s APC policy. Regulations at your university might enable the publishing fund to cover the APC up to its cap, while you need a different funding for the remainder.

We advocate for a transparent marketplace where all publishing costs (for Gold OA / subscription / hybrid / ... etc.) are paid from the same budgets, are publicly disclosed (especially including the costs of subscription-based (Closed Access) and hybrid journals) and where non-disclosure agreements with publishers are banned. Gold OA publishers generally provide the transparency in a fee policy that allows authors and their institutions to make informed decisions.


13) What are the next steps?

  • Deadline for your feedback / your questions: 30 June 2020
  • 30 September 2020: we aim to finalize the Framework
  • Activation date: 1 January 2021 (aim)
  • 7 December 2020 – Introductory webinar to the librarians of all institutions participating from the activation date (that opt-in per 30 October 2020)
  • From 1 January 2020: Institutions can participate at any time going forward


Please submit any questions or comments in German or English before 30 June 2020 to:
konsortium@fz-juelich.de


Open Access Framework Agreement with Frontiers On 17 February 2020, Forschungszentrum Jülich and open access publisher Frontiers signed a memorandum of understanding concerning an open access framework agreement for Germany. Forschungszentrum Jülich: Dr. Claudia Frick, Dr. Bernhard Mittermaier, Karsten Beneke; Frontiers: Ronald Buitenhuis, Frank Hellwig
Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

Contact details

Please send questions or comments in German or English to:
konsortium@fz-juelich.de

Further information

For more information about Frontiers, see Frontiers’ website or Frontiers’ 2019 progress report:
Frontiers
Frontiers – 2019 progress report

For more information about Forschungszentrum Jülich, see Forschungszentrum Jülich’s website:
Forschungszentrum Jülich


Forschungszentrum Jülich

FAQs zum Nationalen Open-Access-Rahmenvertrag für Deutschland zwischen dem Forschungszentrum Jülich und Frontiers


Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Dr. Bernhard Mittermaier, Head of the Central Library
Leo-Brandt-Straße
52428 Jülich
North Rhine-Westphalia
Germany


Frontiers

FAQs concerning the National Open Access Publishing Framework for Germany between Forschungszentrum Jülich and Frontiers


Frontiers Media SA
Ronald Buitenhuis, Head of Publishing Solutions
Avenue du Tribunal Fédéral 34
1005 Lausanne
Switzerland


Servicemeu

Homepage