Mobile navigation


Frontiers announces national OA agreement

Frontiers and the German library consortium announce fully open access agreement.

Frontiers announces national OA agreement
Kamila Markram: “This agreement marks a turning point for academic publishing; leading the way towards a truly, fully open science environment.”

Frontiers and the German National Library of Medicine (ZB MED) have announced the launch of the first transformed framework agreement - a national, fully open access flat-fee deal - for Germany. This landmark agreement is an innovative initiative designed to champion open access to scientific research, and to provide long term budget security for institutions, says Frontiers.

The publisher says under this agreement, and through a single annual payment from each participating institution, more than 900 German research centers and libraries will be enabled to support their affiliated researchers to publish an unlimited number of peer-reviewed articles across all Frontiers journals and Frontiers’ partner journals. The agreement is Frontiers’ first flat-fee agreement in Europe and will run for three years starting in January 2024.

The deal, which has been established through the collaboration, trust, and shared vision of the negotiating partners, will increase German researchers’ opportunities to publish their research in open access journals. All public and private research institutions in Germany as well as state, regional, and specialist libraries can opt-in to the agreement. German institutions already taking part in Frontiers’ institutional partnership program may also opt-in to benefit from the deal.

Kamila Markram, CEO and co-founder of Frontiers said: “This agreement marks a turning point for academic publishing; leading the way towards a truly, fully open science environment. Bold moves like this one are necessary to ensure that knowledge is immediately available to all, without restriction, so that we collectively solve global challenges, especially relating to climate and health.?We thank ZB MED for sharing our vision for open science.”

Prof Dr Dietrich Rebholz-Schuhmann, scientific director of ZB MED said: “This great result of our fruitful negotiations with the publisher Frontiers, achieved by two German national libraries ZB MED and the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), is of high importance to the German research community and for all open access publishing initiatives in Germany. This agreement will further advance the benefits of full and immediate open access publishing covering many, and possibly all, disciplines. We are pleased to be part of this initiative which will significantly contribute to Germany’s visibility as a frontrunner of pioneering research and will accelerate the global transition to open access publishing.”

Ronald Buitenhuis, head of institutional partnerships at Frontiers said: “In the context of the current publishing landscape, this agreement is highly significant for open access publishing in Germany, creates budget-predictability for German institutions, and will help to foster increased choice in a market where authors can publish equitably, without financial or administrative obstacles. We are pleased to be able to offer this simpler and more straightforward pathway for libraries, which is also more transparent for researchers. I encourage all universities across the globe to contact us so that we can find solutions that align with their budgets.”

Petra Labriga, head of strategic licence management at ZB MED added: “After a detailed and constructive negotiation process with Frontiers, the 5th largest publisher in Germany, we are certain we will provide a fair and competitive offer to all German science and research communities. As the German national library for medicine and life sciences, we have had a particular interest in achieving a high-quality, yet affordable, budget-controlled solution for the publication-heavy life sciences which represent a large part of Frontiers’ portfolio.”

Participating institutions will be offered the option of choosing between joining the flat-fee model or receiving a 10% discount on article publishing charges, added Frontiers. Institutions wishing to benefit from the flat-fee can opt-in until mid-December 2024 (to start their participation at the beginning of the next quarter). Institutions choosing to receive the discount on article-based charges can opt in at any time.

The agreement is part of an ongoing flat-fee pilot project which in recent months has yielded new agreements in North America, with the University of California and the University of Kansas. Created in collaboration with the partners, this flat-fee model is a natural progression in the global transition to open access and, besides cost predictability, will contribute to improved transparency, further reduced administrative efforts, and assured support for authors.

Keep up-to-date with publishing news: sign up here for InPubWeekly, our free weekly e-newsletter.