Articles in hybrid open access DEAL journals from Elsevier, Springer Nature and Wiley

The existing DEAL agreements with the publishers Springer Nature and Wiley expired on December 31, 2023. On November 17, 2023, a five-year contract (2024-2028) was signed between the MPDL Services gGmbH (on behalf of the DEAL Consortium) and Wiley. On November 24, 2023, a contract was signed with Springer Nature (for contract years 2024-2028). After several years without an agreement, a contract was signed with Elsevier for the first time on September 1, 2023. This agreement also covers the years 2024-2028.
At its meeting on December 19, 2023, the University Governing Board decided that the University of Bayreuth (UBT) will participate in all three DEAL agreements. As a result, the UB has initiated the start of the participation process with MPDL Services gGmbH before the 2023/2024 Christmas break. This means that UBT members will continue to have comprehensive online access to the journal portfolios of Wiley and Springer Nature. Online access to the Elsevier journal portfolio was activated for university members on January 10, 2024 (via ScienceDirect; at a later date, the journals will also be accessible via the UB catalog/the EZB).
In addition to reading access, all three DEAL contracts also include a publishing component. In contrast to the previous DEAL contracts with Springer Nature and Wiley, the participation fees to be paid by UBT are based on publication-based billing in accordance with the so-called paper charge model: institutions participating in the DEAL contracts from contract year 2024 onwards pay the publish-and-read fee (PAR fee) or article processing charge (APC) specified in the contract for each publication by their researchers (publication as (submitting) corresponding author) covered by the contract. The APC in Gold Open Access journals of DEAL publishers is (with a few exceptions) subject to a discount of 20 percent compared to the respective list price. The costs per publication (PAR fee) for publication in hybrid journals of DEAL publishers are between approx. 3,200 and 7,000 euros (Cell Press and Lancet titles). It is irrelevant whether the authors decide to publish their article in open access or closed access (opt-out) in the publication process for hybrid journals; the PAR fee is incurred in either case.
In consultation with the University Governing Board, the UB is currently developing a financing concept on how the expected costs for the UBT can be covered. In this context, a 10 percent contribution from researchers towards the respective publication costs is also being discussed (possibly with a graduated model to relieve the burden on junior researchers). The UB will inform researchers as soon as more details are known.

Articles in gold open access journals (incl. Elsevier, Springer Nature and Wiley)

In 2024, articles in gold open access journals can be funded with 700 euros gross/article until further notice. The APC in Gold Open Access journals of DEAL publishers is (with a few exceptions) subject to a discount of 20 percent compared to the respective list price.

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) stands for the free access to scientific information. The data can be viewed without restrictions on the internet and can be downloaded, read, printed or distributed freely. All the rights of the author to his contribution for the scientific process are maintained.
Scientific publications in open access journals are published very fast and can therefore be found, distributed and cited quickly. The quality control is mostly of the same manner as in traditionally published journals.

What is so new about publishing Open Access?

The enormous increase in subscription prices of the established publishers have forced libraries to cancel many subscriptions in the past years. Open access shows an alternative way for scientists to publish their articles, whereby new ways of financing the publication fees are found. Many research organisations support this new path of free access to publicly financed scientific results: Berlin declaration of open access to scientific knowledge.

Which possibilities of publishing Open Access are there?

In the "golden road" scientific work is directly published in an open access journal or by an open-access publisher. The costs which occur by publishing open access journals are covered via different models.
In the author financed model the author pays the publication fees or article processing charges directly. Another possibility is financing the fees via institutional memberships in some publication plattforms (such as BioMedCentral). Some journals do not require any fee. The Journal for Music and Performance (Act - Zeitschrift für Musik und Performance ) for example is published at the University of Bayreuth. Funding from the DFG could successfully be raised for this journal.
In the "green road" scientific work is published via a document server or an institutional repository. In case the work has already been published it is a so called parallel publication. Specific scientific document servers exist for certain scientific disciplines (such as arXiv, SSOAR, etc.). The University of Bayreuth provides a publication and document server called EPub Bayreuth where members of the University of Bayreuth can publish their work. Via this service it is also possible to publish series as open access (for examples see the Open Access series in EPub Bayreuth).

Predatory Open Access

Predatory open access is the attempt to exploit the business model of open access. Some publishers try to use the "golden road" of open access in order to gain money from the publishing fees without providing the editorial and publishing services of regular open access publishers. In recent years the number of these suspicious publishers has dramatically increased.
JahrNumber of publishers
Scientists are lured into publishing in mostly relatively new journals without giving information about the publication fees. If an article is submitted to these journals a transfer of copyright has sometimes already taken place. The scientist then receives a notice of the publication fee and maybe even additional requests. He then no longer has the possibility to publish his article elsewhere if he decides not to publish in this journal anymore. Some of these publishers are letter-box companies where the adress of the editor is not in the same country as the bankaccount where the fee is to be transfered to.
Complaints associated with predatory open-access publishing:
  • articles (even nonsens- and joke-articles) are quickly published with little or without any quality control.
  • information about publication fees is given after the article has been submitted.
  • aggressive recruiting of scientists (even using spam), to publish in the journal or act as an editor.
  • listing of scientists as editors without their consent and not deleting the names upon being asked to.
  • listing of totally fabricated scientists as editors.
  • copying the style and the name of well established journals for tricking scientists.
A list of these suspicious journals and publishers was maintained by the librarian Jeffrey Beall from the University of Colorado Denver. Unfortunately the list was taken offline in January 2017 due to "threats & politics". The cached versions from internet-archiving services are still available. The list was published online together with a row of criteria (cache of the WayBackMachine) with which scientists can discover if a journal or publisher is to be trusted and with which he evaluates phoney publishers.

The list has become known as the Beall's List of Predatory Publishers (cache of the WayBackMachine).
In addition there is the Beall's List of Predatory standalone Journals (cache of the WayBackMachine).

For his work and clarification he receives applause from representatives of the open access movement as well as critique and threats from the enlisted publishers.

The University Library also has a special site with more information on Predatory Publishing.

How can I apply for funding by the Open Access Publication Fund?

Your article should meet the following needs:
  • the article is published in a genuine open access journal which uses an approved quality control. References can be found at the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
  • as a member of the University of Bayreuth you are responsible for the payment of the publication fees as "submitting author" or "corresponding author".
Application for funding is possible as soon as the article is submitted to the open access journal but coverage of costs can only be made available for articles whose invoice have been received. A notification to the open access team via is sufficient.
When applying for funding the following information is needed:
  • name and contact data
  • title of the article
  • title of the journal
  • expected date of publication
  • expected costs
Please send us the original invoice via email to The invoice should be issued to you personally, with the address of the chair at the University of Bayreuth. If the publisher is from abroad please let the invoice be given to you zero-rated for VAT (without value added tax) as the tax is being paid from us directly. It is necessary that the VAT-ID is mentioned to the publisher and that it is enlisted on the invoice.
The VAT-ID is: DE 811264317.
In addition, each article should contain a reference to the funding in the aknowledgements.
"Funded by the Open Access Publishing Fund of the University of Bayreuth." --> If your publication is the result of a DFG-funded project, please also add the following: "Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – project-number." [The project number is stated in the letter of approval and consists of numbers only. The corresponding DFG reference number (combination of numbers and letters) should not be mentioned here].

Application and contact

To apply for funding from the Open Access Publishing Fund please use our webform.
Please take notice: Requests for funding or invoices for OA publications can only be processed by the OA team of the UB if a corresponding request has been submitted in parallel via our web form. The web form contains binding guidelines for inserting the Funding Acknowledgement. If the applicant declares that no Funding Acknowledgement will be included in the publication or if the publication does not contain a Funding Acknowledgement after it has been published, funding from the OA Article Fund/Monofund will not be possible and we reserve the right to reclaim any amounts paid as part of the funding.
For further inquiries about funding opportunities, please feel free to contact the OA Support Team:
More information about the open-access movement can be found

Brinken, Helene; Hauss, Jonas; Rücknagel, Jessika: Open Access in 60 seconds,