DEAL in general

National-wide DEAL-contracts

  • General information on the national DEAL contracts
  • Regulations in Detail
  • History of DEAL-contracts (Transformation)

General information on the national DEAL contracts

On behalf of the Alliance of German Science Organisations, the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektoren-Konferenz/ HRK) is negotiating national DEAL contracts with the publishers Wiley, SpringerNature and Elsevier as part of the DEAL project.

These DEAL contracts involve a transformation of hybrid subscription journals and the publishing behaviour of authors towards more Open Access. This is accompanied by a change in the financing of publications, from the previous case-related individual publication-APCs (Article Publishing Charges such as page charges, colour charges, extension charges etc.) plus subscription fees from the libraries to an article-based Publish & Read Fee. This Publish & Read Fee will be paid at best from the libraries' previous subscription payments to the publishers.

DEAL contracts have already been concluded with Wiley and SpringerNature. Negotiations with Elsevier have been stalled since mid-2018, but are now being intensified again.

The DEAL agreements concluded with the publishers guarantee

  • Access to the entire journal portfolio (=READ) of Wiley and SpringerNature (excl. (book) series and nature-branded journals), retroactively up to the 1997 volume.
  • In addition, there is the Open Access Publication Component (=PUBLISH), which enables members of the participating institutions (e.g. HZI) to publish their articles in almost all of the publishers' journals in open access worldwide at no cost to themselves. This applies to articles in pure Gold Open Access journals as well as in Hybrid*/ OpenChoice* journals, i.e. in the existing subscription journals, which also allow OA access to the articles free of charge. If you decide against OA-activation of your article with Wiley or Springer Nature, the article fee will still be charged to the HZI (ClosedAccess costs as much as OpenAccess; Closed access means that only subscribing institutions have access in Germany via DEAL-participation and in other countries via journal subscription). In addition, you will abstain via OpenAccess-opt out from a greater reception and outreach of your article.

*Please note: in DEAL agreements the hybrid model in Wiley-DEAL and SpringerNature-DEAL is a full Open Access and their costs are covered by the DEAL agreements, so there are NO additional Open Access fees for Open Access, so please always choose the Open Access option that is offered as default! see DEAL explained: A-Z,, our pages OpenAccess in Wiley / Open Access in SpringerNature and DEAL-FAQ for authors (Will the publisher charge open access publication fees to authors?)

Almost all magazines of both publishers offer CreativeCommons licenses, from which you can choose one for your article. The HZI library recommends the use of the CC BY licence, if available for the respective journal, as it allows the widest possible re-use and distribution of your article while preserving your authorship in the spirit of the Open Access idea.

 Please choose -if available - CreativeCommons-Lizenz CC-BY  e.g. due to user-friendly usage rights, PlanS-compliance etc., see u.a.:


Regulations in detail

Below you will find a summary of the components of the DEAL contracts:



Springer Nature


Contract period

2019-2021, with optional extension for 2022

2020-2022, with optional extension for 2023

 wird noch verhandelt

OA-publications in (hybrid) subscription journals

in more than 1.400 (hybrid) subscription journals (Wiley OnlineOpen) since 22.01.2019 possible (date of acceptance of the paper).

Choose „Yes I would like to make my Article OpenAccess” as default without additional costs, covered by DEAL*

(a few titles don‘t offer until now OA-options, but will be transferred to OA models under the agreement)

in about 1.900 (hybrid) Subscription journals (Springer OpenChoice) since 01.01.2020  possible (date of online publication).

Choose “Yes: I want to publish my article with open access…“ as default without additional costs, covered by DEAL*

Nature-branded subscription journals and some other titles are not part of the DEAL

wird noch verhandelt

OA-publications in pure Gold-OA-journals

in about 100 OA-Zeitschriften since 01.07.2019 possible (date of acceptance of the paper) with a 20% discount for DEAL-institutions.

in about 600 OA-Journals (Fully Open) from 01.08.2020 on (date of  Online-publication) possible, among them SpringerOpen-, Nature- und BMC-titles with 20% discounts for DEAL-institutions (excl. articles in Nature Communications and Scientific Reports).

wird noch verhandelt

Title lists (Journals)

Title list Wiley

Title list SpringerNature

wird noch verhandelt

entitled Article types


Primary Research Articles and
Review Articles with (Primary/ Submitting) Corresponding Author of Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (also associated institutes e.g. HIPS, HIRI etc.), only TwinCore-members indicate TwinCore as Affiliation in the submitting process.

Editorial Contributions e.g. Letters or Book Reviews are not covered.

Original Papers, Review Papers, Brief Communications, Editorial Notes, Book Reviews, Letters und Reports with Corresponding Author of Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (also associated institutes e.g. HIPS, HIRI etc.), only TwinCore-members indicate TwinCore as Affiliation in the submitting process..

Invited Reviews and Brief Communications in medical journals are not covered.


wird noch verhandelt

Text of the contract

DEAL-contract Wiley

DEAL-contract SpringerNature


Details on the submission and publishing workflow

See OpenAccess in Wiley

See OpenAccess in SpringerNature





History of the DEAL-contracts (Transformation)

The academic institutions and the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektoren-Konferenz/HRK) criticized the sharp price increases in the academic publication sector that have been persisting for some decades (the so-called journal crisis). Publishers increasingly offer their content for purchase only in large packages ("Big Deal") with a complex price structure. At the same time some publishers are generating very high returns due to subscriptions (esp. from scientific institutions): at Elsevier, for example, these returns were 36.8 percent in 2017 [1]. More than half of the financial expenditures of German university and college libraries were sold to the three large publishers Elsevier (28 % of the editions), Springer Nature (17 %) and Wiley (13 %) until the signing of the DEAL project. [2]

Negotiations with the three largest scientific publishers Elsevier, Wiley and SpringerNature started in 2016 for nationwide licenses for the university, college and research libraries. The DEAL-licenses will replace the previous subscription agreements that German institutions have concluded individually with the publishers. Initial negotiations particularly with Elsevier were unsuccessful. Numerous university libraries, research institutes and other scientific institutions therefore refrained from renewing their licence agreements with the largest scientific publisher, Elsevier, in order to increase via some pressure their willingness to negotiate. Interim solutions were agreed with SpringerNature and Wiley in 2017, which secured access for the duration of the negotiations, [3] a DEAL agreement was then concluded with Wiley in 2019 [4] and another was concluded with SpringerNature in 2020 [5].

This infographic shows the development up to the conclusion of the SpringerNature contract: Infographic DEAL (SpringerNature).



  1. David Matthews: Elsevier’s profits swell to more than £900 million. Times Higher Education. 20. Februar 2018, abgerufen am 23. Juli 2020.
  2. Frank Scholze: Projekt DEAL im Kontext. Leipzig 19. März 2019 (kobv.de [PDF; abgerufen am 23. Juli 2020]).
  3. Leonhard Dobusch: Große Solidarität unter Wissenschaftseinrichtungen: Kommt der Umstieg auf Open Access? 17. Januar 2018, abgerufen am 23. Juli 2020.
  4. Wiley und Projekt DEAL unterzeichnen Einigung. Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, 15. Januar 2019, abgerufen am 23. Juli 2020.
  5. Springer Nature und Projekt DEAL unterzeichnen weltweit umfangreichsten Open Access-Transformationsvertrag, Start zum 1. Januar 2020. Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, 9. Januar 2020, abgerufen am 23. Juli 2020.


DEAL-contracts (Wiley, SpringerNature) in detail:

OpenAccess in Wiley

OpenAccess in SpringerNature