The Impact of the German ‘DEAL’ on Competition in the Academic Publishing Market

Authors : Justus Haucap, Nima Moshgbar, Wolfgang Benedikt Schmal

The German DEAL agreements between German universities and research institutions on the one side and Springer Nature and Wiley on the other side facilitate easy open access publishing for researchers located in Germany.

We use a dataset of all publications in chemistry from 2016 to 2020 and apply a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the impact on eligible scientists’ choice of publication outlet.

We find that even in the short period following the conclusion of these DEAL agreements, publication patterns in the field of chemistry have changed, as eligible researchers have increased their publications in Wiley and Springer Nature journals at the cost of other journals.

From that two related competition concerns emerge: First, academic libraries may be, at least in the long run, left with fewer funds and incentives to subscribe to non-DEAL journals published by smaller publishers or to fund open access publications in these journals.

Secondly, eligible authors may prefer to publish in journals included in the DEAL agreements, thereby giving DEAL journals a competitive advantage over non-DEAL journals in attracting good papers.

Given the two-sided market nature of the academic journal market, these effects may both further spur the concentration process in this market.


Transitioning to Open Access: An Evaluation of the UK Springer Compact Agreement Pilot 2016–2018

Authors : Mafalda Marques, Graham Stone

This article analyzes the UK’s first “read and publish” journals agreement. The Springer Compact Agreement pilot ran from 2016 to 2018. The authors outline the methodology and data sources used to undertake a detailed analysis of the agreement.

This includes the number of open access articles published, the number of author opt-outs and rejected articles. Institutional savings (or cost avoidance), and the financial implications resulting from the number of opt-outs and rejected articles are also discussed.

The value of articles published and cost per download for non-OA content are also covered. The agreement, at the consortia level, has constrained the total cost of publication—during the three years, the HE sector has avoided paying additional costs of €20,000,800 ($22,761,688) for publishing OA by paying the single combined fee that capped publication costs at 2014 rates.

All institutions taking part in the Springer Compact agreement published OA articles equivalent to or in excess of their total 2014 APC spend between 2016 and 2018. By 2018, 30 percent of institutions published OA articles to the value of or in excess of the combined fee paid to Springer. The article concludes with a number of recommendations for future agreements and considers compliance with Plan S guidelines.


The World’s Approach toward Publishing in Springer and Elsevier’s APC-Funded Open Access Journals

Authors : Hajar Sotudeh, Zahra Ghasempour


The present study explored tendencies of the world’s countries—at individual and scientific development levels—toward publishing in APC-funded open access journals.


Using a bibliometric method, it studied OA and NOA articles issued in Springer and Elsevier’s APC journals‎ during 2007–2011. The data were gathered using a wide number of sources including Sherpa/Romeo, Springer Author-mapper, Science Direct, Google, and journals’ websites.


The Netherlands, Norway, and Poland ranked highest in terms of their OA shares. This can be attributed to the financial resources allocated to publication in general, and publishing in OA journals in particular, by the countries.

All developed countries and a large number of scientifically lagging and developing nations were found to publish OA articles in the APC journals. The OA papers have been exponentially growing across all the countries’ scientific groups annually.

Although the advanced nations published the lion’s share of the OA-APC papers and exhibited the highest growth, the underdeveloped groups have been displaying high OA growth rates.

Practical Implications

Given the reliance of the APC model on authors’ affluence and motivation, its affordability and sustainability have been challenged.

This communication helps understand how countries at different scientific development and thus wealth levels contribute to the model.


This is the first study conducted at macro level clarifying countries’ contribution to the APC model—at individual and scientific-development levels—as the ultimate result of the interaction between authors’ willingness, the model affordability, and publishers and funding agencies’ support.

URL : The World’s Approach toward Publishing in Springer and Elsevier’s APC-Funded Open Access Journals