Library consortium and Thieme conclude further contract for open access transformation

The Thieme Group has concluded a transformation agreement with ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences, the Forschungszentrum Jülich and eight other specialist libraries. As part of the current agreement, which comes into effect on 1 January 2021, authors of the participating institutions receive the opportunity to publish original papers in four international specialist Thieme journals on an open access basis without additional costs. The offer includes the publications International Journal of Sports MedicinePharmacopsychiatryThrombosis and Haemostasis and Methods of Information in Medicine. Thieme already reached a similar agreement in 2019. The pilot project was initially restricted to the specialist journal Hormone and Metabolic Research.

The Thieme Group’s new agreement with the ten members of the expandable library consortium regulates the step-by-step transformation of an existing subscription model into open access funding. “We are vigorously working on the transformation of the previous business model. The important thing is to create transparent and fair conditions for all participants,” explains Thieme publisher Dr h.c. Albrecht Hauff. “The transformation agreement reached in 2019 has shown how important it is to conclude forward-looking agreements that go beyond large projects such as DEAL.” 

For the use of the selected Thieme specialist journals in the new business model, in the coming five years the participating specialist libraries will pay a fee consisting of a licence for reading and a publication lump sum for the open access publication of authors at these institutions. Here, the number of open access publications is not limited. The specialist journals in question were consciously chosen by the participants: each publication covers a very research-intensive domain in which German scientists publish extensively. After approximately half of the agreement term, the contractual partners will review jointly how the open access submissions are developing. In the process, the licence fee will be gradually converted into a publication fee. 

“ZB MED promotes open and reproducible science in the interests of open science and FAIR principles. Therefore, we have been committed to open access for many years,” emphasises managing director Gabriele Herrmann-Krotz. “In the Thieme Group, the libraries have found a reliable partner, and we are pleased that we are now able to expand further the good collaboration after the pilot project two years ago,” Herrmann-Krotz continues. 

Dr Bernhard Mittermaier, head of the central library of the Forschungszentrum Jülich and a participant in the DEAL negotiations, stresses the significance of the agreement in terms of scientific policy: “With the agreements now reached, we are taking a further important step – complementing the DEAL negotiations with the world’s three largest publishers – in continuously advancing the conversion into open access, including at small and medium-sized publishers.” The progress of the transformation is being documented in the Open Access Monitor Deutschland, run by the Forschungszentrum Jülich.

The quality assurance of the publications is a crucial aspect for all participating project partners. The services of the Thieme Group are just as extensive in open-access publications as in traditional magazine articles. The Group gladly offers a high-standard peer review by internationally leading experts as well as professional editing for open access articles.

“It is pleasing that, for the first time, we have agreed a transformation contract for a package of publications with which we and our participants can gain further valuable experience with open access,” explains Maja Laisse, Director Sales Institutional Sales at Thieme.