DeepGreen – Advanced Test Phase and Pilot Operation since March 2021

Project Deep Green aims to transfer scientific publications, which can be made freely available at the end of their embargo period, into Open Acess repositories. The focus over the next two years will be on licenses which are funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and have been negotiated nationwide. These licenses are called Allianz-Lizenzen, and they contain special Open-Access regulations.

The experience gathered from Allianz license agreements since 2011 shows, that the circle of authorized authors (or their instiutional representatives) hardly ever make use of these Open Access rights. In a span of 2 years the projects aims to make the agreed upon Open Access condition easy to use on a technical level and if possible to make them automatic. Which would enable publishers to deliver these publications periodically through defined interfaces to Open Access repositories, rather than having authors or the authorized libraries put them in manually.

During the 2 year project phase, the goal is to make these agreed upon Open Access regulations comfortable on a technical level and if possible automatize them. Authors or the authorized libraries would then no longer be responsible of transfering publications into Ope Access repositories, instead publishers would deliver them periodically through a defined interface. For this the project partners will build a technical platform as a data hub: participating publishers transfer the publications and metadata through the interface and authorized institutional or subject repositories receive the data. The publishers Karger and SAGE are pilot partners for the project.

On July 29th 2019 DeepGreen started into an advanced test phase. The DeepGreen project aims at lowering the barriers for open access publishing by automatically delivering metadata and full text publications from participating publishers to authorized repositories at German universities.

Aims of the advanced test phase

In preparation for a later live operation, the advanced test phase aims at gaining experience with extensive data deliveries from publishers as well as handling different repository software (including OPUS4, DSpace, EPrints and MyCoRe). Furthermore, the amount of support that must be provided, will be tested in practice. Following the advanced test phase, a feedback session between repository operators and the project consortium is planned.

Following this test phase, the service entered its pilot operation in March 2021. Thanks to collaboration with publishers De Gruyter, Frontiers, Future Medicine, Hogrefe, Karger, MDPI, Sage, and Wiley, DeepGreen was able to automatically distribute more than 35,000 articles to more than 60 research institutions in Germany between September 2019 and June 2021.

Gelenkte Wissenschaft: Die DFG warnt vor Einfluss des Plattformkapitalismus (“Guiding” science: DFG warns against influence of platform capitalism) | Frankfurter Allgemeine

German Research Foundation warns against the growing influence of major publishers on research. Scientific freedom is under threat from two sides.



Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft warnt vor dem wachsenden Einfluss der Großverlage auf die Forschung. Die Wissenschaftsfreiheit ist hier von zwei Seiten bedroht.

Data tracking in research: aggregation and use or sale of usage data by academic publishers

“This briefing paper issued by the Committee on Scientific Library Services and Information Systems (AWBI) of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) on the subject of data tracking in digital research resources describes options for the digital tracking of research activities. It outlines how academic publishers are becoming data analytics specialists, indicates the consequences for research and its institutions, and identifies the types of data mining that are being used. As such, it primarily serves to present contemporary practices with a view to stimulating discussion so that positions can be adopted regarding the consequences of these practices for the academic community. It is aimed at all stakeholders in the research landscape….

Potentially, research tracking of this kind can fundamentally contradict academic freedom and informational self-determination. It can endanger scientists and hinder the freedom of competition in the field of information provision. For this reason, scholars and academic institutions must become aware of the problem and clarify the legal, technical and ethical framework conditions of their information supply – not least so as to avoid involuntarily violating applicable law, but also to ensure that academics are appropriately informed and protected. AWBI’s aim in issuing this briefing paper is to encourage a broad debate within the academic community – at the level of academic decision-makers, among academics, and within information infrastructure institutions – so as to reflect on the practice of tracking, its legality, the measures required for compliance with data protection and the consequences of the aggregation of usage data, thereby enabling such measures to be adopted. The collection of data on research and research activity can be useful as long as it follows clear-cut, transparent guidelines, minimises risks to individual researchers and ensures that academic organisations are able to use such data if not have control over it.” 

DFG – Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG setzt neue Akzente für Open Access

From Google’s English:  “The German Research Foundation (DFG) is stepping up its efforts to ensure free access to publications and other research results online. In order to support Open Access and adapt it to the changing requirements of science and research, the DFG has decided and implemented further measures. These are networked with one another and range from improved framework conditions to the financing of publication costs and the development of a science-appropriate publication infrastructure to participation in national and international working groups….

The DFG readjusted its open access policy in 2020. Scientists are now asked to publish results from DFG-funded research projects in open access. To achieve this goal, the DFG supports both the financing of publication fees and the development of suitable publication infrastructures with its funding programs.

With its “Open Access Publication Costs” program, which was introduced in autumn 2020, the DFG grants subsidies for publication fees. Both the fees for journal articles and for Open Access monographs can be funded. Many universities and non-university research institutions are faced with the financial challenge that publishers charge for the publication of research results in Open Access. The new program is intended to support the institutions and their scientists in the Open Access transformation.


In addition to funding publication fees, the various specialist communities in Germany are dependent on the further development of science-friendly standards and infrastructures. With the newly accentuated funding program “Infrastructures for Scientific Publishing” , the DFG supports the Open Access transformation by setting up and expanding suitable publication infrastructures and thus also promotes the (further) development of structural framework conditions for the publication system….”

Informationsplattform Open Access: DFG stärkt Engagement für Open Access

From Google’s English:  “The German Research Foundation (DFG) is taking promising measures to drive the Open Access transformation forward. In advance, she had revised her Open Access Policy: Researchers are now asked to publish DFG-funded results in Open Access.

In January 2021, the DFG will start its new Infrastructures for Scientific Publishing program , the main goals of which are to promote the Open Access transformation through the establishment and expansion of suitable publication infrastructures and the (further) development of structural framework conditions. As early as autumn 2020, the DFG introduced the Open Access Publication  Costs funding program, which subsidizes the publication fees for open access journal articles and monographs….”

Auf dem Weg zur Open Access Transformation | Informationspraxis

From Google’s English:  Since 2010, the DFG program “Open Access Publishing” has been a central instrument for the institutional funding of open access publications at German universities. In the course of a DFG program evaluation, the central library of the Research Center Jülich created a data analysis that shows the publication output of the sponsored universities illuminated in 2011-2017. The results of the study lead to the following findings:

The DFG program has proven to be structuring for the funded universities, which thus have a publication fund located at the university library.
Open access publishing is a trend at German universities, as the tenfold increase in the gold open access rate at the sponsored and non-sponsored universities between 2006 and 2017 shows.
The German university publication system is still a long way from a complete open access transformation, since the proportion of closed access publications has declined little and the absolute number of closed access publications has even increased.
With a few exceptions, the level of APCs among the publishers under review increases significantly and on average exceeds the price increase rates for subscription magazines.

Recommendations for action at the end of the article show what funded institutions and funding agencies should take into account in future monitoring procedures.

DFG – Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – Stellungnahme der DFG zur Gründung von „cOAlition S“ zur Unterstützung von Open Access

From Google’s English: “A coalition of several European research funding organizations (cOAlition S), supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), has agreed to make full and immediate open access to science publications they support mandatory from 2020 onwards.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) works closely with European funding organizations in Science Europe and Knowledge Exchange, as well as with all relevant national organizations to build and develop a science and research-friendly open access environment. It therefore welcomes the coordinated cooperation of various funding organizations to implement an open access approach….

The DFG continues to support Open Access based on the interests of researchers and with a view to better cost transparency, both in terms of the cost of access to publications and publication fees. It supports the “cOAlition S” in a series of measures that the DFG has already begun implementing in the past….”

[But DFG did not endorse Plan S or join the Plan S coalition.]

DFG, German Research Foundation – DFG Statement on the Establishment of “cOAlition S” to Support Open Access

“A number of European research funding organisations (cOAlition S) – with the support of the European Commission including the European Research Council (ERC) – have now agreed to require full and immediate open access to research publications resulting from their grants by the year 2020.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) works closely together with European funders in Science Europe and in Knowledge Exchange as well as with all relevant organisations on a national level to form and build an open access environment conducive to science and research. The DFG therefore welcomes a coordinated approach among funding organisations towards the realisation of open access. [But DFG has not signed on to Plan S.] …”


[ABSTRACT] Fast and easy access to electronic resources plays a key role in academic library services. Since 1997 the University Library of Regensburg has been providing the Electronic Journals Library (EZB,, a database for academic electronic journals, which is used and collaboratively maintained by more than 600 libraries. The bibliographic metadata and holdings information for e-journals of the EZB build the basis for the EZB Linking Service, a link resolver to check the availability of full texts of electronic journals and to offer links to journal contents in accordance with existing access rights. For several thousand journals of about 45 different publishers a direct link to the articles of e-journals with respect to permissions can be offered in such a way. The EZB Linking Service is involved in over 40 third-party systems, like library portals, internet portals, virtual libraries or specialized databases. With about 70 million requests in 2014, the EZB Linking Service is an intensively used service of the information infrastructure in Germany. However, research articles in institutional repositories, which are simultaneously published in scientific journals, are often not included in existing link resolvers. As part of a project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the extension of the EZB Linking Service to open access publications in different institutional repositories is planned to make the access to these publications easier for end users. As a result of the project, journal articles which are published parallel in institutional repositories will be integrated in the EZB Linking Service and offered to end users as alternative article links.