The German government is reaching an agreement with the Nature publishing group, so that articles by German authors published in the group’s 54 journals can be read freely.
Current open access author costs
At the moment, many “open access” journals cover their costs by charging the authors of the articles a financial sum, which is usually around 2,000 Euros (~2,400 US dollars) per article.
Open access author costs assumed by German Government
In order for German authors to avoid this payment, their Government is negotiating that, from January 2021, the German administration will pay the Nature group a fee to allow German researchers to have their articles freely accessible to the readers of these journals, without them having to pay anything.
However, this could be expensive for the German academic institutions that have signed the agreement, as it is estimated that German researchers do not publish more than 400 articles per year in journals of the Nature group, i.e., only 3.5% of the articles. This will mean that it will cost the German institutions that have come to the agreement around 9,500 Euros for each published article – in other words, quite a lot more money than they currently allocate to subscriptions to the group’s journals.