New contract with Copernicus Publications

In a further effort to support open access compatible publishing of its scientists, the Max Planck Society (MPS) has signed an agreement with Copernicus Publications, taking immediate effect. The MPS will pay the service charges for articles submitted by MPS scientists, which are subsequently published in open access journals, out of central funds

January 28, 2008

Open access publications are accessible for free worldwide. Usually the authors bear the costs for the open access publication process. At MPS however the service charges are not paid out of the budgets of Max Planck Institutes of the individual scientists.

"We are very glad to welcome the MPS as our first partner to organize the payments for open access publications centrally. This will unburden the authors, simplifying the publication process for the benefit of both, the scientists as well as the idea of open access" said Martin Rasmussen, managing director of Copernicus Publications.

With 17 peer-reviewed journals and 10 access-reviewed discussion forums, Copernicus Publications is the largest open access publisher in the Geo- and Earth system sciences. After the signature of similar contracts in the disciplines Physics and Bio-Medicine, the MPS is now enlarging its open access support to several other disciplines in the natural sciences.

"The Max Planck Society is committed to open access. According to the Berlin Declaration the MPS advocates the publication of scientific works in journals which are dedicated to open access" said Kurt Mehlhorn, Vice President of the Max Planck Society. "The MPS aims to find solutions that support further development of the existing financial framework of scientific publishing".

Most of the journals of Copernicus Publications use an innovative two-stage publication process. This offers free accessibility to reviewer reports as well as comments of the scientific community alongside a discussion paper with the aim to develop the revision towards a very high quality journal article. "This contract also sends a clear signal that innovative review concepts, facilitated through open access and online tools, have the potential to enhance the effectiveness and transparency of scientific quality assurance" said Rasmussen, "and we appreciate the acceptance and the support of the MPS for this very much".

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