Negotiation of supra-regional licenses on behalf of the German Research Foundation

FundingGerman Research Foundation (DFG)
Project termSeveral ongoing projects

Within the scope of the priority initiative "Digital Information" of the alliance of German scholarly organisations, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek acts as leading negotiator of so-called "alliance licenses" and as such has been a regular project participant in the LIS funding programme "Supra-regional Licensing" of the German Research Foundation (DFG) for years. The focus of these licenses is on the acquisition and provision of research-relevant resources (current journals, databases and e-books) for scholarship on a national level. In addition to improving information provision, it is also important to further develop licensing standards, as reflected in the basic principles of acquisition defined for the funding programme and in the development of innovative licensing models. The model development and implementation of so-called "Open-access transformation contracts" also has to be considered in this context. These contracts have the objective to permit all scholars of an institution participating in the contract to publish in the open access format without expenditures of their own.

The alliance licenses and open-access transformation contracts tie in with the tradition of national licenses, which were funded comprehensively by the German Research Foundation during the years 2005 to 2011. However the licensing and funding model has changed completely. Alliance licenses and open-access transformation contracts are usually offered within the scope of a contract term of several years in the form of national consortia with an option to participate. In contrast to the national licenses, they are not funded in their entirety by the German Research Foundation, but require the members of the consortium to pay at least 75% of the total costs out of their own funds.

The negotiation of these licenses is conducted by selected libraries with experience in handling large-volume licenses, among them also the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Since 2005 and 2011 the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has negotiated and managed numerous national and alliance licenses and since 2018 also open access transition agreements. An overview of national licenses, alliance licenses and open access transition agreements negotiated in Germany can be found on the website

Overview of the national and alliance licenses negotiated in Germany