Starting January 2015, researchers, faculty members and students affiliated with colleges and universities in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg will have convenient access to 1,917 electronic journals published by Springer. The license will continue through the end of 2017. Furthermore, the state has purchased permanent archival rights to these journals back to 2003 for inclusion in the Baden-Wuerttemberg Archive. This will provide comprehensive, seamless and permanent access, directly complementing the Springer national license with Germany, which also covers the time before 2003.
The official signing of the contract took place as part of the opening ceremony for the new 2014/2015 academic year at the University of Freiburg, which Baden-Wuerttemberg's Minister of Science, Research and the Arts, Theresia Bauer, also attended. Bauer sees the consortium agreement with Springer as an important building block in the state government's eScience program.
The consortium agreement for access to Springer journals was signed by Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Rector and Chair of the State Rectors Committee for Baden-Wuerttemberg; Dr. Antje Kellersohn, Director of Freiburg's University Library and Head of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Consortium; and two Springer representatives who are responsible for business partners in German-speaking countries, Dagmar Laging, Vice President Library Sales, and Klaus Bahmann, Director Library Sales.
Dagmar Laging emphasized the importance of this licensing model, saying, "We are especially pleased that we have concluded the first such agreement in the Western world that is not subscription-based, but instead based on new parameters. At the same time, by working together, we have succeeded in ensuring a forward-looking supply of information for all colleges and universities in Baden-Wuerttemberg. For Springer, this contract represents an important step into a new era of sustainable licensing models."
"The licensing agreement is an important milestone in providing electronic access to scientific information for education and research, and not just in Baden-Wuerttemberg. It will also serve as a valuable point of reference at the national and international level," explained Dr. Antje Kellersohn. "For example, it is already serving as the blueprint for preparatory work carried out by the project group 'BuLiz - Bundesweite Lizenzierung (Federal Licensing),' a joint initiative of two university libraries in Baden-Wuerttemberg."
The consortium is a joint purchasing entity representing 51 academic libraries in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Financing is provided by Baden-Wuerttemberg's Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, and by the libraries that have joined the Baden-Wuerttemberg Consortium. The consortium's managing office is located at the university library in Freiburg.
Springer Science+Business Media is a leading international publisher of high-quality content, which it provides in the form of innovative information products and services for the Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) field. Its primary target groups are researchers at universities and academic institutes, as well as those active in corporate research divisions. The publishing group is also a respected provider of professional publications throughout Europe, especially in the German-speaking countries and the Netherlands, content broadly used by physicians, healthcare professionals and in driver education. In 2013 Springer published over 2,200 English-language journals and 8,400 new books. Springer is also home to the world's largest eBook collection in the STM field and the most comprehensive portfolio of open access journals. In 2013 Springer Science+Business Media's annual revenues were ca. 943 million euros. The group currently has over 8,000 employees worldwide.