A scientist’s opinion : Interview with Liz Ferguson about Open access

Open access, a scientist’s opinion

Interview with Liz Ferguson, VP for Editorial Development in Wiley’s Global Research division.


Wiley is the biggest publisher to have embraced open access on a large‑scale through the DEAL agreement. Is this the blueprint for other transformative agreements?

Liz Ferguson ESMH ScientistWe are very pleased with the DEAL agreement, which is unique to Germany, and we have four other agreements in Austria, Norway, Hungary and the Netherlands that further embrace open access. There is currently a lot of interest in the US and elsewhere for these solutions but one size doesn’t seem to fit all and negotiations take time. The DEAL agreement took over 3 years to complete.


What is the challenge for a for‑profit publisher when negotiating agreements of this kind?

Before either partner can even assess the financials, a major challenge of the transition is to assess the actual article output of a country or consortium to make sure we are aligned on our starting point and can measure progression. These transition agreements don’t significantly impact the overall cost of subscriptions and APCs to these libraries but help them transition to an open access model. As publishers, we need to invest more in infrastructure requirements as OA models are quite different from traditional subscription models and we need to make sure researchers have a positive experience when publishing under the terms of these agreements. It’s reasonable to say that the number of transformative agreements will grow in the future, although it’s hard to predict how all of this will evolve.

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