Open Access publishing agreement with Springer Nature announced

News | Posted on Wednesday 10 May 2023

The three-year agreement, negotiated by Jisc on behalf of the UK Higher Education sector, will support authors to publish open access in more than 2,500 Springer Nature journals (including Nature, Nature research and Palgrave titles).

We are pleased that this major agreement has been reached following lengthy negotiations, but serious reservations remain at York and across the sector, with national leaders stressing the need to think beyond ‘read and publish’ agreements and asking academic colleagues to help shape this shift. 

Kirsty Lingstadt, Director of Library, Archives and Learning Services said: "This is an important agreement that will allow our colleagues at York to publish more of our excellent research as open access, increasing its impact and meeting funder requirements.

"However, it’s vital that we approach this as part of a transition to a more sustainable open access future, and one that supports a variety of publishing models. We need to work with our academic colleagues and others to  rethink our models and come up with new ways of working together."

Under the new agreement, corresponding authors affiliated with York will be able to publish open access in hybrid journals published under the Springer, Nature, and Palgrave imprints without paying additional open access costs (APCs). This is as well as continuing to ensure that York students and staff can access and read Springer, Nature and Palgrave journal content.

But, serious concerns have been raised about some aspects of the agreement including the continuing high costs of open access APCs – particularly in Nature titles – the lack of transparency around APC pricing, and a lack of movement towards a more equitable open access landscape.

David Prosser, Executive Director, Research Libraries UK said: "We need transparency from Springer Nature and other publishers on the costs of APCs. Huge amounts of money are being spent by institutions and public bodies on these charges, and they have a negative impact on the scope for researchers outside these agreements to publish openly.

"While appearing to embrace open access, publishers have effectively monetised it. We need to move away from the transitional agreement.”

In light of these challenges, national organisations including SCONUL and Research Libraries UK, have called on academic colleagues to help shape the transition to open access by considering how their decisions help shape academic publishing by:

Read the full reaction from SCONUL and RLUK.

For more information on the agreement and the impact for York researchers contact the Open Research team.