Open access agreements and the Library

Information for the Librarian community

Open access (OA) agreements with Springer Nature are more than reading and publishing. We work with institutions of all sizes and their researchers to maximise impact through increased visibility and usage of research.

Springer Nature is here to help you — the library community — with your transition OA. As everyone's journey is unique, below you will find some of the ways in which Springer Nature can support you.

New case study: Three US organizations reflect on their transition to OA

In this case study three US organizations reflect on their OA agreements with Springer Nature and provide insights into how this has helped them to transition to OA, the impact the agreements have had on their working practices as well as the advice they would give others looking to take the next step in their OA journey.

Download the case study
Download the case study
(PDF, 1.12 MB)

What is an open access agreement?

An OA agreement with Springer Nature is an end-to-end service to help you and your researchers drive more impact for your institution through accessible, high-quality research output.

OA agreements play a vital role in driving the transition to OA at scale. Research shows that articles published gold OA achieve 6 times more downloads than non-OA articles, as well as 1.6 times more citations and 4.9 times more Altmetric attention. And Springer Nature’s TAs published 3 times more gold OA articles in Springer hybrid titles than via authors choosing OA but not being part of a TA.

Springer Nature offers different types of OA agreements. These agreements cover hybrid and fully OA portfolios but the key focus of all these agreements is the coverage of publishing fees for authors from participating institutions.

Types of OA agreement:

Transformative agreements

Transformative agreements (TAs) enable institutions to combine subscription (reading) access along with OA publication fees in hybrid journals into a single licensing agreement.

  1. Springer TAs: cover OA publishing in more than 2,000 hybrid Journals plus access to the Springer hybrid and subscription journal portfolio
  2. Nature TAs: cover OA publication and reading access in the Nature Portfolio hybrid journals. 

         Find out more about TAs, including the journals and institutions covered within each agreement.

Fully OA agreements 

These are publishing-only agreements for fully OA journals across the BMC, Springer, Palgrave Macmillan and Nature Research portfolios.  

Find out more about fully OA agreements, including the journals and institutions covered within each agreement.

In addition, over 500 institutions are part of Springer Nature’s membership program. Memberships provide authors with discounted article processing charges (APCs) for BMC and Springer fully OA journals.

OA book agreements

These are publishing-only agreements covering the OA book publishing charges (BPCs), sponsored by either a funding body (e.g. society), consortium, or institution. 

Find out more about OA book agreements.

These agreements support researchers from over 3,500 institutions globally and help to deliver equity for OA publishing across academic disciplines, particularly for the Humanities and Social Sciences, where funding for OA publishing can be limited.

In some cases, authors may need to consult with their funder about requirements they must meet to comply with that funder’s mandates (specific publishing licences, for example). You can find out more on our support pages.

Discover the advantages of an OA agreement

With an OA agreement, librarians can:

  • Centralise payments and reduce administration
  • Ensure an easy, best in class OA workflow with automated, efficient, and reliable author identification and reporting
  • Provide a more streamlined, convenient OA publishing process for your authors
  • Maximise the visibility, reach and impact of your researchers’ work, reflecting positively on your institution
  • Ensure that all authors comply with funding regulations requiring research to be made immediately OA upon publication (for example, with a Plan S funder’s grant).

Our commitment to consistent and sustainable pricing for hybrid/Transformative Journals

We annually review our journal price lists to ensure our pricing remains consistent and sustainable across our whole journal portfolio. The subscription price of a journal is calculated based on only its subscription articles and includes a number of factors such as the number of subscription articles the journal publishes; how much the articles are used; and the value placed on the research by the wider community. Inflation and other variable costs are also taken into consideration.

When authors choose to publish via the immediate gold OA route in our hybrid and Transformative Journals (TJs), these OA articles are assessed separately from subscription articles. We do not count OA articles when assessing changes in article publication rates or usage, in line with our longstanding “no double dipping” commitment for hybrid/transformative journals.

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