Open access agreement for the University of California

Information for authors

If you are a corresponding author affiliated with the University of California (UC), you may be entitled to publish open access in our journals with funding support from the UC libraries. 

Starting January 2021, UC corresponding authors1 will be able to publish their articles open access in Springer Nature's portfolio of journals with funding support from the UC libraries. The agreement includes over 2,200 hybrid journals2 and 500 fully open access journals across the Springer Nature's portfolio. 

The UC libraries will cover at least the first US$1,000 of each article processing charge (APC) for all UC corresponding authors who publish open access in hybrid and fully open access journals from Springer, Palgrave, BMC and Nature Portfolio (excluding Nature and Nature research journals).

If there is any remaining balance due on the APC, Springer Nature will ask UC authors if they have research funding available to cover the balance. If an author does not have research funds available to cover the remainder of the APC, the UC libraries will pay the entire APC on the author’s behalf, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish open access in these journals.

Download the infographic on the UC agreement with Springer Nature.

1Acting as main contact for Springer Nature correspondence after editorial acceptance.

2Subscription journals that offer open access at the article level, allowing authors to make individual articles free for anyone to read, share and re-use. 

Download the guide for authors

Publishing open access

Check the list of eligible institutions that are included in the agreement.

Eligible institutions
(PDF, 154.05 KB)

Check the list of journals that are included in the agreement.

Eligible journals
(XLSX, 532.39 KB)

Ready to publish?

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Who is considered the corresponding author?

The corresponding author is defined as the person who handles the manuscript and correspondence during the publication process – from manuscript correction and proof reading, to handling the revisions and re-submission of revised manuscripts, up to the acceptance of the manuscripts. The corresponding author acts as the main contact for Springer Nature correspondence after editorial acceptance.

The corresponding author has the authority to act on behalf of all co-authors in all matters pertaining to publication of the manuscript, including supplementary material. They are also responsible for obtaining such agreements and for informing the co-authors of the manuscript’s status throughout the submission, review and publication processes.

In addition, the corresponding author of the article who is affiliated to an eligible institution shall complete the author identification process and act as the point of contact for any enquiries after the paper is published.

How can I identify myself as eligible?

If you can say ‘yes’ to these statements, your article is eligible for publication under the open access agreement for UC.

- I am the corresponding author.

- I am affiliated with an eligible institution and can identify myself with at least one of the methods of recognition shown in the image below.

- My article matches one of these types: Original Paper, Review Paper, Brief Communication and Continuing Education. 

CDL author identification

Upon acceptance of your article, you'll also be prompted to provide your primary institutional affiliation.

How do I know if my article has been approved?

The approval manager at your institution will approve your article's eligibility based on your institutional affiliation, article type and journal name.

Once your article is approved by your institution, you will be notified by email and your article will proceed to publication.

How is payment made for my article?

All payments will be handled directly between the UC libraries and Springer Nature. The UC libraries will cover at least the first US$1,000 of each APC for eligible articles. The remainder due on each APC will be covered either by the author’s research funds, or by the UC libraries when such funds are unavailable.

Why has this agreement been reached?

Through this agreement, UC has repurposed former subscription spending to invest in open access publication and increase its researchers’ reading access to Springer Nature reading journals at the same time. As noted in UC’s press release announcing the agreement, “Open access publishing, which makes research freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world, fulfills UC’s mission by transmitting knowledge more broadly and facilitating new discoveries that build on the University’s research and scholarly work.”

Who can I contact for more information? 

Please email us at if you need further assistance.

Alternatively, visit the UC website about the agreement or contact your campus library.

What if I'm not covered by the agreement?

There are still plenty of ways to find funding for your APC. Visit our open access funding page to check whether your institution or research funder makes OA funding available.