Rapid growth in open access at Springer Nature
Over the five years that followed the Finch report, the proportion of all Springer Nature articles published via the gold OA route increased to 30%, but gold OA uptake among UK-authored Springer Nature articles rose even more dramatically to reach 77% in 2017. This rapid increase in gold OA uptake, combined with growth in the volume of our UK-authored articles between 2013 and 2017, resulted in a rising number of gold OA Springer Nature articles with UK corresponding authors published each year.
The role of hybrid journals
The rapid growth in the number and proportion of Springer Nature UK articles published via the gold OA route has been driven by strong uptake of both our fully OA and hybrid OA journals. Hybrid journals have played a key role in this transition and demonstrate the impact that the UK Springer Compact agreement has had on bringing about a transition to OA for hybrid authors.
Bringing OA to more disciplines
Research funding varies significantly by discipline, and this can affect authors’ ability to publish via the gold OA route, particularly if they do not have access to dedicated OA funds for APCs. Interestingly at Springer Nature, however, we are seeing an increasingly high level of gold OA in a number of disciplines that do not traditionally publish large numbers of articles via gold OA.
Partnerships and collaboration are key factors
Overall, growth in Springer Nature OA publications from the UK has been made possible by a collaborative environment, with support from a government and institutions that back OA, funders who have developed policies in support of OA and provided the funds necessary for article processing charges (APCs), authors who are willing to publish via OA, and a publisher providing authors with a range of publishing options.
The Springer Compact agreement with the UK has played an important role in increasing the volume of OA article publications. In its first full year, the agreement saw in excess of 3,000 articles made OA, and UK publications made OA via Compact have continued to grow significantly, rising by over 20% in 2017.
Our commitment to open research
We continue to work with all stakeholders to support the transition to OA, and we call upon funders, institutions, researchers and publishers to join us in ensuring the benefits of open research are available to all.
We are on a journey: we see the rise of open research in all its manifestations as one of the major forces reshaping the way that researchers communicate and collaborate to advance the pace and quality of discovery. As partners with the research community in this enterprise, we will continue to play a strong and progressive role in enabling the community to take full advantage of all that open research offers, including OA books, open data and open peer review.
To achieve this transition, we are calling for a continued focus on collaboration from funders, institutions, researchers and publishers, and continued support for gold OA funding.