Update February 2023
Jisc and UK Universities have rejected the fourth proposal from Springer Nature. Although the publisher has made a number of concessions, the offer still does not meet the sector’s need to reduce and constrain costs or ensure that all UK research can be published open access. Negotiations between Jisc and Springer Nature will continue and we expect to be consulted on a revised proposal by mid-March. Grace access has been confirmed while negotiations are ongoing. Further information can be found in this article from Times Higher Education.
Update January 2023
So far in the negotiations Springer Nature has failed to provide a proposal that sufficiently meets the criteria set by the sector for an acceptable agreement. On 19 December 2022, Jisc issued a consultation to UK university libraries on a fourth proposal made by Springer Nature. The consultation, to which we will be responding, is due to run until 26 January 2023. We will share the outcome of the consultation and any further updates as soon as information becomes available. In the meantime, Springer Nature have confirmed grace access for both reading and publishing while negotiations continue.
UK Universities are coming to the end of an agreement with Springer Nature, one of the world’s largest academic publishers. Universities currently have access to the ‘Springer Compact’ agreement, a transitional agreement which provides UK researchers with read access to 2,500 journals and open access publishing rights in 1,900 journals.
Springer Compact was one of the earliest transitional agreements negotiated by the sector in 2015. In the years since its inception, the scholarly communications landscape has evolved considerably and so too have the sector’s requirements. The current agreement is due to expire at the end of December 2022 and the sector, working with Jisc, is seeking a new deal that will encompass all the journals in the Springer Nature portfolio whilst also reducing and constraining costs.
Why is this important?
Edge Hill now has transitional or Read and Publish agreements in place with many of the major publishers. These deals allow EHU authors to publish gold open access without incurring an article processing charge (APC), whilst enabling continued access to subscription content. Transitional agreements also ensure that UKRI funded authors can comply with funder requirements to publish open access.
In the case of the Springer Compact agreement these benefits are not available across Springer Nature’s entire portfolio of titles. This means that if an EHU researcher wants to publish open access in a title outside the deal, then this incurs an additional cost. In some of the Nature Research titles, the cost of publishing open access is as high as EUR 9,500 – which equates to almost a year’s student tuition fee. In the current climate of rising costs, such fees cannot be justified and are a barrier to open research.
What has happened so far?
As with the recent negotiation with Elsevier, the sector is firm in its aim to achieve a deal that reduces and constrains cost and enables UK researchers to publish open access across the entire portfolio of Springer Nature journals. Springer Nature’s proposals for a new agreement have so far fallen short of the objectives set by the sector and Jisc is expecting to receive a further proposal from the publisher during October. At this stage in the negotiations, we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached, but the sector is taking a cautious approach by preparing for every eventuality to minimise potential disruption to students, staff, and researchers. As negotiations progress, we will continue to communicate relevant updates with staff.
We recognise the value of Springer Nature content and publishing services to our researchers, but we believe the price we pay for these services must be fair and sustainable.
Further information and support
To learn more about the Springer Nature negotiation and the timetable for negotiations, read this update from Jisc. If you have any questions about the negotiations or the Springer Compact agreement please contact Anna Franca – [email protected]