Springer Nature and UC Berkeley sign OA books deal

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UC Berkeley Library History Room

The University of California, Berkeley Library has signed an open access book agreement with Springer Nature.

The agreement will cover a broad range of book titles across all disciplines — from humanities and social sciences to sciences, technology and mathematics and, starting in 2021 and running for at least three years, will provide open access funding to University of California (UC) Berkeley affiliated authors. 

The open access book titles will publish under the Springer, Palgrave, and Apress imprints, with initial titles set to publish later this year.

This agreement with follows the UC systemwide landmark transformative agreement with Springer Nature announced last year to enable UC authors to publish research articles open access in more than 2,700 Springer Nature journals. While the transformative deal covers the publication of journal articles, books are the common or expected publishing format in some disciplines. The need to account for a variety of scholarly outputs prompted UC Berkeley Library to sign a new agreement providing direct assistance to book-publishing authors.

The books will be published under a CC BY licence and readers around the world will have free access to the books via Springer Nature’s content platform SpringerLink. With research showing that open access books are downloaded 10 times more often and cited 2.4 times more, this important agreement will significantly enhance the visibility, dissemination and impact of important academic research, the publisher says.

Niels Peter Thomas, managing director for books at Springer Nature, said: ‘We are delighted to be partnering with UC Berkeley Library in what is our first ever institutional partnership for open access books and our first US agreement for open access books. This represents a big step towards ensuring access to funding for book authors. 

‘By utilising our experience as the largest academic book publisher and expertise in enabling the transition to open access, we look forward to increasing the impact and reach of book authors at UC Berkeley and their research.’  

Jo Anne Newyear-Ramirez, UC Berkeley Library associate university librarian for scholarly resources, said: ‘UC Berkeley Library has been working with publishers to create sustainable and inclusive paths to open access, for both scholarly articles and books. 

‘For the past several years, through our Berkeley Research Impact Initiative, we have covered a significant portion of book processing charges for any open access book our authors publish, but this agreement with Springer Nature takes an even bigger leap forward.

‘Under this agreement, we will cover 100 per cent of standard publishing costs for open access books that UC Berkeley authors publish with Springer Nature for at least the next three years. This will help yield important progress on our journey to advance knowledge by making more UC Berkeley-authored books open to the world. 

‘We’re equally thrilled to be pioneers among US academic institutions in entering into this type of agreement with Springer Nature.’

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