Springer/Jisc 'convert previous subscription deal to OA'

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A ‘read and publish’ agreement that meets the aims of Plan S and offers researchers a funder compliant route to publishing in hybrid journals has been agreed by Jisc and SpringerNature. Plan S requires that, from 2020, scientific publications funded by public grants must be published in open access journals or platforms.

Building on a previous arrangement, this agreement limits the costs of publishing all UK articles open access (OA) while maintaining access to all of Springer’s subscription articles. The deal converts the previous subscription agreement to one based on OA. 

Jisc and Springer Nature will also continue to work together to evaluate the agreement and gather evidence to inform the transition to open access.

Liam Earney, director of licensing at Jisc, said: 'Our priority during this negotiation is to produce an agreement that met the sector’s criteria for transformational agreements, is aligned with Plan S principles and is compliant with the new Wellcome Trust OA policy. The resulting deal builds on the success of the first three-year agreement and will continue to deliver cost and administrative efficiencies to UK researchers and their institutions.' 

Steven Inchcoombe, chief publishing officer at Springer Nature, said: 'When our relationship with Jisc began, transformative agreements were in their infancy. We were delighted that Jisc embarked on this innovative partnership, which has resulted in tremendous growth in open access publishing in the UK.  By making it easy for researchers, 77 per cent of our UK corresponding authors’ work is now available for free immediately at the point of publication (Gold OA) showing that real progress in advancing open research can be achieved. 

'With continued funding to support the transition, and collaboration to support awareness of the benefits of OA, we are excited to see what can be jointly achieved over the next three years.'  

Dr Jessica Gardner, university librarian and director of library services at Cambridge University Libraries, said: 'The previous three-year agreement increased the number of open access articles published by UK researchers in Springer journals by 300 per cent. The deal displays the effectiveness of open access publishing, making it as simple as possible for researchers and universities. There is greater than ever imperative for such agreements to meet our open access expectations and to be financially sustainable for the sector.' 

The new agreement improved compliance with funder policies with 99.8 per cent of all articles published with Creative Commons ‘Attribution’ licence (CC BY). The deal anticipates a further increase in the percentage of UK research being published open access in the eligible journals from 74 per cent in 2018 to closer to 100 per cent by 2020. Achieving this within the costs negotiated will demonstrate the value of a national agreement and save institutions time and money.