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Cambridge University Library


A contract will soon be signed between academic publisher, Springer, and UK Universities, who have agreed terms around reading and publishing research.

To read published research, this agreement offers:

  • access to paywalled journal articles in Springer and Palgrave titles
  • access to Nature Research titles

To publish research, the deal incorporates:

  • unlimited open access publishing in Springer and Palgrave hybrid journals
  • a cost reduction on publishing in Nature Research titles with a sector-wide cap on the number of open access articles published.  

This is a 'transitional agreement' on a read and publish model, in which Springer Nature will receive payment for providing access to their journal portfolio and payment for publishing, bundled into a single contract.

It enables corresponding authors at the University of Cambridge to publish reviews and primary research articles open access in more than 2,500 Springer Nature titles, including Nature, the Nature research journals, and the Palgrave portfolio with no article processing charge (APC), as this fee will be met centrally. 

The University of Cambridge stands united with UK Universities in accepting this three-year deal as it meets the sector’s requirements to reduce costs and to expedite full and immediate open access. 


However, a number of serious reservations were raised by UK Universities in response to the consultation on this offer.

UK Universities are concerned about the high cost to publish in Nature Research journals and the lack of price transparency. Some respondents also feel that Springer Nature’s commitment to gold OA and its approach to author rights retention creates barriers to equitable OA publishing worldwide.

In announcing this agreement, Professor Stephen Decent, principal and vice-chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University and Chair of the UUK/Jisc content negotiation strategy group, commented that "while this is an important deal that delivers concessions, the goal of fully accessible open research still eludes us. What’s required is a more inclusive and open research culture, where all contributions to research are valued, regardless of the type of output or where they are published.” 


Along with our UK Universities colleagues, the University of Cambridge continues to work towards developing alternative academic-led solutions that advance open research.

The involvement of our research-active community in this mission is essential, and we invite you to stay engaged with our discussions.

You can:

Discover more

  • Explore the key points of the agreement and the response of the sector in this Jisc news article.
  • Learn more about the Cambridge perspective on these negotiations here.