Springer Nature and UNESCO have signed an agreement to publish open access books on a range of issues cutting across major research areas such as education, culture, the natural sciences, the human and social sciences and communication and information.

Springer Nature and UNESCO are delighted to announce the signing of  a framework agreement encompassing the publication of open access books focusing on UNESCO’s main pillars, notably  education, the natural and social human sciences, culture, and communication and information areas. Written by experts affiliated to UNESCO, these books will publish under two of Springer Nature’s key imprints, namely Palgrave Macmillan and Springer, and will offer up-to-date and qualified research on a range of critical issues pertaining to UNESCO’s areas of expertise.  Open access publication will enable readers around the world to access the books free of charge on Springer Nature’s content platform SpringerLink as well as on UNESCO’s open access repository (UNESDOC); readers will be able to share and re-use the works, further increasing their impact and reach.

The first book to be published under this agreement, The Future of the Buddha Bamiyan Statues: Heritage Reconstruction in Theory and Practice, will address the destruction of the Buddha statues located in the Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan, and the subsequent mobilization of the international community to safeguard the remains of this outstanding feature of Afghan Cultural Heritage. Written by the Culture Sector specialists at the UNESCO Office in Kabul, this open access book will significantly contribute to the available literature on post-conflict conservation ethics and provide an essential historical record of the possible reconstruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues for future scholars.

Commenting on the agreement, Ros Pyne, Director, Open Access Books and Book Policies at Springer Nature, said: “The joint effort of this partnership between Springer Nature, a leading academic publisher and pioneer in open access, and UNESCO will further increase the impact of UNESCO’s critical and timely research. We’re delighted that by publishing UNESCO’s work open access books, we can widen their readership and help bring them to relevant research communities worldwide”.

Mr. Ian Denison, Chief of Publishing at UNESCO said: “UNESCO, an international leader in the field of open access, is proud to join forces today with a key global player in the dissemination of high-quality knowledge and expertise. This framework agreement with Springer Nature allows us to expand the reach of our open access publishing programme to bring UNESCO’s unique scientific research and expertise to a broader audience, including in the global south”