Five higher education sector groups have jointly agreed a statement in support of continuing negotiations with the academic publisher, Springer Nature (SN).
UK universities have two agreements with Springer Nature, which expired on 31 December 2022. On behalf of the sector, Jisc is handling negotiations for a new agreement that aims to deliver read access and open access publishing across the SN portfolio.
The latest proposal, received in November, did not meet sector requirements and has been rejected by the sector but, as the statement demonstrates, the groups are united in their desire to reach an acceptable agreement.
The terms of the expired agreements, including access to SN journals, are being honoured by SN until further notice.
Signed by Guild HE, MillionPlus, N8 PVC-Rs, the Russell Group and the University Alliance, the statement says:
Our university members are fully behind the recent decision by the sector, and the negotiating team, to reject the latest offer from Springer Nature. We recognise and welcome the improvements that Springer Nature has made to its offer throughout the negotiations. However, the latest proposal still does not meet the needs of the sector and our members.
UK universities agreed a clear set of requirements at the start of the negotiations and these must be met before we will support an agreement with Springer Nature. The requirements include reducing and constraining costs, ensuring all UK research can be published open access, and providing greater transparency on costs and Springer Nature’s transition to open research.
We support the continuation of negotiations in the hope an appropriate agreement can be reached which will make the transition to open access financially sustainable and equitable.