UKRI OA policy and Springer Nature

Jacqueline Proven
Monday 11 April 2022

Following the implementation of the new UKRI Open Access Policy, we would like to clarify the current position with Nature-branded journals.

The University currently has an agreement in place with Springer Nature for most of its titles, allowing both Read access and Publishing in most SN journals. However, this agreement does not cover Nature-branded or Palgrave titles. Springer Nature is seeking to have these titles approved as ‘Transformative Journals’ (TJs) while negotiations are under way, but Jisc have confirmed by email on 9 April that “SN has not yet submitted nor had their Nature and Palgrave titles accepted as Jisc approved TJs and therefore they currently remain ineligible for UKRI OA funds.”

Regrettably an article in THE (login required) appeared to state that Transformative Journal status was already in place and UKRI funds could be used to pay the Article Processing Charge of €9,500, but this is not currently the case. From the Jisc statement:

In accordance with UKRI OA policy, whilst Springer Nature provides a compliant route to OA publishing in Nature, Nature research journals and Palgrave journals via immediate publishing of the Version of Record OA under a CC BY licence, authors (and their institutions) are not able to use UKRI OA funds to pay for APCs in these titles as they are hybrid journals and ‘not part of a transitional arrangement that meets the sector’s requirements’.

Whilst negotiations for a transitional agreement are ongoing, we hope to secure an arrangement for these titles that provides a compliant route for UKRI funded authors, but which does not compel an author or an institution to pay publication charges.

If Transformative Journal status is evidenced and approved, then the sector’s requirements for TJs will need to be met. In the case of Nature-branded titles, this will mean that the publisher must allow deposit of the Author’s Accepted Manuscript in a repository, with open access under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY) at the time of final publication in accordance with Route 2 of the UKRI policy(pdf) (see p.2).

Please follow the practical guidance on our web page to achieve open access via Route 2 with a rights retention statement, or contact the Open Access team.

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