2022 - All Press Releases

Springer Nature and Bibsam Consortium agree TA for Nature and the Nature Research journals

Publisher announces second Transformative Agreement for its flagship title Nature, now supporting over 2,650 institutions with OA publication across its whole portfolio

London, 14 March 2022

Springer Nature today announces a second Transformative Agreement (TA) to include its flagship title Nature. The agreement with the Bibsam Consortium in Sweden enables researchers affiliated with 10 initial institutions to publish their research articles accepted for publication in Nature and the Nature Research journals immediately open access (OA). This is at no cost to the individual researchers, as OA costs are covered by the consortium deal. 

This new agreement builds on Springer Nature and Bibsam’s long-standing OA partnership which also sees their existing 2019 agreement renewed and extended. This will now not only cover OA publishing in Springer Nature’s fully OA journals and over 2,000 hybrid journals, but also include Palgrave and Academic journals, providing even more options for Swedish authors across more disciplines. Participating institutions will also have access to extended subscribed content. 

Carrie Webster, VP Open Access, Springer Nature, commented: “We are incredibly proud that our current agreement with Bibsam has enabled over 90% of research content to be published OA, covering a large proportion of Sweden’s research output. This demonstrates the crucial role TA’s are playing in making publicly funded research immediately and openly accessible to all on publication, and enabling entire countries' research output to flip to OA.” 

“Bibsam is a longstanding partner of ours in enabling and supporting a sustainable OA transition. We are delighted to be able to renew and extend our current TA and offer our second TA for Nature - it marks an exciting moment in our joint OA journey and support for global research.”

Anna Lundén, Acting Director, Libraries Collaboration and Research Support Department, National Library of Sweden said: “We are very pleased to have extended our partnership further with Springer Nature in order to support researchers in Sweden in the transition to open access. This new agreement with Springer Nature offers the opportunity to publish primary research articles in Nature, and the Nature Research journals, covering the costs for Swedish researchers to publish OA”.

The volume of OA articles achieved with this renewal and additional Nature TA, combined with the fact that OA articles are downloaded on average six times more than non-OA articles and cited 1.6 times more, means even greater reach and impact for Swedish researchers and Sweden-funded research. Lead author Melanie During of Uppsala University in Sweden has already benefited from the impact of the agreement, authoring the first OA paper in Nature published as part of the deal. The paper which pinpointed the season that marked the end of the dinosaur era generated over 700 global news stories and has already been accessed over 39,000 times.

Speaking of the value and impact OA has had on their paper, Melanie During commented: “We believe that for the general public to understand and have more trust in science, having easy access to research, is the first step. We therefore wanted to make sure that everyone can read our work, access and download our data and study what we did. And we can see that this is happening. Within a week our paper has been read 32,000 times and almost 80% of our readers belong to the general public, which is amazing!”

Since OA options were introduced for Nature and the Nature Research Journals, Springer Nature has entered into discussions around TAs for the portfolio with existing partners. These can take time due to the selectivity of the portfolio, the uniqueness of the non-primary research content in these journals, and the level of publishing in different institutions and countries. TA’s are not a one size fits all approach. The Nature TA for Bibsam is the second that the publisher has agreed, following Max Planck Digital Library ( MPDL). Finding a sustainable transitional model with Bibsam is therefore a key indication of the publisher’s commitment to further enabling OA publishing for its flagship title.

Springer Nature continues to support all authors regardless of discipline, location or funding, to publish OA. The publisher’s 17 national agreements, which alongside its institutional deals, now support researchers from over 2,650 affiliated institutions to publish OA, enabling an expected 41,400+ OA articles to be published a year, 10% more than any other publisher. Last year, the publisher was the first to immediately publish one million gold open access primary research and review articles, supporting nearly 2.5 million authors in making their research OA. 


More information:

  • More on the Bibsam agreement can be found here.
  • More on Springer Nature’s approach to OA and Open research can be viewed here and here
  • More information on how Springer Nature is enabling OA for those wishing to publish in Nature and the Nature Research journals can be found here

Springer Nature has national transformative agreements in place in Austria, Australia, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Note to Editors:

What is a transformative agreement (TA)?

Definition: TAs enable participating institutions to combine journal subscription (read) access along with open access (OA) publication costs (APCs). In addition to managing the cost and administration of OA, TAs offer authors an easy way to comply with funders’ OA requirements.

Description: Under a transformative agreement subscription access and OA publishing are brought together into one reading and publishing contract across a consortium of institutions. This means that researchers in those institutions can publish under the “gold” open access model, while also gaining access to research in subscription journals. Spearheaded by Springer Nature with the first such agreement signed with the Association of Dutch Universities, VSNU, Netherlands in 2014, these agreements make the administration of OA simpler for both the institutions participating and their researchers. In addition, these agreements enable a wider group of researchers to benefit from the enhanced discoverability, increased citation and increased usage of OA content, help to solve the problem that some academic disciplines lack OA funding (a centralised APC allows any researcher from the participating institution, regardless of academic discipline, to publish OA), and also provide researchers with an easy way to comply with funders’ OA requirements.

About Springer Nature

For over 175 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies. 

As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to trusted brands including Springer, Nature Portfolio, BMC, Palgrave Macmillan and Scientific American. For more information, please visit springernature.com and @SpringerNature

About the Nature Portfolio

Information on the work undertaken by the Nature journals and the subsequent reach and impact of the research they publish can be viewed here

Further information on the Nature journals can be found here.

Over 120 people work on Nature alone, which increases to more than 360 when the Nature research journals are included.  Over 280 work on primary research content including 193 dedicated professional in-house editors who personally guide and assist authors through the peer review and revision process, working with them to ensure their final manuscript is the best it can possibly be. These editors are embedded in their communities. In 2019 they attended and gave more than 2000 conferences, presentations and lab visits to engage with and understand the academic community, and support initiatives that advance transparency, integrity and appropriate recognition. With journal editors investing the majority of their time assessing manuscripts that are not published, the cost of publishing these journals is driven as much by what is not published as by what is.   

Publishing in these titles also delivers significant value to authors. On average, Nature research journal papers are cited around 12 times more and downloaded by institutional users around 34 times more than papers in typical journals. Research published in Nature and the Nature research journals also received nearly 9,500 mentions in policy documents in the past year demonstrating their broader reach and influence.

About the Bibsam Consortium

The Bibsam Consortium is operated by the National Library of Sweden. It was formed in 1996 and has 93 participating institutions including universities, university colleges, and government-funded research institutions. Representatives from the participating organizations form the Bibsam steering committee, which works on strategic issues and policies regarding e-licensing in general and negotiations in particular.


Sam Sule | Communications | Springer Nature