2023 - All Press Releases

Springer Nature’s latest Transformative Agreement an important step in global transition to OA

Publisher agrees first and largest TA in Greater China region with JULAC

London | Berlin | New York, 19 October 2023

Springer Nature has agreed a Transformative Agreement (TA) in Hong Kong with all member libraries of the Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee (JULAC). This is the publisher’s first TA in this important region and, with over 700 articles published OA each year, will be the region’s largest TA. With China now leading the world in terms of research output, it also marks a significant step forward in the global transition to OA.

The three year agreement, effective from 1st January 2024, will allow affiliated researchers to publish OA in more than 1,900 hybrid journals published by Springer Nature. As part of the agreement, participating institutions retain access to all the journals they have subscribed to. As a result researchers in Hong Kong will benefit from:

  1. Increased global visibility of their work - up to 6x more downloads than non-OA content (1). 
  2. Increased citations and engagement that OA provides (2).
  3. Increased cross collaboration, and facilitation of global research due to greater reach of OA content.

Carolyn Honour, Chief Commercial Officer, Springer Nature said:  

“Opening up research not only delivers increased reach and impact for authors but allows for greater engagement from society at large. This means research can be used by policy makers and others to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. OA uptake continues to increase in this important region and this agreement will help ensure more valuable research content is widely accessible to all to be used and reused. With this TA, we welcome the opportunity to further build on our long-standing partnership with JULAC so that researchers in Hong Kong can realise the benefits of OA.”

Flora Ng, JULAC Consortiall Chair, CIO and University Librarian of The University of Hong Kong, added:

“The agreement marks a significant step forward in promoting open science in our region and internationally. I appreciate all efforts Springer Nature has made to drive open science, especially their initiative in pioneering the Transformative Agreement to accelerate OA transition. We’ve been working together very pleasantly, and I thank them for their great support of JULAC. Standing at a new starting point, I am very excited about our next journey toward open science, and about all the benefits we will soon deliver to researchers in Hong Kong and to our member institutions.”

TA’s are the most sustainable and effective way to move towards a fully open environment at scale - not only increasing the publication of OA content but also supporting increased usage of subscription content. Springer Nature’s TAs now support researchers from over 3,500 institutions globally to publish OA. More on the publisher's commitment can be found here, and the impact of its OA portfolio in its recent OA report.

# Ends #

1. https://group.springernature.com/gp/group/media/press-releases/new-research-from-springer-nature-confirms-value-in-gold-oa/19790988

2.   https://openaccessreport.springernature.com/2022/

Note to Editors:

The agreed TA includes all 8 members of JULAC:

  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • City University of Hong Kong
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Baptist University
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Lingnan University
  • The University of Hong Kong

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.


The Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee (JULAC) was established in 1967 by the Heads of Universities Committee (HUCOM). It is a forum to discuss, coordinate, and collaborate on library information resources and services among the libraries of the eight tertiary education institutions funded by the University Grants Committee of the Hong Kong SAR Government. For more information, please visit www.julac.org.

About Springer Nature

For over 180 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


Katie Baker | Head of Communications - Research and Publishing Services