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Transformative Agreements playing vital role in OA transition

Data from Springer Nature shows TAs powering 3x OA growth across all disciplines

London | Berlin | New York, 5 June 2023

New data (1) from Springer Nature shows the vital role transformative agreements (TAs) are playing in driving the global transition to open access (OA). They are the main reason OA is increasing in Springer Nature’s hybrid journals (2), delivering OA equity across all academic disciplines.

The data show that:

  • In 2022 OA research published in Springer Nature’s hybrid journals by authors whose institution is part of a TA grew three times faster than OA research published in these titles by authors whose institution was not part of a TA (“author choice”)(3);
  • The increase in number of agreements Springer Nature reached has led to OA content published in its hybrid portfolio growing by nearly 40% since 2017; 
  • TAs are also proving instrumental in enabling authors in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) to publish OA. Over 90% of HSS OA content in its hybrid journals, is now published via a TA, having grown at a faster rate than OA HSS content not published via a TA (4);

This means that more authors across all disciplines are now realising the benefits of increased usage and visibility that comes with publishing their research gold OA and having it immediately available for all to read and use - including 6x more downloads, 1.6x more citations and 4.9x altmetric attention.

Carrie Webster, VP Open Access at Springer Nature, commented:

“Research has a pivotal role to play in addressing and understanding the challenges that face our global society. It is vital that we find better ways to enable all researchers to publish and take advantage of OA. By guaranteeing that research can be accessible, reusable and built upon, we can get it quickly into the hands of those that can tackle, and address, the most pressing issues facing our society.

“We believe TAs are the most important lever available to us to achieve this. Backed up by this recent data, their role in delivering a fast, sustainable and successful shift to OA at scale for all disciplines and locations is clear. TAs enable all researchers from the participating institution to publish OA, making it a viable option where it wasn’t before”.

The publisher’s  40+ global TAs, with recently signed national agreements in Cyprus, Denmark and Slovakia and an institutional agreement with CINVESTAV in Mexico, now support authors from more than 3,500  institutions globally. Springer Nature offers researchers the most comprehensive and broad portfolio for publication. In addition, its fully OA portfolio has the highest number of total citations of any publisher and researchers benefit from 5x more downloads than titles with other fully OA publishers. The publisher continues to progress routes to OA through new journals, books or solutions. Driving the opening up of research and the development of open science remains Springer Nature’s primary focus in serving the research community.  More on its commitment to OA and research can be found here.


1. Data has been analysed from 2017-2022 across all Springer Nature TA’s live during this period. Growth in OA refers to that across the Springer portfolio in these agreements which includes all Springer, Adis, Palgrave and academic journals on 

2. HSS OA TA uptake increased from 10% in 2017 to 30% in 2022/ STEM grew from 3% uptake in 2017 to 11%  uptake in 2022

3. Compared to 2021 

4.HSS OA content via TA has grown 20% since 2017, compared to 5% growth in OA HSS content not published via TA

5.Includes both National, Sub National and institutional agreements, alongside its Nature TA’s 

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. 

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Katie Baker | Communications | Springer Nature