Springer Nature: Open Access Transformative Agreements in the Americas

In News by Porter Anderson

The latest of the 17 national transformative agreements Springer Nature has announced are in Canada and Colombia.

Fog on the mountains above Bogota’s La Candelaria. Springer Nature’s latest transformative agreements include one with Consorcio Colombia. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Sara Pons

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

The Colombian Agreement Starts in July
This morning (February 8), Springer Nature is making another announcement about transformative agreements, this time featuring one in Canada and one in Latin America.

Each represents a national first for Springer, the Latin American deal being based in Colombia.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, transformative agreements are made between institutions—such as libraries and education institutions—and publishers to “transform” how content is paid for, specifically transitioning from subscription-based business models to open access. Scholarly Kitchen has a thorough explanation of transformative agreements here.

As of our last transformative-agreement announcement from Springer on January 28—that was the deal struck with Egypt’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Funding Authority and the Egyptian Knowledge Bank—Springer Nature had arranged 14 such deals. Today’s announcement indicates that the company now has 17 national agreements in place, having inked its first such accord in 2014 with a transformative agreement in the Netherlands.

  • The North American transformative agreement in Canada is for members of the Federal Science Libraries Network (FSLN), intended to support Canada’s “Roadmap for Open Science” to make federal scientific publications openly accessible by providing members with the ability to publish open access; this agreement became active last month.
  • The Latin American transformative agreement is with Consorcio Colombia and is being announced by Springer Nature as “marking a step in favor of global academic communication and the recognition of Colombian scientific capabilities in all areas of knowledge”; it becomes active in July.

The Colombian Consortium comprises at least 57 public and private higher-education institutions, three research centers, the Colombian Association of Universities, and the ministries of education and science and technology. Springer says the consortium “also carries out strategic projects that seek to reduce gaps and facilitate the development of academic and research processes in all regions of the country.”

And the Canadian government’s Federal Science Libraries Network describes itself as “a one-stop, self-serve portal where you can access library services and search the print collections and repositories of seven science-based departments and agencies from a single place.

“Wherever possible, departmental publications, reports, data sets, and other content are freely available for anyone to access or download.”

Libraries engaged in its framework include the Canadian Agriculture Library; the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Library; the Health Library; the National Science Library; the Natural Resources Canada Library; and, perhaps busiest of all, the Environment and Climate Change Canada Library Services program.

Each of the two new agreements named today, Springer Nature reports, will provide open-access publication in more than 2,000 of the company’s hybrid journals. Those include the Springer, Palgrave, and Adis journal portfolios.

Carolyn Honour

In a prepared statement on today’s news of the two transformative agreements, Springer Nature chief commercial officer (CCO) Carolyn Honour, is quoted, saying, “Transformative agreements are a key driver in the sustainable transition to open access, which in turn is an important precursor to open science.

“We remain focused on facilitating this transition for a growing number of institutions and federal agencies supporting academic collaboration, discoverability, and usability at scale.

“With agreements in place in Canada, Latin America and the United States, we’ve built sustainable models for others to follow, ensuring that open science can thrive in the Americas.”

In promotional literature, Springer Nature says that countries entering its transformative agreements “see between 70 and 80 percent of their authors publishing open access.


More from Publishing Perspectives on Springer Nature is here, more on academic and scholarly publishing is here, more on transformative agreements is here, more on open access is here, more on publishing and Canada is here, and more on publishing and Latin America is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.