2021 Open Access quotas at Springer Nature reached

Library+ Research news

Maximum number of APC-free Open Access articles in Springer journals reached

Published on 28 Oct 2021

As of today, accepted articles by Springer are no longer eligible for APC-free Open Access without costs to Maastricht University and MUMC+ researchers during the remainder of 2021.

What happened

The Open Access agreement between Springer Nature and the Dutch universities is based on a maximum of 2,080 articles per year.

Dutch scholars widely used the possibility to publish APC-free Open Access articles in Springer journals this year. We reached the agreed maximum number of articles for 2021 on 27 October.

As a result, we can no longer approve new applications from corresponding authors from Maastricht University and MUMC+ for a 100% discount until the end of 2021.

How does this affect you?

If Springer accepts your article for publishing and you opt for Open Access publishing until 1 January 2022, you, the corresponding author, will receive the invoice for the Article Publication Charges (APCs). You will need to settle the invoice with your research group or faculty.

Corresponding authors who choose the APC discount option via Maastricht University and MUMC+ (VSNU deal) will receive a personal message from us with the same information by e-mail.

Our advice

You still have two options to publish your article with Springer: Open Access (and settle APC yourself) or a standard subscription license (in combination with Green Open Access).

The best choice depends on the research funder contract and your options to settle the invoice.

  • Research funder requirements?

Should your research funder (e.g. NWO or Horizon Europe) require you to share your publications immediately (no embargo) and under an open license, the research budget probably allows for publication costs. In that case, you can settle the invoice via the research project.

If there is no budget for the APC and the research funder requires immediate Open Access with a CC license, please contact your project lead or research office because it can be a contractual obligation that may affect the research project.

  • No funder requirements and no APC funding? And too late to switch journal/publisher?

Instead of publishing your article Open Access in the journal of your choice (Gold), you can select the standard subscription license (by exception). Free of charge. Your article will be published in the same journal but behind a paywall (accessible for subscribers, not Open Access). And you probably will have to sign over the copyrights to the publisher.

However, if you choose a subscription license, you can still make your article Open Access (Green) via the University Repository. Green Open Access is free (no APC), but there are sometimes restrictions regarding versions, embargo and reuse licenses.

An embargo period and license limitations are why Green Open Access is less optimal and not always compliant with funder demands. But the article will be freely accessible for everyone to download and read. 

Two options for Green Open Access supported by the University Library

1. We share your published version (after six months) via ‘You share, we take care!’ (Taverne)

Participate in “You share, we take care!”, and the University Library will automatically share publisher’s versions of your paywalled articles registered in Pure with the world after six months. Free and legal.

Many UM researchers have already signed up for this service. If you did, you’re safe. You do not have to do so again.

To participate, follow this link and sign up (opt-in) once to make it legal for us to help you share your work.

2. Share the accepted version of your article (embargo and license varies)

You can also share a paywalled article by depositing your article’s accepted version (accepted author manuscript) in the UM repository.

The accepted manuscript is the final version of your manuscript after peer review and acceptance. Possibly further formatted and supplemented with additional metadata by you. It has no publisher layout.

To deposit and share accepted versions of your articles, follow this link to the upload service.

More information

We will continuously update the APC discounts information on our Publisher (APC) deals and discounts pages and the Open Access Journal Browser.

If you have questions, you can always reach us via the contact form below.

Contact form for questions and comments

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