Updated on 9 November 2023

Springer Nature Article Discount Quota

Our national Read and Publish deal with Springer Nature encompasses a discount on publishing open-access articles. You can find the titles within this deal via our UM Open Access Journal Browser. Per the agreement between Springer and the Universities of The Netherlands (UNL), Dutch corresponding authors can publish up to 2,067 open-access articles in 2023 without incurring additional article processing charges (APC).

Springer informed us today, 8 November 2023, that we reached the national annual quota. Springer has suspended the deal, and authors can no longer use the discounted APC route. Articles will no longer qualify for the usual 100% discount on the open access fee.


Temporary Suspension of APC Coverage upon Quota Fulfilment

Authors can still publish open access during the deal’s suspension but must arrange APC payment in consultation with their research project or faculty. Maastricht University does not have a central APC budget to cover APC payments. Publishing costs are considered research costs.

If negotiations for extending our current deal in 2024 are successful, a new allocation of APC waivers will be available starting 1 January 2024. Negotiations are ongoing.


What Happens if Springer Accepts My Manuscript during Suspension?

Authors can either publish open access and cover the APC themselves or publish with a subscription license (Closed Access) and make their article available after publication (Green Open Access). Open-access publication (Gold Open Access) is only mandatory when required by the funder of the research. In other cases, Green Open Access is sufficient to comply with UM policy.


Green Open Access and the Taverne Amendment

Green Open Access is when authors publish their article in a hybrid journal (like the Springer Nature titles in our deal) with a subscription license (Closed Access, no APC), and they share an allowed version of the article via an Institutional Repository (UM/MUMC+ Research Information) after publication.

Should a research funder (e.g. NWO or Horizon Europe) require authors to publish Gold Open Access (no embargo and under an open license), then note that the coverage of publishing costs (APC) is usually included in the research funding, so settling the APC with the research budget is then apparent.

Participation in our “You Share, We Take Care” initiative ensures that closed-access articles will be made open access via UM/MUMC+ Research Information, but only six months after publication and without an open license. This is facilitated by Article 25fa of the Dutch Copyright Act, also known as the Taverne amendment, which grants Dutch-affiliated researchers the right to make their short academic works open to the public for free after a brief embargo period.

Maastricht University Library will manage the opening of all qualifying publications for every UM/MUMC+ participant after they sign up (opt-in) for the service [opens UMployee].


Handling Manuscripts Under Review during Suspension

If a manuscript is under review during suspension, authors can proceed as described in the previous section. Although this is not considered a regular strategy, in exceptional cases after mid December they may have the option or the time to delay the process so that final acceptance does not occur until after 1 January, allowing them to take advantage of the new discount deal.


Open Access Update and Notify Me Service

To stay informed about Springer and other publisher deals, subscribe to our Open Access and Open Educational Resources group in UMployee, where we share exciting and need-to-know information.

You can also sign up for our national notify-me-service maintained by the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Both services will keep you informed about similar situations with other publishers should they arise in the future.

More information


If you wish to discuss your options or have questions about open-access publishing deals, contact Ron Aardening or Michel Saive via Ask Your Librarian. Or leave a comment at the bottom of this message.