Springer Nature negotiations aim to secure a transitional open access agreement

UK institutions are in negotiation with Springer Nature to secure a transitional open access (OA) agreement for the Nature, Nature research journals and Palgrave journals. A proposal that meets the requirements of the sector has not yet been provided.

Four Urgent Recommendations for Open Access Negotiations with Publishers 2022 | LIBER Europe

LIBER, Europe’s leading association of research libraries, presents four urgent recommendations for libraries to use when conducting Open Access negotiations with publishers. This document builds on the Five Principles for Open Access Negotiations with Publishers of 2017, considering the new benchmarks in the landscape in publisher negotiations as well as the body of negotiation principles and recommendations that have, in the meantime, been embraced by LIBER institutions.

cOAlition S and ALPSP publish OA toolkit | Research Information

“Smaller independent publishers, libraries, and consortia can now more easily enter into Open Access agreements thanks to a set of new tools published by cOAlition S and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP). 

Commenting on the publication of the toolkit, Colleen Campbell, coordinator of the OA2020 Initiative, said: “In order to foster a diverse, open scholarly publishing landscape, libraries and consortia need to broaden the scope of their negotiation strategies to embrace smaller independent publishers, but tailoring each agreement can take considerable time and resources. Shared standards and greater automation are required, and these tools give us a sound foundation from which to build.”

The toolkit addresses this need for automation with the following materials:

A report (download or view), containing shared principles for developing an OA agreement; a data template;  six example licences ready to be used and adapted as necessary; and a list of the many librarians and publishers who have contributed to the development of the toolkit. 

A detailed workflow (download or view) providing an overview of the entire process, from contract negotiation to achieving compliance with funder policies and reporting to libraries….”

Four Urgent Recommendations for Open Access Negotiations with Publishers – LIBER Europe

The Four Urgent Recommendations

100% open access under fair conditions, or no agreement
Pricing of open access publishing services must be fair and transparent
Define strategies to support a diversity of open publishing venues
Engage stakeholders in the process of transition


Why publication services must not be negotiated | bjoern.brembs.blog

Recently, the “German Science and Humanities Council” (Wissenschaftsrat) has issued their “Recommendations on the Transformation of Academic Publishing: Towards Open Access“. On page 33 they write that increasing the competition between publishers is an explicit goal of current transformative agreements:

publishers become publication service providers and enter into competition with other providers

This emphasis on competition refers back to the simple fact that as content (rather than service) providers, legacy publishers currently enjoy monopolies on their content, as, e.g., the European Commission has long recognized: In at least two market analyses, one dating as far back as 2003 and one from 2015, the EC acknowledges the lack of a genuine market due to the lack of substitutability:

it is rare that two different publications can be viewed as perfect substitutes, as there are differences in the coverage, comprehensiveness and content provided. Therefore, in terms of functional interchangeability, two different publications could hardly be regarded as substitutable by the end-users, the readers. On that basis, the Commission found that consumers will rarely substitute one publication for another following a change in their relative prices


Publications for different academic subjects are clearly not substitutable from the reader’s point of view. Even within a given discipline, there may be little demand side substitution from the point of view of the individual academic between different publications.

As this lack of substitutability is one of the main sources of the problems associated with academic publishing today, not just the German WR, but many initiatives around the globe see increased competition among publishers as key to moving forward.

bjoern.brembs.blog » Why publication services must not be negotiated

“Recently, the “German Science and Humanities Council” (Wissenschaftsrat) has issued their “Recommendations on the Transformation of Academic Publishing: Towards Open Access“. On page 33 they write that increasing the competition between publishers is an explicit goal of current transformative agreements:

publishers become publication service providers and enter into competition with other providers

This emphasis on competition refers back to the simple fact that as content (rather than service) providers, legacy publishers currently enjoy monopolies on their content, as, e.g., the European Commission has long recognized: In at least two market analyses, one dating as far back as 2003 and one from 2015, the EC acknowledges the lack of a genuine market due to the lack of substitutability…

Without such prestige, the faculty argue, they cannot work, risk their careers and funding. Arguments that these ancient vehicles are unreliable, unaffordable and dysfunctional are brushed away by emphasizing that their academic freedom allows them to drive whatever vehicle they want to their field work. Moreover, they argue, the price of around one million is “very attractive” because of the prestige the money buys them.

With this analogy, it becomes clear why and how tenders protect the public interest against any individual interests. In this analogy, it is likely also clear that academic freedom does not and should not trump all other considerations. In this respect, I would consider the analogy very fitting and have always argued for such a balance of public and researcher interests: academic freedom does not automatically exempt academics from procurement rules.

Therefore, ten experts advocate a ban on all negotiations with publishers and, instead, advocate policies that ensure that all publication services for public academic institutions must be awarded by tender, analogous the the example set by Open Research Europe and analogous to how all other, non-digital infrastructure contracts are awarded.”

Licensing Specialist

“The Library of the University of California, Berkeley (Library) seeks a creative, collaborative, and diligent individual to improve the Library’s electronic resource licensing terms and management to maximize their benefit for campus scholarship, teaching, and research. Working closely under the supervision of the Office of Scholarly Communication Services (OSCS), and collaborating with Acquisitions and the Electronic Resources Unit, the Licensing Specialist: (1) strategically analyzes and revises licensing terms and practices for the Library’s electronic resources, and (2) develops protocols and guidance for implementing a license tracking management and renewal system within the Alma resource management platform.


Develop model license language and definitions.
Ensure model licensing terms align with current academic licensing standards, including as to issues such as text and data mining, non-disclosure, accessibility, electronic course usage, and more.
Develop licensing terms checklist and negotiation guidance.
Confer with publishers and eResources vendors as needed to establish viable licensing terms.


Analyze licensing renewal and renegotiation processes, and recommend and implement new practices to optimize program.
Assess processes and develop guidelines to ensure consistency of licensing terms across license portfolios.
Identify processes for managing incoming and currently-negotiated licenses.
Develop guidelines and implementation plan for license tracking and management system within Alma.
Coordinate with other UC campuses and the California Digital Library as needed to improve and synthesize resource licensing terms.


Based on analysis conducted and recommendations developed, prepare guidance and documentation to support selectors and librarians engaging in license negotiations.
Document methodology for maintenance and enhancement of license tracking and management system….”

Contract Language Working Group Model License Agreement Call for Comments – SeamlessAccess

“We are pleased to announce the second output from the Contract Language Working Group, whose job it is to build on the Entity Category work to produce a toolkit for use in contracts between libraries and service providers (and for service providers to have as a reference for library requirements). This group is working to develop a toolkit that can be used to update contracts and documentation to help libraries and providers choose the appropriate entity category for the resource and outcomes they desire. The first document from the toolkit was the Entity Category Use Case Scenarios released last year.

Today, the Contract Language Working Group is happy to release its Model License Agreement with Commentary document for comments. The Model License is presented in the form of a contract, with sections specific to Federated Authentication issues and commentary from the authors highlighted with purple text for ease of identification….”

Scholarly Publisher Contracts and New Benefits for MIT Authors – MIT Faculty Newsletter

“MIT has been using the Framework for Publisher Contracts to guide negotiations with scholarly publishers for more than two years. This principles-based framework aims to support the needs of scholars, reflect Institute values, and advance scholarship. In a short period of time, MIT has used the framework to reach several agreements with publishers that demonstrate the viability of our approach. We encourage MIT scholars to take advantage of the open access publishing benefits of these agreements….

Elsevier is the one major publisher that remains unwilling to produce a proposal for MIT that aligns with the Framework….”

OSU, PSU and UO Libraries initiate negotiations with Elsevier | Libraries | Oregon State University

Oregon State University Libraries, Portland State University Library, and the University of Oregon Libraries are entering into contract negotiations with Elsevier for journal access in 2023, and for up to three years beyond that. For the sake of transparency, we want to reach out to our respective campuses to provide you with the goals we hope to achieve with this renewal cycle.

EIFL principles for negotiating open access agreements with publishers

“In order to contribute to making open access the default where research articles are openly available for everyone to read and publishing in open access is affordable, EIFL has developed a set of principles for negotiating agreements with publishers, drawing on negotiation principles developed by other library organizations. EIFL represents library consortia in countries with a wide range of economic situations. Some of the library consortia receive free access whereas others are eligible for highly discounted access to paywalled content….”

Visiting Program Officer for Negotiations

“Over the past three years, SPARC’s Negotiation Community of Practice has worked to meaningfully address information asymmetries between libraries and vendors, support libraries in negotiating better deals, and assist libraries in walking away from big deal packages. At the heart of the community of practice are working groups that collaborate to produce resources addressing key areas related to negotiation, including data analysis, mitigating cancellation impact, reinvestment, and stakeholder engagement. To complement the work of these groups, the community also hosts regular webcasts on emerging developments and topics of interest as well as an ongoing series of vendor-specific negotiation discussions….”

Recommended Principles and Terms for Electronic Resource Agreements

“The following set of eleven principles for library content licenses was developed by a group of representatives from ASERL member libraries with several goals in mind: 

To make life easier for our colleagues by setting out what we consider to be the ideals libraries should pursue in each of the license terms covered here, as well as an example of license language that achieves those ideals, where possible. 

To give guidance to vendors so that they can present libraries with terms that are acceptable at the outset, saving everyone time and effort in negotiations. 

To establish and strengthen norms around licensing terms in key areas that may be the subject of uncertainty or disagreement between libraries and vendors to best serve libraries’ missions. 

ASERL believes every provision in a content license presents both parties with an opportunity to affirm core values. We are hopeful that this document will help ensure library values shape and inform the licenses that govern the information our institutions acquire on behalf of our users….”

„Forum 13+“-Spektrum zur Bewertung von Open Access-Transformationsverträgen und Verlagsangeboten: Stand Oktober 2021 (spectrum for the evaluation of Open Access transformation contracts and publishing offers: Status October 2021)

via deepl.com: The following spectrum for the evaluation of OA transformation contracts and publishing offers is a result of the work of the independent working group “Forum 13+” and is primarily aimed at negotiators of OA transformation contracts and thus at acquisition and licensing experts at academic libraries and library consortia.

German original:

Das folgende Spektrum zur Bewertung von Open Access-Transformationsverträgen und Verlagsangeboten ist ein Arbeitsergebnis der unabhängigen Arbeitsgruppe „Forum 13+“ und richtet sich in erster Linie an Verhandler*innen von Open Access-Transformationsverträgen und damit an die Erwerbungs- und Lizenzierungsexpert*innen an wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken und an Bibliothekskonsortien.

Elsevier Negotiation at Oxford | Open Access Oxford

UK universities have a five year ‘big deal’ with Elsevier which runs to the end of December 2021.

This deal gives Oxford staff and students access to more than 1,800 journals. Throughout this year, we are working in partnership with Jisc and with other UK universities to reach an agreement for the next five-year ScienceDirect (Elsevier) deal, commencing in January 2022.

This is an important negotiation since it seeks to combine subscription costs and open access publishing costs in line with Plan S funder requirements and the Jisc requirements for transitional open access agreements. UK universities spend more than £50m annually with Elsevier, yet it is the last major publisher to strike a transformative deal which combines access and publishing spend whilst constraining costs.

The Bodleian Libraries are working with the Open Access Steering Group and Research and Innovation Committee. It is important that decisions are made based on evidence, and data about usage and publishing levels in Elsevier journals will help to inform our approach. Additionally, we will take a consultative approach in partnership with academic divisions. This page will be regularly updated as negotiations proceed throughout this year, including details of any information events that are planned.

We welcome feedback, comments and questions. Please contact the team here http://openaccess.ox.ac.uk/contact-us.