Springer negotiations: what’s our plan B?  – Unlocking Research

“The UK universities sector is negotiating a read & publish deal with publisher Springer Nature. Reaching a transitional agreement is particularly important to make it easier for our authors to publish their work open access, as well as continuing to read all of Springer Nature’s content. The deal needs to be affordable for our sector, which is already under financial strain.  

The Jisc negotiating team and the University of Cambridge are committed to finding a deal that works well for us, that is our plan A. But we are aware that some previous negotiations between universities and publishers could not find enough mutual ground (for example UCLA and German universities). If a contract can’t be signed, what would that mean for our researchers? …”

Rights retention: publisher responses to the University’s pilot | Unlocking Research: Open Research at Cambridge

by Sam Moore

The University’s one-year rights retention pilot has been running for six months now, during which time many papers containing the rights retention declaration have been submitted by Cambridge authors. As expected, the Office of Scholarly Communication is receiving more queries about rights retention from Cambridge academics, many of which relate to how publishers are responding to submissions containing the rights retention declaration. This post covers some of these queries to offer a picture of how rights retention is being received.   

It is worth reminding ourselves what the rights retention pilot entails. All researchers at Cambridge can sign up to participate in the pilot here. In doing so, the researcher enters into a non-exclusive agreement with the university to make all their papers immediately open access under a Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence. When a researcher submits an article to a publisher, they include the following statement in the acknowledgements or funding section of the article file: 

‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission’ 

Upon editorial acceptance, the researcher uploads a copy of the accepted manuscript to Symplectic Elements. The Open Access team will deposit the manuscript into Apollo and will release it publicly at the appropriate time.



Scholarly Communication Support – Job Opportunities – University of Cambridge

“The Office of Scholarly Communication wishes to recruit a Scholarly Communication Support to join our team in providing friendly and efficient support to researchers and librarians across the university. The Office of Scholarly Communication is based at the University Library.

A key responsibility of the role-holder is to provide effective support for researchers by uploading article submissions to the University’s institutional repository, Apollo. They will be responsible for checking that submissions meet funder requirements and will also provide helpdesk support to researchers; fielding queries relating to funding and funder policies regularly. The role holder will also occasionally work on the deposit of theses, datasets, and reports into the repository….”

University of Cambridge becomes new Opening the Future member


CEU Press and COPIM are pleased to announce that the library at the University of Cambridge is one of the latest subscriber members to Opening the Future. 

Cambridge has signed up to the Editors’ Choice package. This means that their staff and students now have unlimited and concurrent access to 50 different eBooks on subjects ranging from mediaeval Europe, to human rights, Jewish studies, European economics, public health, and the fall of communism.

How to make it right: a Rights Retention Pilot by the University of Cambridge ahead of shaping a full institutional policy | Plan S

In 2008 Harvard’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously to adopt a ground-breaking open access policy. Since then, over 70 other institutions, including other Harvard faculties, Stanford and MIT, have adopted similar policies based on the Harvard model. In Europe such institutional policies have, so far, been slow to get off the ground.

We are beginning to see that situation change.

The University of Cambridge has recently established a pilot rights retention scheme on an opt-in basis, with a view to informing the next revision of the University’s Open Access policy. In the following interview, Niamh Tumelty, Head of Open Research Services at the University of Cambridge, describes the purpose of the pilot, how researchers can benefit from it and shares her tips for any other institution that might consider adopting a similar policy….”

Rights Retention Pilot | Open Access

“These webpages contain information on the rights retention pilot currently in place at the University of Cambridge.

The University needs to be able to disseminate research and scholarship as widely as possible and comply with its funder requirements, while enabling its researchers to publish in a journal of their choice. 

In order to achieve this, the University has established pilot rights retention scheme on an opt-in basis. This pilot will be closely monitored and reviewed with a view to informing the next revision of the University’s Open Access policy.

To sign up for the pilot, please use this webform.

During this time, if you sign up for the pilot, you should include the following wording in a prominent place in the manuscript (e.g. the acknowledgements and/or funding statement) and cover letter from the initial point of submission:

‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission’

Upon editorial acceptance, please upload a copy of the accepted manuscript to Symplectic Elements. The Open Access team will deposit the manuscript into Apollo and will release it publicly at the appropriate time.

This pilot is based on the approach that the University of Edinburgh is taking with their new Research Publications and Copyright Policy and considers the advice of Harvard University, where rights retention statements have been in use since 2008. We thank both universities for sharing their materials and welcome the reuse of the contents of our document by other institutions.?…”

UKRI Open Access Policy Update | Open Access

“A Rights Retention pilot at Cambridge

We are setting up a Rights Retention pilot, and more information will be available by April 2022.

By opting into the pilot as a Cambridge author, you will grant the University a non?exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide licence to make the accepted manuscripts of your scholarly articles publicly available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (or an alternative licence if requested) in line with funder requirements. You will still need to include the Rights Retention Statement when submitting your articles for publication, however the agreement with the University adds an extra layer of protection in case a journal asks you to sign away copyright and impose an embargo.  …”

Should we accept Elsevier’s 7th proposal?

“Here we outline reasons for and against accepting Elsevier’s 7th proposal.  It is based on information provided by the University of Cambridge library.  …

We recommend the deal be rejected after considering the following pro/cons.  If you agree, please consider signing at the bottom of the document, and share with colleagues.  (Anyone from UK can sign.) …”

Michael Williams on the Elsevier negotiations: What’s our ‘Plan B’? | Unlocking Research

“As negotiations continue between Elsevier and the UK university sector, institutions need to position themselves to ensure that we have a realistic alternative access solution if the decision is to not sign an agreement. But what would happen in the event of a non-renewal scenario? This post explores how we at Cambridge University Libraries are preparing for Plan B and the alternative access solutions we will be providing….

At Cambridge we are doing our best to engage our research communities with the Elsevier negotiation so that any decisions around the deal and potential implementation of Plan B will only take place following communication and engagement with research-active members of the University. If we need to implement a Plan B, it should not come as a surprise; it will be planned and communicated in advance….”

Dr. Jessica Gardner on the ongoing negotiation between Cambridge and Elsevier | Unlocking Research

This post by Dr Jessica Gardner, Cambridge University Librarian, introduces the context for the ongoing negotiation between Cambridge University and the publisher Elsevier. It is the first in a series of posts on the negotiation from members of the Cambridge community.

Copyright life hacks for librarians

Abstract:  Librarians are continuously looking for new ways to make the training they offer accessible and engaging to both colleagues and users. One area where this is especially important is copyright – a topic many librarians identify as vital to their role, but they often find it hard to attend training. Cambridge University Libraries has introduced a range of methods to reach out to even the most reluctant copyright learner and improve the overall copyright literacy of its staff. This article showcases these methods in the form of ‘life hacks’ – simple measures which can be implemented with little or no cost and using existing resources.


Methods outlined include making the best use of knowledge already present within your organisation, using visual methods to attract a new audience and creating interactive online resources. Also discussed is the importance of making copyright training accessible, both to users with disabilities and those who may have constraints on their time and technological ability. The article concludes with a reflection about the challenges faced whilst creating new resources. The techniques outlined in this case study can be adapted for use by a range of libraries no matter the target audience.

Cambridge University Library joins Google Arts and Culture

“Cambridge University Library (UL) is the first institution of the University of Cambridge to join the [Google Arts and Culture] platform and joins organisations such as the British Museum, Rijksmuseum and the White House, among many others, who share their collections freely, and openly, with the world….”

OA agreement – Cambridge

“The University of Cambridge has made an agreement with Cambridge University Press to support Open Access publishing in Cambridge journals. The agreement also includes access to the most recent Full Journals Collection.

This Read and Publish agreement covers the Article Processing Charges (APCs) for corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Cambridge in fully Open Access journals and subscription-based journals that offer hybrid Open Access. The agreement for unlimited Open Access publishing started on 1 January 2020. Articles submitted by eligible corresponding authors qualify for Open Access publishing under this agreement upon the date the article is accepted for publication, from or after 1 January 2020 through to 31 December 2020….”

UKRI Open Access Consultation- University of Cambridge Response

“This is the University response to the 2020 UKRI Open Access Consultation, submitted via an online form on 27 May 2020. The response was developed based on input from across the University, including from Schools, Departments, individual researchers and Cambridge University Press and aims to represent the breadth of disciplinary perspectives across the University. The draft response was circulated for comment to the Open Research Steering Committee, the Research Policy Committee, the Library Syndicate and governance within CUP for comment prior to the development of the submitted version.”


2019?That?Was The Year That Was? | Unlocking Research

“2019 saw?a number of?happenings in the policy space at Cambridge. Most excitingly, the University’s?Position Statement on Open Research?was announced in February, making it one of the first UK universities to have such a statement. This demonstrates the University’s commitment to making open research a reality at Cambridge. 

Following on from this, in July 2019, the University together with Cambridge University Press? announced that they have signed up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). The newly created?Open Research Steering Committee, headed by the University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research,?will have oversight over the open research direction and?the?implementation of DORA.?The Steering Committee and their working groups are currently looking into open research training, open research infrastructure (such as electronic research notebooks), Plan S and DORA.?

In December, an updated version of the?Research Data Management Policy Framework?was released. This update brings the policy framework?in?alignment?with funder requirements and acknowledges?the important roles that Principal Investigators,?research staff and students, and University support staff play in good data management practices.?It sits beneath?the Position Statement on Open Research, with the documents being closely aligned.?…”