May 16, 2022

In an Open Letter, Springer Nature Requests Coalition S Not “Lose the Opportunity Transformative Journals Offer”

UPDATED Dec. 17, 2019 Coalition S has posted a response to the Springer Nature (below). The response is available here.

From Springer Nature:

Springer Nature is appealing to cOAlition S in an open letter not to lose the opportunity Transformative Journals offer to speed up the transition to OA. Unless changes are made to the conditions being proposed the publisher believes it would be unable to commit to its journals participating.


While Springer Nature is supportive of the vast majority of the criteria proposed in the consultation, the company has significant concerns regarding:

  • the proposed timelines and metrics which would place conditions on publishers to not only grow OA content at a faster rate than the growth of funders willing to fund immediate OA but to do this at a time when the global share of cOAlition S funded research is effectively declining, and
  • the requirements for waivers which would see much more research published for free, undermining the sustainability of those journals. This could lead to those organisations that are committed to Gold OA having to support twice the content they were funding at the point of the flip, which is not fair, reasonable or sustainable.

In place of the proposed requirements Springer Nature is proposing an alternative timeframe and workable set of metrics:

  1. Year-on-year growth of OA content at the same rate as the increase in global research supported by funders and institutions committed to funding Gold OA.
  2. Journals to be flipped when OA content reaches 90%.
  3. Progress to be reviewed in 2024, as per cOAlition decision to review progress more widely, and commitments adapted accordingly then in light of progress to date.

To achieve this, the company is further committing to:

  1. Actively promoting to authors, funders and institutions the many benefits of publishing OA.
  2. Expanding transformative deals as rapidly as institutions/consortia/funders allow.
  3. Increasing levels of transparency of pricing and associated publishing services.
  4. Working with Plan S to get more funders, institutions and consortia to support Gold OA.

Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to Full Text Letter From Springer Nature to cOAlition S Executive Steering Group

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.