May 28, 2022

Research Article: “Transitioning to Open Access: An Evaluation of the UK Springer Compact Agreement Pilot 2016-2018” (Preprint)

The following article (accepted for publication, preprint) was recently made available in the JISC Repository.


Transitioning to Open Access: An Evaluation of the UK Springer Compact Agreement Pilot 2016-2018


Mafalda Marques
Research Analyst, Jisc

Graham Stone
Senior Research Manager, Jisc


via JISC Repository
January 1, 2020

To be published in College & Research Libraries, Vol.81, No.6 (2020) September.


This article analyses the UK’s first read and publish journals agreement. The Springer Compact Agreement pilot ran from 2016-2018. The authors outline the methodology and data sources used to undertake a detailed analysis of the agreement. This includes the number of open access articles published, the number of author opt-outs and rejected articles. Institutional savings (or cost avoidance), and the financial implications resulting from the number of opt-outs and rejected articles are also discussed. The value of articles published and cost per download for non-OA content are also covered. The agreement, at the consortia level has constrained the total cost of publication – over the three years, the HE sector has avoided paying additional costs of €20,000,800 ($22,761,688) for publishing OA by paying the single combined fee that capped publication costs at 2014 rates. All institutions taking part in the Springer Compact agreement published OA articles equivalent to or in excess of their total 2014 APC spend between 2016 and 2018. By 2018, 30% of institutions published OA articles to the value of or in excess of the combined fee paid to Springer. The article concludes with a number of recommendations for future agreements and considers compliance with Plan S guidelines.

Direct to Full Text Article
19 pages; PDF. 

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.