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In 2023, Lib4RI entered into an agreement with Nature that enables authors affiliated with Eawag, Empa, PSI, or WSL to publish Open Access (OA) in hybrid journals without incurring costs for authors. The agreement has been negotiated by the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries on behalf of swissuniversities. These so called Read & Publish agreements with major academic publishers are an important component of the national strategy and implementation plan for Open Access. While the agreement with Nature has been praised as “an important step further towards the vision formulated in the Open Access strategy”, it also has some obvious shortcomings. First, more than half of all Nature branded journals are excluded from the agreement, e.g. all Nature Reviews journals and all pure OA journals. Second, even for this narrow selection of journals there is a yearly cap on the number of articles which can be published Open Access without additional payment. swissuniversities estimated that the article quota would cover OA publishing for all articles by authors from Swiss institutions in the first six months of 2023. Now the quota is already exhausted after four months.
For the rest of 2023, Nature will no longer offer authors of accepted articles to publish Open Access under the agreement. Instead, authors will get a notice that they can either pay an APC of €9750 for Open Access, or publish their article closed access. Free OA publishing in Nature journals will be available again for articles accepted after 1 January 2024.
Even if the quota is exhausted, there are still alternatives for Open Access publishing
For the remainder of 2023, we strongly recommend publishing articles in Nature hybrid journals closed access and subsequently make the article Open Access in DORA. Nature permits that authors can make the accepted version of articles Open Access in DORA after an embargo period of 6 months. - All you need to do is to submit the accepted version of your article to DORA!
If you have any questions about the agreement or Open Access publishing, please contact us at @email.