Springer Nature and ResearchGate extend content sharing pilot following positive feedback | Group | Springer Nature

Springer Nature and ResearchGate today extend their content sharing pilot. The second iteration of the pilot will now see four times more Springer Nature content being rolled out across the ResearchGate platform, including content from specialized Springer journals. This enhanced accessibility means more Springer Nature authors will benefit from this partnership along with more Springer Nature-published content on the ResearchGate platform for ResearchGate users to access, download and share.

In addition, solutions will be assessed and tested to improve access to research literature for researchers off campus and on different devices. ResearchGate users without a Springer Nature institutional subscription will have access to articles in a non-downloadable format. This will be assessed via internal research and community feedback to see whether it is a sustainable model for the future.

The continuation of the pilot is the result of positive feedback from users during the first phase, which launched on March 7th, 2019 and provided full-text articles from 23 Nature-branded journals to ResearchGate so they could be made automatically available on authors’ profiles for all ResearchGate users to access, read and share on or off campus….”

The future of scholarly books is open (access) | Group | Springer Nature

“The majority of book authors support the idea that all future scholarly books should be open access (OA). This is one of the key findings of a new white paper presented by Springer Nature at the OAI-11 conference at CERN this week. Based on the responses of 2,542 book authors who were surveyed by Springer Nature in February and March 2019, the white paper provides a global view of book authors’ attitudes towards OA. The survey looks at researchers’ motivations for publishing a book, and analyses the parameters and key drivers which influence academics to publish OA or not. The white paper also identifies major obstacles to OA publication which book authors still face: from a lack of awareness of OA publishing options and low funding, to concerns about how OA books are perceived. The white paper is freely available for download. 

Other key findings include: •    Pro-OA attitudes are stronger among junior researchers, researchers based in Europe and Asia, and previous OA book authors •    Ethical reasons (equality in access) and reaching a larger audience are identified as key motivations for choosing OA for books •    The majority of authors want more financial support from funders for OA book publication •    Gold OA is the most preferred policy for OA books •    Reputation of publishers matters less to OA authors but is still the deciding factor for publication….”

Springer Nature comment on revised Plan S guidance

We are pleased to see public recognition of the role that transformative deals play in speeding up the transition to Open Access.  We already have nine such deals in place, the four most mature of which are delivering OA take up rates in those markets of over 70%….

However, the approach proposed for Green OA requiring a zero embargo and a CCBY licence on the authors accepted manuscript (AAM) is of particular concern as this could have serious unintended consequences….”


Nature Announces Support for Preprint Papers, Drops Ingelfinger Rule

Good news! On May 15, the Springer group of journals – including Nature – announced that it now encourages scientists to share preprint copies of their papers with journalists and others and that doing so wouldn’t affect how the paper is handled by the journal itself. The announcement thus brings Nature‘s adoption of a 50-year-old principle called the Ingelfinger rule to a close….”

Springer Nature journals unify their policy to encourage preprint sharing

“For more than two decades, Nature and its sister journals have supported pre-publication sharing of manuscripts on preprint servers. Nature’s first editorial on this goes back to 1997 — although, back then, the practice was common only among physicists. By making early research findings accessible quickly and easily, preprints allow researchers to claim priority of discovery, receive community input and demonstrate evidence of progress for funders and others.

Recognizing these benefits, we are now pleased to announce an updated policy encouraging preprint sharing for Springer Nature journals. This intends to remove ambiguity on two important points. First, we now make it clear that authors may choose any licence for preprints, including Creative Commons licences. Licensing choice will not impede consideration at a Springer Nature journal, but authors should bear in mind that it could affect sharing, adaptation and reuse of the preprint itself.

Second, the updated policy provides more information about our position on author engagement with the media in response to enquiries about preprints. Authors are free to provide clarification and context, and this will not affect editorial consideration. However, in the interests of transparency, we advise researchers to emphasize in their communications that the study has not been peer reviewed and that the findings could change. We also recommend that reporters who cover such work indicate that the study is a preprint and has not been peer reviewed, a practice that we strive to follow in these pages. Finally, we stand by our policy supporting citation of preprints in reference lists of submitted and published manuscripts….”


Springer Nature are not a friend to Open Access – Green Tea and Velociraptors

“So, if we look at history, Springer Nature (SN) are the definition of bandwagon jumpers. Things like arXiv (1991), SciELO (1997) and PLOS (2000) were leaders on OA from around. SN acquired BMC (2008) and Frontiers (2013, via merger with Nature Publishing Group) to essentially neutralise them as a competitive threat. And also make it look like they cared about OA That does not mean they lead the way. This is like Microsoft saying they lead the way on Open Source because they purchased GitHub. It is propaganda.

In reality, Springer Nature have been dragged kicking and screaming into the OA space. They are part of a multi-billion dollar empire that has thrived based on a business model of preventing access to knowledge. OA was obviously a threat to that, so historically they fought hard against it until the could find a way to subvert it into a new revenue stream. Hence, their love of hybrid and high-APC OA. Even now, SN are launching new Nature-branded journals that are subscription only! That is not leadership. It is showing that they are using their brand strength to continue to pervert the scholarly communication process. Nature Communications costs $5000 (+VAT) for authors to publish their own work. No other industry operates this backwards. I refuse to believe that for an efficient, quality publishing system it costs more to publish a paper than it does to live in Bali for a year. (And I know how much this costs). It is daylight robbery, pure and simple, and the taxpayers and researchers are the ones who suffer. And again, statistically, if you look at the proportional figures, if SN are a “leader” in OA publishing, using the exact same numbers they are also still one of the largest barrier-based publishers out there.”

*Here, all of the statements that are made are demonstrably false based on how SN conduct their business in public (one example here).”

Transformative Publishing: Requirements for a new publishing standard A proposal from Springer Nature

“A transformative publisher would commit to:

1. Continuously increase the average level of OA take-up across its transformative journals portfolio at least at the rate permitted by the commitments of research funding bodies, institutions and consortia

2. Promoting the benefits of OA using comprehensive summaries of article metrics to authors of primary research articles prior to submission, at submission and during the peer-review process to allow for comparisons to be made and therefore to maximise the take-up of the OA option via a series of online reports, seminars and webinars

3. Updating authors regularly on their articles’ usage, citations and online attention while showcasing the advantages of OA publishing and encouraging take-up of the OA option in future submissions to that transformative journal

4. Providing annual public reports on the greater benefits of OA article usage and citations compared with other content published in these transformative journals and utilise this data in wider promotion of OA benefits

5. Reporting on the OA and subscription content volumes and usage of its transformative journals portfolio so that institutional librarians could evaluate the cost per article cost and the article cost per download of their subscription content

6. Being more transparent about their subscription pricing policies, enabling institutional librarians to understand how subscription pricing takes account of any reductions in the volume of subscription content

7. Operating more transparent APC pricing policy that explains the value and cost rationale of each APC pricing band ….”

Springer Nature proposes model for open access transition | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Springer Nature has proposed a model to accelerate the shift towards open access publishing, in a move that could see research papers from prestigious Nature titles made freely available….

The move comes ahead of the publication of updated guidelines for Plan S, due at the end of this month. The scheme’s leaders have indicated that there is unlikely to be a softening of the bar on open access embargoes for funded research, or of their attitude to hybrid journals, which make some content freely available in return for an article processing charge but reserve some content for subscribing readers. Funded research will be able to appear only in hybrid journals during a three-year transition period, and if they were part of a “transformative agreement” under which they were moving towards full open access.

Under Springer Nature’s new proposal, publishers could term themselves “transformative publishers”, under which they would commit to increasing the average level of open access take-up across their titles “at least at the rate of research funding bodies, institutions and consortia”, and would promote open access to researchers by releasing aggregated article metrics showing how they, for example, get more readers and citations than closed access papers.


At the end of a transition period, all of the publishers’ papers – in titles that were formerly hybrid or subscription – would be available open access, even titles such as Nature. Mr Inchcoombe said that, in the case of Nature, this would probably mean researchers being allowed to place their papers in open access depositories, with the journal’s editorial content continuing to be sold via subscriptions….”

UK signals move away from journal subscription model | Times Higher Education (THE)

“The UK could soon follow the example of Norway and Germany in ditching costly journal subscriptions in favour of more “read and publish” agreements, according to its lead negotiator.

Liam Earney, director of licensing at Jisc Collections, said it was clear that UK universities, like those in many other countries, were “no longer willing to pay for outdated systems” pushed by commercial publishers of the likes of Elsevier….

His comments followed news that the UK sector has signed a £9.6 million, three-year agreement to extend its read-and-publish deal with Springer Nature via the consortium. The deal allows UK researchers access to 2,150 Springer titles, but does not include access to Nature journals. Crucially, members will be able to make their articles freely available in Springer’s hybrid-model journals, a move that the publisher said was in keeping with open access guidelines under the Plan S initiative….

“From our point of view, we want to continue to work with Springer Nature. But it’s important that they put a workflow in place to support the transition to open access. That promise cannot just be rhetorical,” he said. “If we renew this next time around, I would hope that upfront [subscription] payments would be redundant.” …”