Nature journals debut open-access models

“Two newly announced options for authors bring the publications into compliance with Europe’s Plan S initiative, but the fees exceed those of other open-access journals….

Johan Rooryck, executive director of Coalition S, the group of funding agencies representing Plan S, says some of its member funders have indicated they will foot the bill for APCs at Nature journals at least initially, but many have said they won’t….”

Editorial policies – Preprint Sharing | Springer

“Springer journals encourage posting of preprints of primary research manuscripts on preprint servers, authors’ or institutional websites, and open communications between researchers whether on community preprint servers or preprint commenting platforms. Preprints are defined as an author’s version of a research manuscript prior to formal peer review at a journal, which is deposited on a public server (as described in Preprints for the life sciences. Science 352, 899–901; 2016); preprints may be posted at any time during the peer review process. Posting of preprints is not considered prior publication and will not jeopardize consideration at Springer journals. Manuscripts posted on preprint servers will not be taken into account when determining the advance provided by a study under consideration at a Springer journal.

Our policy on posting, licensing, citation of preprints and communications with the media about preprints of primary research manuscripts is summarized below….”

Update to the handling of “Preprints” by the Journal of Anesthesia | SpringerLink

“Until now, “the Journal of Anesthesia” and its sister journal “JA Clinical Reports” followed a policy of immediately rejecting all submissions that had posted its preprint version on the web, considering them duplicate submissions. The basis for this strict stance was to raise the bar for quality submissions, as there were endless reports of falsification in research papers by anesthesiologists in Japan….

Springer, the publisher of the Journal of Anesthesia, goes so far as to recommend researchers post preprints [2]. Their stance is based on comments published in Science in 2016, expressing that researchers should post a preprint to one of the applicable servers while simultaneously submitting the manuscript to a journal to undergo peer-review [3]. If the authors have posted a preprint, Springer instructs them to disclose details of the preprint, including the DOI and licensing terms, when submitting their manuscript for publication. If the manuscript is subsequently published, the authors should update the preprint record with reference to the publication….



Consequently, beginning in 2021, “the Journal of Anesthesia” and its sister journal “JA Clinical Reports” will start accepting manuscripts that have posted their preprints on the web. Authors will also be able to resubmit manuscripts that the Journal of Anesthesia and JA Clinical Reports previously rejected because of their preprint version on the server. Please note that manuscripts must include information about existing preprints and that preprints cannot be cited in the manuscript, as they are presumed to have identical content.”


A win for research open access | Campus Morning Mail

“For a small, relatively isolated island nation like Australia, with relatively low research funding per capita compared to the rest of the world, we have little to lose and much to gain, through a far more systematic approach to sharing information and expertise with others around the globe.”


“You have to hand it to Springer Nature: they really are trying. Beset, as are all publishers with traditional business models, with challenges concerning open access (OA) from libraries, funders, and authors, SN is attempting to win the prize for Most Cooperative Publisher. This is not purely a recent development; Springer acquired OA pioneer BioMed Central way back in 2008 (it did not merge with the Nature Publishing Group until 2015). It has negotiated numerous “transformative” agreements with various national consortia and funding bodies and appears to have even come to terms with cOAlition S, a populist, authoritarian organization that is attempting to foment a worldwide revolution. (We note in passing that we are always a bit skeptical about organizations that fail to capitalize the first letter of a proper noun.) Until now, however, SN was not working to transform the models of its top-tier journals, usually holding the journals in its Nature portfolio out of comprehensive OA agreements. But that has started to change as evidenced by the announcements of both a new transformative deal with Max Planck and a new OA program whereby authors (or the funders of their work) can now pay to publish (Gold OA) in Nature and certain other journals in the Nature-branded portfolio. Whether this program proves to be successful (and whether the transformative deal with Max Planck proves extensible to other organizations) or not is a critical test of the ability of the company, and the industry at large, to accommodate the growing demands of funders and (mostly European) consortia with the prestige economy of academic research, where Nature sits at the very apex….

It is not only cOAlition S that SN must make happy, alas. Of primary concern to the management, not to mention the owners, is liquidity: how can some portion of the SN asset be converted into cash? SN has tried and failed, tried and failed again to go public. Part of the reason is that the OA business looks to investors like a model that is not ultimately as remunerative as the subscription model it is replacing. Convincing investors that they have figured out an OA long game is therefore essential. If investors do not believe in the strategy, SN may never fetch the price its current owners hope for (and that their creditors demand). What makes this complicated is that investors in Frankfurt and on Wall Street sit on one side of SN’s aspirations and on the other sits a community-anchored movement, many of whose members are characteristically suspicious of capitalism. …”

Nature’s New Open Access Option: A Dinosaur Lurches Toward the Future

“Nature has introduced a new Open Access Options. It is suggested that this strategy will be ineffective. Rather, it is suggested that the strategy of post publication review proposed by eLife is a better route to a open future for scholarly communication.”

Machine-generated summaries of three articles are published for the first time as part of a Nature Index supplement | Corporate Affairs Homepage | Springer Nature

“Escalating computing power, expanding data sets, and algorithms of unprecedented sophistication have led to a massive increase in the number of journal and conference papers referring to AI in recent years. The Nature Index AI supplement, published today, draws on Nature Index data and the larger Dimensions* from Digital Science database to analyse this rapidly advancing and controversial topic. For the first time, the supplement also includes summaries of research articles created using AI, and it looks more broadly at how AI is being used in scholarly publishing. …”

Prestige Journal Publisher, Nature, Slaps Scientists In The Face

“This is outrageous. $11,500 is more than scientists earn in a year in some countries, as Forbes blogger Madhukar Pai pointed out. What’s truly outrageous is that they’re asking for this payment from a community that does all the work for them for free. If Nature is going to treat scientists like suckers, it’s time we stopped playing along….

Of course, Nature journals will still allow scientists to publish papers the old-fashioned way, where they don’t pay the €9,500 fee and where the journal then owns the paper. Rather than doing that, or paying the outrageous fee, let’s hope this money grab makes scientists look elsewhere for a place to publish their findings. And while we’re at it, let’s tell the Nature editors we won’t be reviewing for them any longer….”

Scientific Data recommended repositories

“Spreadsheet listing data repositories that are recommended by Scientific Data (Springer Nature) as being suitable for hosting data associated with peer-reviewed articles. Please see the repository list on Scientific Data’s website for the most up to date list….”

BC Partners seeks to sell Springer Nature stake to itself | Financial Times

“Academic publishers have come under pressure to change a subscriptions-based business model to accommodate so-called open-access publishing, which breaks down paywalls and makes often publicly-funded scientific research free to read. Springer Nature had before its first attempted listing in 2018 warned investors that growing pushback against paywalls for publicly-funded research could hurt its revenues. But Frank Vrancken Peeters, the company’s chief executive, told the Financial Times earlier this year that open access publishing “works financially”. In October, the company reached a deal with a consortium of German libraries that bundled the right to read and publish open access under one agreement, the first ever to include its flagship Nature titles. Publishers have been wary of allowing free access to research published in its top journals, fearing it might dilute their value when deals are renegotiated with subscribers….”