Macmillan launches 'unprecedented' sharing scheme

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Macmillan Science and Education has launched a publishing initiative aimed at allowing readers to share an 'unprecedented' wealth of scientific knowledge.

Subscribers to 49 journals on can now share the full text of articles with colleagues who do not have a subscription via a shareable web link on In addition, Macmillan Science and Education give access to the same content to readers of 100 global media outlets and blogs.
Two specific initiatives are being introduced:

  • Subscribers to 49 journals on will be able to share a unique URL to a full-text, read-only version of published scientific research with colleagues or collaborators in the most convenient way for them, e.g. via email and social media. Included are the world’s most cited scientific publication, Nature; the Nature family of journals and 15 other science journals. The initiative will be available to scientists and students at more than 6,000 universities and organisations worldwide, and serve 10 million monthly unique visitors to This sharing is intended for personal, non-commercial use. To further aid collaboration, forthcoming annotation functionality will enable subscribers to share comments and highlighted text with their colleagues.
  • Some 100 media outlets and blogs across the globe that report on the findings of articles published on will be able to provide their own readers with a link to a full text, read-only view of the original scientific paper. Thousands of high-quality scientific papers will be available. Nature has published some of the leading scientific stories of our time, such as the human genome; the structure of DNA; Dolly the sheep; the invention of the laser; the identification of the AIDS virus and the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer.

Annette Thomas, CEO of Macmillan Science and Education, said: 'We exist to serve the information needs of researchers, to help them in their work, and ultimately in making discoveries in order to improve the way we all live. We have, over many decades, published a wealth of world-leading scientific knowledge through our family of journals. Today we are able to present a new way to conveniently share and disseminate this knowledge using technology from one of our innovative and disruptive divisions – Digital Science – to provide a real solution to the global problem of how to efficiently and legitimately share scientific research for the benefit of all.'
Steven Inchcoombe, CEO of Nature Publishing Group, added: 'Scientists have always shared their work, it is essential to advancing progress. Nature was established in 1869 to help scientists share, and to bring science to the public. In today’s global, internet-enabled world, we think we can meet the needs of science and society better. We know researchers are already sharing content, but not always optimally. We’re committed to adapting to meet the needs of the community, and to basing our decisions on an evidence-based approach. We are conducting our own “experiment” to understand how best to help sharing of knowledge in a sustainable way. Working with authors, readers, libraries and journalists, we hope to learn a lot.'

Timo Hannay, managing director of Digital Science, said: 'We know researchers are already sharing content, often in hidden corners of the Internet or using clumsy, time-consuming practices. At Digital Science we have the technology to provide a convenient, legitimate alternative that encourages researchers to access the information they need and the wider, interested public access to scientific knowledge, from the definitive, original source.'
The technology behind this initiative has been developed by ReadCube, a Digital Science portfolio company that develops software to make research literature more accessible and connected for researchers, institutions and publishers. Nature Publishing Group has also released content sharing principles and a new policy to support this sharing initiative, which will be refined based on usage and community feedback over a one-year period.