Springer Nature to extend content sharing

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Springer Nature is to extend its year-long nature.com content-sharing trial to enable its research articles to be freely shared with all researchers and the wider public via its authors, subscribers and global media partners.

The company will provide authors with free, shareable links to view-only versions of their peer-reviewed research papers, starting with authors of Nature and the Nature research journals.

This initiative will then be extended to authors of all other Springer Nature-owned primary research journals, and ultimately to all authors of Springer Nature published primary research journals. These links can be posted anywhere, including via social channels and on other highly-used sites, institutional repositories and authors’ own websites – as well as scholarly collaborative networks, which many researchers are using to collaborate and to share both publicly and privately.

These sharing services are expected to be operational within the next two months for all Springer Nature-owned primary research titles, with sharing services for additional portfolio titles to follow once agreed with their owners in the following months.

The range of media partners enabled to use this sharing facility will also be extended. These media partners already represent more than 100 other sites, many aimed at the public – including the BBC, The Economist, Wired and The New York Times.

The tools that enable the content sharing initiative are provided by ReadCube, whose functionality enables sharers to make available final published versions of research papers in the streaming Enhanced PDF format. In addition to the full text of the articles the Enhanced PDF provides hyperlinked in-line citations and figures, annotation capabilities, one-click access to supplemental content and figures and advanced article metrics.

Beyond these measures, Springer Nature says it plans additional steps to further extend sharing options which address the long-term needs of the research community.

This expansion of content sharing services follows a 15-month content sharing trial conducted via nature.com, launched in December 2014 and covering around 50 journals and 6,000 articles, which resulted in over 1.3m additional article accesses.

Steven Inchcoombe, managing director, Nature Research Group, Springer Nature, said: 'We are very pleased to be able to offer our authors and the wider researcher community a sharing solution that we think is easier, more dynamic and of greater value to them than static PDF downloads.

'As a publisher of large parts of the scientific record we take very seriously our responsibilities to our authors to protect their rights and to researchers to maximize their access to and use of the content we publish. We think this initiative strikes the right balance, given researchers’ legitimate needs to share content as part of their collaborations and discussions and the increasing need of wider society to appreciate the results of recent research.'