Principles and guidelines
Released: 2 December 2014; UPDATED: October 2016
I. Statement of principles
We wish to enable researchers to share articles of interest with collaborators and colleagues. We also wish to enable authors to share their research articles widely. Open access provides one route to removing barriers to sharing, and Springer Nature actively provides open access options. We also wish to support reasonable sharing of subscription journal content for personal and non-commercial purposes, in ways that:
- Meet the needs of today's researchers and the tools they use to collaborate and manage references
- Enable authors of primary research articles to promote and share their research globally
- Enable researchers with institutional or personal subscriptions to our content to share and discuss articles
- Enable read-only "quick view" access to aid collaboration
- Are easy and seamless for the user
- Work with library systems and standards, such as COUNTER, in measuring downloads to provide return on investment (ROI) information to subscription purchasers and administrators
- Provide cross-industry solutions that work for all publishers, libraries and reference management/scientific social networks
- Respect intellectual property rights
II. Implementation and review
Implementation: These principles apply to all Springer Nature-owned primary research titles, alongside many additional titles who have agreed to join SharedIt.
Review: We will continue to review and refine these guidelines, based on feedback from the community. The content sharing service for subscribers on nature.com was originally introduced in beta in December 2014, and was made a permanent service in March 2016, and expanded across Springer Nature in October 2016.
Stakeholders: We will talk with researchers, libraries, academic societies, and scholarly collaboration networks to understand users’ needs, the mechanisms that they value, levels of usage, and how this usage should be measured.
Reasonable use: These principles apply to reasonable use, for personal and non-commercial purposes. For these purposes, Springer Nature considers academic use (by researchers and students) to be non-commercial.
III. Guidelines for content sharing
These principles apply to all Springer Nature-owned primary research titles, alongside many additional titles who have agreed to join SharedIt.
Open access articles:
1. All open access articles Springer Nature publishes are licensed out under Creative Commons licenses. Creative Commons licenses allow re-use and sharing, generally with minimal restrictions, and explicitly grant permissions to the user. Users of nature.com don’t need special conditions for these articles, they just need to apply the terms of applicable CC license to use and reuse.
2. Authors of open access articles will be provided with shareable links. Functionality will enable all readers to download, print and save the Enhanced PDF, or to view the full-text HTML version.
Subscribers to our journal content, for non-commercial purposes, will be able to:
1. Store abstracts, metadata, published journal articles for private use
2. Share a read-only hosted "quick view" of a published journal article with anyone for their personal, non-commercial use
3. Add annotations and comments on documents (when functionality permits)
Readers of read-only articles will, for personal and non-commercial purposes, be able to:
1. Store abstracts, metadata for private use
2. View a read-only version of a published journal article, and save it to their ReadCube library
3. View annotations and comments on articles shared with them
Authors of original research articles:
1. Will be given access to shareable links to view-only versions of their peer-reviewed research paper
2. Can post shareable links to view-only versions of their peer-reviewed research paper anywhere, including via social channels, institutional repositories and authors’ own websites as well as scholarly collaborative networks
In addition, our authors will continue to be able to:
Store abstracts, metadata, preprints, and accepted author manuscripts for their private use, share preprints, abstracts and metadata publicly and archive their accepted manuscript for public access six months after publication.
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