Open Access Week 2023 (23-29 October) is here, a chance to celebrate the progress made in open access (OA) and an opportunity to discuss what’s next. Since its introduction, publishing OA has proven to have demonstrable impacts on the usage, accessibility, and engagement with research, ensuring that key knowledge – such as that around the UN Sustainable Development Goals – can be accessed and used by all, some even influencing policy change. Ensuring that all researchers, regardless of discipline or location, can publish OA, is one of our key priorities at Springer Nature.
So what benefit could publishing OA have for you, especially when publishing with Springer Nature, and how does Springer Nature enable OA publishing for a broader community of researchers? Find out below.
As a researcher, publishing gold OA means that your work can reach a wider audience as it becomes immediately accessible to all. The faster dissemination of research can facilitate collaboration and innovation, with researchers worldwide building upon each other’s work more efficiently. The increased impact and visibility of scholarly publications via OA means that published papers are more likely to be cited, shared, and discussed. It also contributes to community access and engagement.
For many authors, an important aspect of publishing OA is impact. Many Springer Nature authors have seen the direct influence of their research on policies, and attribute this to having published their work OA. Dr. D. Susan Willis Chan from the University of Guelph shared the importance she sees in her work on insecticides having an impact “not only in the scientific community but in the pesticide regulatory community and in the farming community in general”. She hoped that the pesticide regulatory body would read her article and “then make good decisions about pesticide use. That is exactly what happened… [Publishing OA] is the best way to have impact”. Dr. Dan G. O’Neill from the Royal Veterinary College concluded that publishing OA is “by far and away the most effective way for science to change the world that we live in. Dissemination is key”.
When you publish your hard work with Springer Nature, you will maximise all these benefits of publishing OA. Analyses have shown that publications in Springer Nature’s hybrid journals achieve up to 4 times more downloads, 1.6 times more citations, and 2.4 times more altmetric attention. And data from the 2022 report on our fully OA portfolio has shown that when publishing in fully OA journals you can expect an even higher impact: Articles are downloaded up to 5 times more and receive higher citation rates than those published in other publishers’ fully OA journals.
And when publishing OA with Springer Nature, you can still expect the same high levels of service and standard for acceptance and the same degree of integrity and trustworthiness. Author services from Springer Nature such as English language editing, translations, or manuscript and figure formatting help you present and promote your work effectively, further supporting your OA publication’s impact and reach.
Open access agreements making it easy to choose OA
Springer Nature has been leading the transition to OA and offers different types of agreements that cover the publishing fees for authors from participating institutions. Such agreements include publishing-only agreements for fully OA journals, as well as transformative agreements (TAs) for hybrid journals which combine journal subscription access with OA publication costs. At Springer Nature, TAs are the main reason for the increase in gold OA content in hybrid journals.
In 2022, our TAs published 3 times more gold OA articles in Springer hybrid titles than via authors choosing OA but not being part of a TA. Notably, TAs make OA publishing more accessible to authors in disciplines such as Humanities and Social Sciences, where funding for OA publishing is more difficult to secure.
Supporting the community
We firmly believe that all researchers regardless of discipline or location should be able to publish and benefit from OA. To that effect we have many different partnerships and policies to support researchers in doing this:
Springer Nature supports authors throughout their OA publication journey, via author guides, OA book publishing resources, and early sharing of research.
This OA Week, we celebrate together the many benefits that come with making research visible and accessible to all, and we welcome further conversations with you to see how we can support you on your OA journey. Happy International OA week!