The publishing contract and rights granted to Springer Nature ensure your work is not only disseminated to your research community around the globe, but also protects you as the creator of the work. It's important that you understand these aspects of publishing before you sign your contract:
Copyright of your work
As a book author or editor publishing with Springer Nature, you retain copyright of your book manuscript and receive clear credit for, and ownership of, the work.
In your contract, you will be asked to grant the publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights. This ensures the widest possible protection and dissemination of information under copyright law.
Should you act in the capacity of your employer, institution, or another legal entity, the copyright can be owned by the legal entity and vested in their name.
If your employer is a government entity (Crown/US government), you are advised to check with your employer’s legal representative to ensure you are complying with relevant copyright legislation.
When publishing an open access book, you agree to publish your book under a creative commons (CC) Licence. In this case, you retain copyright and ownership of the work.
In your contract, you will be asked to grant the publisher (us) three things:
- A non-exclusive licence
- Dissemination rights
- Agree upon the CC licence the book will be published under.
Please note that the applicable creative commons licence cannot be revoked or changed after publication.
The book contract clarifies the terms and conditions under which the book will be published.
- By outlining the responsibilities of all parties, the agreement ensures that the interests of both you and Springer Nature are protected.
- The book contract also sets out the expected ethical behavior for book authors and editors. Learn more about book publishing policies.
- If you have any questions regarding the terms and conditions of your agreement or would like to discuss options, please contact your publishing editor
Signing a book contract
Signing an open access book contract
Upon approval of your book project, a book contract is prepared for signing.
This is a legally binding agreement between you, as the author or editor, and Springer Nature, protecting intellectual property rights concerning the content of the publication.
You will be asked to sign a broad and exclusive licence to publish, granting the publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights.
For open access, you will be asked to sign a book contract under one of the creative commons licences.
Your publishing editor will be able to discuss the creative commons licensing options (our default licence is CC BY).
The payer of the open access fee (also known as the book processing charge or BPC) will be asked to sign a service agreement.
What else happens at this stage?
1. Support Springer Nature donation initiative
As a book author or editor, you will have the option to waive your payments at contract stage and direct them instead to selected charities and join Springer Nature’s commitment to acting sustainably. See our list of charities.
If you want to know more about this initiative, please contact your Publishing Editor.
2. Confirm if you are acting on behalf of your employer
If you are employed by a US government agency, Crown Body, IGO (Intergovernmental Organizations), or any other legal entity and you will act on their behalf you should:
Inform your editorial contact, including the information on who will sign the book contract as representative of the legal entity.
3. You sign the contract
Once the terms and conditions are clear, you will be asked to sign the book contract electronically via the e-signature platform DocuSign.
After all parties have signed the book contract, you will receive the countersigned book contract for your own administration.
Chapter author contracting
The chapter agreement defines your responsibilities as a creator of the content and sets out the expected ethical behavior for contributing authors.
- You will be informed about the signing process by the external book editor or the in-house publishing editor at Springer Nature.
- A signed contract should be delivered together with your chapter manuscript to the publisher before the production process.
Signing a chapter agreement
Signing an open access chapter agreement
If you are an author of a chapter to be published in an edited volume, we will ask you for exclusive publication and dissemination rights. This will give you the best protection under copyright law. Learn more about publication and dissemination rights..
We believe that you as a chapter author should retain copyright of your chapter irrespective of imprint and book type and receive clear credit for, and ownership of the work.
If you're publishing open access, we'll ask you to sign a chapter agreements under a creative commons licence.
Your editorial contact will be able to discuss the creative commons licensing options (our default licence is CC BY).
The payer of the open access fee and (also known as the chapter processing charge, or CPC) will be asked to confirm payment. Learn more about open access offerings for books and chapters.
What if you are a contributor acting on behalf of your employer?
If you as a chapter author are employed by a US Government agency or contractor, Crown body, IGO (Intergovernmental Organization) or any other legal entity and you will act on their behalf, please inform the Book Editor, including the information on who will sign the agreement as representative of the legal entity.
Obtaining permission for use of third-party content
Third-party content is any content that has been reproduced, derived or adapted from other sources.
What to consider when using third-party content:
- You should only use third-party content if it is strictly necessary.
- The author or editor of a book is responsible for overseeing the inclusion of third-party content you may want to add into your manuscript. This includes text or images you may have previously published either with Springer Nature or other publishers.
- If you plan to use third-party content in your book, take a look at third-party permissions guidelines. Your final manuscript files should also include a completed permissions checklist.
- Springer Nature is not able to give you legal advice and the information provided is to be considered as guidance. If in doubt, you should always seek your own independent legal advice.
Springer Nature book author reuse guidelines
Springer Nature partners with several permission platforms to allow reuse of previously published content.
Get step-by-step instructions on getting permission to reuse third-party content from our author permission process guide.
STM content and content from related publishers
STM is an association for academic and professional publishers that aids publishers in sharing their research.
Certain STM publishers, such as Springer Nature, are also members of the STM Permissions Guidelines (STM PG) which permits limited reproduction of text and images in new works published by STM PG members free of charge.
See the STM PG signatories and the rules on sharing in the STM permission guidelines.
Integrity practice at Springer Nature
You're responsible for the integrity of any work you publish. Before you submit your manuscript, read our code of conduct and publishing policies.
- You should review these as you are preparing your book or chapter, before submitting your manuscript.
Springer Nature is committed to the goals of open research and fully understands that access to your work is important to you and to the sponsors of your research.
If you have any questions with regard to our self-archiving policy, please contact your Publishing Editor.