Discoverability of OA books

Thoughts on beta launch of Open Research Library

23 May 2019

Springer Nature believes in advancing discovery through open research. We offer authors the option to publish open access (OA) books under our SpringerOpen, Palgrave Macmillan and Apress brands.

In addition to making all of our OA books and chapters available on our own platform, SpringerLink, we also work with a number of partners to increase their discoverability: This includes:

  • being a member of OAPEN, a dedicated platform for hosting, dissemination, discovery and preservation of OA books 
  • sponsoring the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), a central indexing site 
  • working with Google Books, Amazon Kindle, and Apple Books, amongst others, and, where appropriate, PubMed’s NCBI Bookshelf, to ensure our books are as widely available as possible.

We strongly advocate and encourage re-use and sharing of our OA books, without restrictions for readers. We offer the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0) as our default licence for OA books as this is the most open licence and allows any form of sharing and adapting, providing you give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence and indicate if changes were made. 

Recently, a new hosting platform, the Open Research Library, was beta launched by Knowledge Unlatched. This is not something we were informed or consulted about even though content from our SpringerOpen imprint was incorporated. While we have not asked Knowledge Unlatched to remove our books, and do not intend to do so, we have not endorsed the platform as a partner. We continue to review community partnerships and to advocate for the best experience for authors and readers in making OA books available as widely as possible without restriction. We believe that the development of community resources for open access books is best achieved through open consultation with the community, and would advocate this approach in future for all those involved in OA books. 

More information about our OA books programme can be found on our OA books page.