30 million downloads of open access book chapters

There have been more than 30 million chapter downloads across the entire open access books portfolio published by Springer Nature since we started tracking downloads from SpringerLink in 2013. 

This includes data for 512 OA books, which works to an average of 58,704 chapter downloads per book. 

There are various points to consider, when discussing usage statistics: 

• These books were published over a period of time 

• Books vary in length depending on book type 

• The average number of downloads can vary considerably by discipline. 

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Downloads map

Looking at an average of 12 chapters per monograph, this works out at approximately 490 full-text downloads per book. Read more about the benefits of publishing an open access book in our white paper The OA effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books?

Where do our readers come from?

Downloads map

From our SpringerLink data, we can see that 44% of the downloads originated from 151 countries (other downloads were registered as anonymous users).


Discoverability of our open access books

SpringerLink users

Our official platform, SpringerLink, received 127 million unique visitors making 285 million visits in 2016. This high volume of traffic increases the reach and readership of our open access books, and the easy-to-use platform makes it is easier to access and share peer-reviewed research.

Our open access books are also available through third party hosting platforms such as: 

• Amazon Kindle 

• Google Scholar 

• Apple Books 

• PubMed’s NCBI Bookshelf 

• funders’ own platforms. 

• plus 200+ other abstracters and indexers. 

We work together with these partners to ensure that our open access books are easily discoverable for wider dissemination of the high quality research that our authors publish. As our OA books are hosted by partners, it makes tracking usage difficult – however giving our authors the most impact for their research is worth this challenge.

Further metrics available

Information on citations, online mentions, reviews and Mendeley readers is also available through Bookmetrix, by clicking on the metrics links for any individual eBook title on SpringerLink.


About our usage statistics

• SpringerLink download statistics are COUNTER-compliant. 

• Download statistics above cover January 2013 – May 2018, for 512 books hosted on the SpringerLink platform. 

• These statistics include all formats available on SpringerLink: HTML views, PDF and EPUB downloads. 

• Open access chapters in hybrid books have been excluded.


Read our '30 million chapter downloads' blog post and view our portfolio infographic.


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We partner with funders, research centres, and organisations to publish open access books series under our SpringerOpen and Palgrave Macmillan imprints. 

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