Self-archiving, manuscript deposition, and digital preservation
Self-archiving of papers published open access
Authors publishing via the gold open access route are encouraged to deposit the final published PDF in their institutional repository or any suitable subject repository on publication.
Authors should provide a link from the deposited version to the URL of the publisher's website; in all cases, the requirement to link to the publisher’s website is designed to protect the integrity and authenticity of the scientific record, with the online published version on the publisher’s website clearly identified as the definitive version of record.
Authors are advised to check their funders' deposition requirements to ensure compliance. Read our policy compliance FAQs to learn about how authors can ensure they meet funder self-archiving requirements.
Publisher deposition of papers published open access
Springer Nature automatically deposits open access articles in PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (EPMC) on publication, if the article meets the PMC deposition guidelines.
Articles in fully OA journals with full PMC deposition agreement
For authors publishing in our fully OA journals, where the journal has a full PMC deposition agreement we will automatically deposit all articles to PubMed Central. Find the agreement type by journal here. If the journal does not yet have an agreement, or is out of subject scope, we will deposit articles that acknowledge funding from a PMC partner or EPMC funder, or a funder approved by PubMed Central for deposit in compliance with a public or open access policy. To enable us to identify an OA article as eligible for deposit, authors must provide details of the relevant research funder, grant number and recipient name in the structured funding fields provided during the submission process.
Articles in hybrid and Transformative Journals
For authors publishing open access articles in our hybrid and Transformative Journals, as of January 2019 PubMed Central has updated their deposition guidelines. Open access articles are eligible to be deposited in PubMed Central if the journal of publication is currently indexed in MEDLINE and is part of a Selective Deposit agreement (as used by many of our hybrid/Transformative Journals); OR the article acknowledges funding from a PMC partner or EPMC funder, or a funder approved by PubMed Central for deposit in compliance with a public or open access policy. To enable us to identify an OA article as eligible for deposit, authors must provide details of the relevant research funder, grant number and recipient name in the structured funding fields provided during the submission process. Find the PMC agreement type by journal here, and a list of MEDLINE journals here.
Timeline and funder compliance
Please note that there may be an interval of a few weeks between publication and the appearance of an article in PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central, depending on the time required for PubMed Central to process the deposit and for PMC articles to be mirrored to Europe PubMed Central. Where a journal publishes content online ahead of publication in a print issue (known as advanced online publication, or AOP), open access articles will be deposited to PubMed Central at the point of issue publication, as PubMed Central requires that articles are deposited in their final format.
Authors are advised to check their funders' deposition requirements to ensure compliance. Read our policy compliance FAQs to learn about how authors can ensure they meet all their funders’ self-archiving requirements. If you believe your open access article is eligible to be deposited to PubMed Central but has not been, please contact us, or you can submit an open access article directly to PubMed Central or Europe PubMed Central through their submission systems: PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central.
Recently launched journals take time to be accepted for indexing in PubMed Central. All in-scope journals will apply for indexing as soon they meet the criteria for content volume that PubMed Central requires, and once a journal is accepted by PubMed Central all past published articles will be indexed retrospectively. During the time before the journal is accepted, however, authors may need to self-archive their open access articles in PubMed Central /Europe PubMed Central in order to meet their funders’ requirements.
Self-archiving of papers published via the subscription route
Springer Nature supports gold OA as the simplest, most open, and most sustainable route to OA and to open science and research. Unlike green OA self-archiving of accepted manuscripts (AM), gold OA provides immediate access to the trusted, enhanced, and publisher-maintained version of record (VOR), and is not reliant on the continued existence of journal subscriptions.
Where articles are published via the subscription route, Springer Nature permits authors to self-archive the accepted manuscript (AM), on their own personal website and/or in their funder or institutional repositories, for public release after an embargo period (see the table below). The accepted manuscript is the version post-peer review, but prior to copy-editing and typesetting, and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections.
You can read about our self-archiving policy below, or to learn more, authors can view sample copies of the exclusive licence to publish (LTP) agreements currently in use for the majority of non-OA research articles in Springer Nature-owned journals in our Nature, Springer and Palgrave Macmillan portfolios. These examples are for reference only; the self-archiving terms in agreements provided to authors following editorial acceptance may vary based on factors such as the author’s status as a US government or UK Crown employee.
For more information on self-archiving to meet certain funder policy requirements, see Springer Nature’s funder compliance webpage.
Authors should provide the following acknowledgement, and link from the accepted manuscript version to the URL of the published article on the journal's website
Authors are able to publish via the gold OA publication route, which means that the published version of record will be immediately available on publication and can be shared under a CC BY licence.
Embargoes and restrictions on self-archiving of the AM
For information about self-archiving of papers published via the subscription route (green open access), including embargo periods, please consult our table below:
* Authors publishing in the Springer and Palgrave Macmillan portfolios may share the AM to their personally maintained website immediately on acceptance, with no embargo. Springer Nature authors publishing across all of our imprints are also able to immediately share their research articles peer-to-peer via our SharedIt initiative. SharedIt allows authors and subscribers to provide read-only access for non-subscribers through shareable links. For further information, please visit our webpage here.
Self-archiving of papers containing Rights Retention language
Springer Nature only ever assesses manuscripts on their editorial merit. If primary research manuscripts contain Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) language, they will not be rejected on the grounds of its inclusion, and we will not remove that text before publication if it is included in a section that is a normal part of the published primary research article.
Authors should note, however, that manuscripts containing statements about open licensing of accepted manuscripts (AMs) can only be published via the immediate gold open access (OA) route, to ensure that authors are not making conflicting licensing commitments, and can comply with any funder or institutional requirements for immediate OA.
Authors who opt to publish via the subscription route will be required to sign our standard subscription licence terms, which only allow the AM to be shared after an embargo period. The subscription licensing terms are incompatible with any attempt to assert prior rights to the AM, and require authors to confirm that Springer Nature’s standard licensing terms will supersede any other terms that the author or any third party may assert apply to any version of the manuscript.
Therefore, authors who wish their research to be immediately openly accessible or whose research is supported by a funder that requires immediate OA (e.g. according to Plan S principles) should select to publish via the gold OA route.
For information on sharing preprints, please see our preprint policy on the Springer Nature Editorial Policies page.
Springer Nature ensures that publications are preserved and available for future scholars, researchers, and students. Find out more about archiving agreements with Digital Preservation organisations here.