Springer Nature’s policies for books and chapters ensure that we are in line with international standards for responsible research publications to advance knowledge.
Science and research are important to confirm, change or advance knowledge. If you are publishing with Springer Nature you are responsible for the way your research is organized and conducted. It is therefore important that the work you submit has been carried out in line with international standards for responsible research publication.
Springer Nature is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record, and as a member follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct and correcting the literature.
Authors, editors and series editors should adhere to the minimum standards as set out in our individual Codes of Conduct in addition to the policies below before submitting your manuscript.
- Code of Conduct for Book Authors
- Code of Conduct for Book Volume Editors
- Code of Conduct for Book Series Editors
Please note that throughout this document author and editor are defined as follows.
Author: Creator/writer of the content.
Editor: After inviting authors to contribute the editor coordinates and determines the final content.
Note: Please see our Open Access Policies for Books page for information on our open access policies for books and book chapters, including licensing, copyright, use of third-party material, self-archiving, compliance with open access funder mandates and retrospective open access.
These guidelines describe authorship principles and good authorship practices to which prospective authors should adhere.
Authorship should be limited to those who contributed substantially to the scholarly work such as drafting and/or revising critically the intellectual content of the work or significant parts of it.
“Honorary authorship” is not permitted. Third parties who added something substantial to the work but do not qualify as authors should be mentioned in the acknowledgment section.
Authors are strongly recommended to use their ORCID ID when submitting a manuscript for consideration or acquire an ORCID ID via the submission process.
The corresponding author listed on the manuscript ensures that all appropriate co-authors are included on the manuscript, that all co-authors have approved the final version of the chapter, section or entry or full manuscript (where appropriate) and have agreed to its submission for publication. All co-authors therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results. Please note that the naming of authors is not merely a question of research ethics; it is also a copyright issue.
Please include all author names (in case of contributions to an edited work also the names of the book editors) and the addresses of the authors' institutes, and please ensure that the sequence of the author names is correct when the manuscript is submitted. Once the manuscript has been delivered to production, changes to authorship are no longer possible.
Any potential authorship disputes brought to the editors’ attention will be handled in line with COPE guidelines.
The primary affiliation for each author should be the institution where the majority of their work was done. Addresses will not be updated or changed after publication of the work.
Authors should treat all communication with Springer Nature as confidential which includes correspondence with direct representatives assigned to the work such as series editors and/or handling editors and reviewers’ reports unless explicit consent has been received to share information.
Changes to Authorship
Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, the corresponding author, and the order of authors at submission. Changes of authorship by adding or deleting authors, and/or changes in corresponding author, and/or changes in the sequence of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.
Please note that author names will be published as they appear on the accepted submission.
Please make sure that the names of all authors are present and correctly spelled, and that addresses and affiliations are current.
Adding and/or deleting authors at revision stage are generally not permitted, but in some cases it may be warranted. Reasons for these changes in authorship should be explained. Approval of the change during revision is at the discretion of Springer Nature.
Author Name Change
An author who has changed their name for reasons such as gender transition or religious conversion may request for their name, pronouns and other relevant biographical information to be corrected on content published prior to the change. The author can choose for this correction to happen silently, in which case there will be no note flagging the change on either the pdf or the html of the paper, or alternatively they may do so by a formal public author correction.
Deceased or Incapacitated Authors
For cases in which a co-author dies or is incapacitated during the writing, submission, or peer-review process, and the co-authors feel it is appropriate to include the author, co-authors should obtain approval from a (legal) representative which could be a direct relative.
Authorship Issues or Disputes
In the case of an authorship dispute during peer review or after acceptance and publication, Springer Nature may not be in a position to investigate or adjudicate. Authors will be asked to resolve the dispute themselves. If they are unable Springer Nature reserves the right to withdraw a manuscript from the editorial process or in case of published content raise the issue with the authors’ institution(s) and abide by its guidelines.
Research content and non-research content (e.g. Opinions, Reviews, and Commentaries) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive self-citation, coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite, gratuitous and unnecessary citation of publications in the work to which the manuscript has been submitted, and any other form of citation manipulation are inappropriate.
Citation manipulation will result in the chapter or book being rejected, and may be reported to the authors’ institutions. Similarly, any attempts by peer-reviewers or editors to encourage such practices should be reported by authors to the publisher.
Authors should consider the following best practice guidelines when preparing their manuscript:
- Any statement in the manuscript that relies on external sources of information (i.e. not the authors' own ideas or findings or general knowledge) should use a citation.
- Authors should avoid citing derivations of original work. For example, they should cite the original work rather than a review article that cites an original work.
- Authors should ensure that their citations are accurate (i.e. they should ensure the citation supports the statement made in their manuscript and should not misrepresent another work by citing it if it does not support the point the authors wish to make).
- Authors should not cite sources that they have not read.
- Authors should not preferentially cite their own or their friends’, peers’, or institution’s publications.
- Authors should avoid citing work solely from one country, unless there is a special need.
- Authors should not use an excessive number of citations to support one point, unless there is a special need.
- Ideally, authors should cite sources that have undergone peer review where possible.
- Authors should not cite advertisements or advertorial material.
Peer Review/Review Policy
Springer Nature endorses (peer) review as a key factor in developing and validating high quality scholarly publications. It is understood that readership differs per book type (edited volumes, reference works, textbooks, professional books, and conference proceedings (amongst others)) and that the approach to assess the merit of the work should be aligned with both the expectations of the intended audience and norms within a specific discipline.
All books published by Springer Nature undergo review. This usually involves a review by experts; this can be either independent external reviewers or inhouse subject specialists. Proposals and manuscript submissions to Springer Nature are assessed and reviewed by an inhouse editor who decides whether the submission is suitable to send out for further review to appropriate book series editors, editorial board and/or external peer reviewers, after which a decision is made whether the content is suitable for publication.
The reviewers’ reports will be taken into account in the decision making in manuscript acceptance.
On submission, the manuscript is assessed by Springer Nature editorial staff and may be sent again for external peer-review.
Further to our Peer Review/Review Policy, the volume editors are responsible for reviewing and approving all contributions. On submission, the manuscript is assessed by Springer Nature editorial staff and may be sent again for external peer-review.
All papers published in Springer Nature proceedings undergo peer review. This usually involves review by independent, expert peer reviewers. Responsibility for reviewing all papers lies with the program chairs/volume editors, and they engage the program committee members and any external reviewers in the reviewing process as appropriate. Upon submitting a completed proposal to Springer Nature, the volume editors/program committee chairs are requested to provide a description of the review process employed and the number of reviews per paper. The evaluation of all contributions should be documented by the volume editors/program committee chairs and should be made available to Springer Nature if requested. We expect that the accepted papers were/will be presented at the conference.
The review of a proposal or manuscript submitted to a book series is among the ways in which Springer Nature decides to publish a book. This helps us to establish if the proposed book fits within the aims and scope of the series, and satisfies other criteria such as quality and relevance for the intended community. Each manuscript is fully reviewed prior to its acceptance for publication in the book series by the book series editors, in-house editors, series editorial board members or external experts in the field appointed by the series editor and/or Springer Nature.
Peer Reviewer Recommendation
Springer Nature is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and we need your support to implement these principles. Editors/series editors/program committee chairs and members are strongly encouraged to consider, when applicable, geographical regions, gender identities, racial/ethnic groups, and others groups when inviting peer reviewers.
Authors or volume editors may be requested to provide names of potential reviewers; however, whether or not to consider these reviewers is at Springer Nature's discretion. We ask that the proposed individuals be unbiased and do not include scholars in your department, from your thesis committee, or who have served in an advisory capacity to you or the project in the past.
Depending on the type of peer review, peer reviewers should adhere to the principles of COPE's Ethical Guidelines for Peer-reviewers and therefore are required to respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond the information released by Springer Nature. If reviewers wish to involve a colleague in the review process they should first obtain permission from Springer Nature or the series editor.
Springer Nature will not share manuscripts with third parties outside of Springer Nature with the exception of peer review or cases of suspected misconduct.
Reuse of Content in a Thesis
Please visit the Rights, Permissions, Third Party Distribution page for information on how Springer Nature authors may reuse their published work (book or journal) in their theses.
Springer Nature Author’s Retained Rights
For information on how Springer Nature authors may reuse their work in third party publications please visit the Rights, Permissions, Third Party Distribution page.
Visit the Open Access Policies for Books page for our policies on self-archiving of both non-open access and open access books and book chapters.
Harmful Research Content
Springer Nature believes that publishers, authors, editors, and reviewers should consider how research and its dissemination may potentially harm population groups, as a result of discrimination in the assumptions or framing, methodology, interpretation or presentation of the research.
We have prepared principles and guidelines intended to assist those considering the interests of population groups and also ethical aspects of various forms of discrimination. A full presentation of these principles and guidelines can be found HERE.
Sex and Gender in Research (SAGER)
Researchers are encouraged to follow the ‘Sex and Gender Equity in Research – SAGER – guidelines’ and to include sex and gender considerations where relevant (overview can be found here).
Working definitions (adopted/adapted from the SAGER guidelines):
Sex - refers to currently understood biological differences between females and males, including chromosomes, sex organs, and endogenous hormonal profiles. Sex is usually categorized as female or male, although there is variation in the biological attributes that constitute sex.
Gender - refers to socially constructed and enacted roles and behaviours which occur in a historical and cultural context and vary across societies and over time. Gender is usually incorrectly conceptualized as a binary (man / woman or feminine/masculine) factor. In reality, there is a spectrum of gender identities and expressions defining how individuals identify themselves and express their gender
Gender identity and/or Expression - A person’s concept of self as being male and masculine or female and feminine, or non-binary or ambivalent, based in part on physical characteristics, parental responses, and psychological and social pressures. It is the internal experience of a gender role. This includes Transgender Persons, as having a sense of persistent identification with, and expression of, gender-coded behaviours not typically associated with one’s anatomical sex at birth and with or without a desire to undergo sex reassignment procedures.
“Gender” refers to a set of cultural norms and expectations and not a “biologically defined variable”. Such norms are not fixed but evolve across time and space. As such, definitions will require frequent revisiting, as the exercise of defining gender (and sexuality) is under constant flux and evolution, as is the area of study in itself.
Authors should use the terms sex (biological attribute) and gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances) carefully in order to avoid confusing both terms. Article titles and/or abstracts should indicate clearly what sex(es) the study applies to. Authors should also describe in the background, whether sex and/or gender differences may be expected; report how sex and/or gender were accounted for in the design of the study; provide disaggregated data by sex and/or gender, where appropriate; and discuss respective results. If a sex and/or gender analysis was not conducted, the rationale should be given in the Discussion. These guidelines apply to studies involving humans, vertebrate animal and cell lines.
Researchers are encouraged to promote equality between men and women in their academic research which by nature should be grounded on the recognition of merit, competences and creativity, regardless of any other personal attirbutes or orientation.
Sexist, misogynistic and/or anti-LGBTQ+ content is ethically objectionable. Regardless of content type (research, review or opinion) and, for research, regardless of whether a research project was reviewed and approved by appropriate ethics specialists, editors may raise with the authors concerns regarding potentially sexist, misogynistic, and/or anti-LGBTQ+ assumptions, implications or speech in their submission; engage external ethics experts to provide input on such issues as part of the peer review process; or request modifications to (or correct or otherwise amend post-publication), and in severe cases refuse publication of (or retract post-publication) sexist, misogynistic, and/or anti-LGBTQ+ content, using the guiding criteria I-IV in our guidance on Research on human populations.
Springer Nature Territorial Neutrality Policy
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. We do not take political positions and should not support political parties or endorse political candidates.
We achieve this by being politically neutral (which includes not donating to political parties or endorsing politically-driven boycotts) while respecting the editorial independence of the media in respect of our content. This means that while editorial content in Springer Nature publications might sometimes take a political position, it should not be seen as a reflection or otherwise of the company’s position. Editorial content is not influenced by the company and vice versa.
Research involving Palaeontological, Archeological or Geological Materials
Details of palaeontological specimens and geological samples should include clear provenance information to ensure full transparency of the research.
It is recognized that precise provenance information may not be available for older museum collections. In circumstances where providing specific provenance information may compromise the security of palaeontological or geological sites it may be appropriate to exclude detailed locality information.
Samples must always be collected and exported in a responsible manner and in accordance with applicable local and national laws. Any submission detailing new material should include information regarding the requisite permissions obtained and the issuing authority. Authors may be required to provide specific supporting documentation upon request.
Type, figured and cited palaeontological specimens should be deposited in a recognised museum or collection to permit free access by other researchers in perpetuity. Sufficient information on the repository, including the assigned unique catalogue numbers (where applicable), should be provided to allow the specimens to be traced.
We encourage deposition of 3-D scans of fossil specimens (where appropriate) within a permanent, accessible repository to facilitate study by the scientific community.
Springer Nature requires that submitted content adheres to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) normative instruments for the protection of cultural heritage and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Resolutions, Recommendations and other Decisions.
Making scientific datasets publicly available before associated manuscripts are submitted will not preclude consideration of the related publications by Springer Nature. Because an increasing number of research funding agencies require that their grant holders share the 'raw data' research outputs, such data sharing is encouraged by Springer Nature, provided appropriate safeguards are in place to protect personal or sensitive information.
All authors are requested to make sure that all data and materials as well as software or code support their published claims and comply with field standards.
Springer Nature reserves the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with these editorial policies. The author or editor will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the criteria.