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Springer Nature unveils alternative OA route.

All authors submitting to Nature and the Nature research journals have had the option to publish open access since the start of the year.

Springer Nature had previously announced that German authors would be able to publish their primary research open access in Nature and the Nature research journals, thanks to a ground-breaking agreement with the Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL). While highly effective in transitioning articles to open access, transformative agreements like this can be complicated and take time to put in place. So Springer Nature announced late last year that all authors seeking to publish OA in Nature and the Nature research journals will no longer have to wait.

It mean authors will be able to publish Gold OA when submitting to Nature and the 32 Nature primary research journals and will be afforded the same APC as MPDL, which is [euro]9,500. As such, these are the first highly-selective journals to offer their authors an immediate OA publishing option in this way. Research published in Nature and the Nature research journals is, the company says, downloaded by institutional users more than 30 times more than papers in a typical journal. Springer Nature says dedicated in-house teams promote the research articles widely, achieving around 10,000 mentions in policy documents, generating over 100,000 news stories around the world and attracting more than three million mentions on Twitter during 2020.

This OA option is positive news also for Plan S-funded authors, as it means Springer Nature has delivered on its commitment to enable gold OA publishing in all its owned journals by January. Springer Nature also began an OA pilot in January. It initially covers six journals and offers authors the chance to publish in one of a number of Nature portfolio journals, while only submitting once, reducing time and uncertainty and increasing efficiency for all. Authors willing to opt-in to the pilot pay an editorial assessment charge and have their manuscript guided through the submission process by a Nature research editor who offers extensive feedback, including external peer review, in the form of an editorial assessment report.

If authors then publish in one of the participating journals, they pay a top-up fee, which for a Nature research journal means a reduced total APC of around [euro]5,000. Authors that opt out when they receive the editorial assessment report or are not accepted for publication, can use their report to help them get published in another journal.

Authors will still be able to choose to publish their work via the existing traditional route, where authors can publish without paying an APC and their primary research is available to institutions and individuals who subscribe to the journal. Articles that the Nature journalists and editors create and commission, such as highly-valued news and views articles, which provide readers with an expert summary of scientific advances as reported in recently published papers, will continue to be available to institutions and individuals who subscribe to the journal.

Alison Mitchell, chief journals officer, said: At Springer Nature we have been committed to driving the transition to OA for 20 years. This is why, using our experience, we have been able to come up with a range of options to enable authors to publish OA in our highly selective titles. While transformative agreements are the biggest driver of OA transition and largely avoid the need for significant additional funding from authors themselves, these take time for institutions to put in place and are not suitable for all organisations. I am delighted that we are now able to open up this opportunity to all authors and also to experiment with brand new ways of helping our authors succeed via the guided-OA pilot.

'In addition, and in recognition of our shared goal of gold OA, we have submitted these titles, along with all the other journals we own and the vast majority of journals we publish on behalf of partners, to cOAIition S for registration as transformative journals and inclusion in the Journal Tracker Tool. With a clear OA option in place for the Nature portfolio, this should ensure cOAIition S-funded authors can be made aware of all Springer Nature's gold OA options.'
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Publication:Research Information
Date:Feb 1, 2021
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