FAQ about authors' rights

The open access landscape is maturing, and Springer’s goal is to provide full support for both the “Gold” and “Green” open access routes in a simple and consistent way.

The FAQ answers all your questions on Springer’s self-archiving policy and on special copyright requirements e.g. from US government or The Crown employees.

Which version can be archived?

Authors may deposit their accepted manuscript version, including changes made to the submitted paper as a result of peer review. Authors are not allowed to use the final published version, including full digital functionality, for self-archiving.

Why am I asked to transfer my copyright to Springer?

Like many other scientific publishers Springer requires authors to transfer the copyright prior to publication. This permits Springer to reproduce, publish, distribute and archive the article in print and electronic form and to defend against improper use of the article. By signing the Copyright Transfer Statement you still retain substantial rights, such as self-archiving.

My employing institution belongs to the US government or The Crown. What should I do?

If you are employed by the US government or The Crown, you will be able to request to not transfer copyright in the MyPublication stage. Once you specify the name of your employer, you don’t have to sign the copyright transfer statement.

I don’t want to transfer my copyright. What should I do?

You can choose to publish your article open access in Springer’s Open Choice program or one of our SpringerOpen journals. Publishing an article with open access leaves the copyright with the author. The article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY), which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited.

My institution/funder mandates researchers to make research open access via a repository within six months of publication. Can I comply with it when publishing in Springer journals?

Yes – almost all Springer subscription journals offer a Gold open access option, which is fully compatible with such funder mandates and allows the official published version of the article to be archived and distributed with no embargo. Springer also publishes well over 400 open access journals.

What embargo period applies to self-archiving in scientific networks?

All services offering organized central archiving are considered repositories, and are subject to a twelve months embargo period, including scientific networks such as ResearchGate and Mendeley.

Does Springer's self-archiving policy also apply to books?

No. Book publishing is a different business model, and this policy does not apply to books.

I am RCUK funded and I don’t have OA publishing funds available. Am I able to comply with the RCUK policy when publishing in a subscription springer journal? // Is springer RCUK compliant?

Yes. The RCUK requirement for a maximum six months embargo period is only applicable if the journal in question does not offer a Gold open access publishing option. If a lack of funds prevents the use of the Gold publication route, longer embargo periods (12 months in the sciences and 24 months in the humanities and social sciences) are indicated to be acceptable under the RCUK policy guidance. Please use the link below for more information on Springer’s suitable offerings for RCUK authors.

My research is funded by NIH. How do I comply with the NIH public access policy?

Please use the link below for more information on Springer’s suitable offerings for NIH authors.

My research is funded by the Wellcome Trust. How do I comply with the funder’s policy?

Please use the link below for more information on Springer’s suitable offerings for Wellcome Trust authors.

What open access offering does Springer have?

Springer started offering an open access option for the majority of its subscription-based journal portfolio – the hybrid OA model, Open Choice – in 2004.Since then, the publishing group has refined and extended this publication model. In 2008, Springer acquired BioMed Central, making it the world’s largest open access publisher. BioMed Central publishes over 260 journals.In 2010 Springer launched SpringerOpen, a new open access portfolio that now includes more than 160 open access journals covering all areas of science, technology and medicine (STM) as well as the humanities and social sciences (HSS). In January 2012, the SpringerOpen journal portfolio was joined by SpringerPlus, an interdisciplinary open access journal publishing research in all disciplines.In August 2012, Springer expanded its open access program to SpringerOpen books as an addition to its already-established open access journal portfolio.