News, Issue 13 March 2013

Assisting those in need – Springer’s work with charitable organizations

In addition to our work with authors, libraries and society and publishing partners around the world, Springer also supports a number of charities and research programs, either through financial aid or by providing low cost access to our journals and books. In this article, we explain more about some of the initiatives we work with.


One of the key programs we support is Research4Life, an initiative set up by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan to improve access to research in developing countries. Working under the premise that research in health, agriculture and environment is of the highest quality when based on the most recent information available, Research4Life ensures that access to scientific knowledge is available for developing countries. This is made possible via four separate partnerships, which include:

  • HINARI (Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative) which provides access to more than 8,500 journals and 7,000 e-books covering biomedical and related social sciences;
  • AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture), of which Springer is a founding partner, which aims to improve food security by increasing the quality and effectiveness of agricultural research, education and training in developing countries;
  • OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment) which supports the understanding of the natural environment; and
  • ARDI (Access to Research for Development and Innovation) which provides access to information particularly relevant for patent-issuing authorities.

Libraries can either receive free access to content or pay a very small fee, depending on their income classification as determined by the World Bank.


The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications’ (INASP) was set up in 1992 by the International Council for Science. Similar in scope to Research4Life, INASP aims to improve access, production and use of research information and knowledge. The program is supported by financial contributions from its partner countries as well as the support of global publishers and other organizations that provide access to content and services at minimal cost. Working with INASP country coordinators, publishers can facilitate access to content for libraries eligible for support under the scheme.

Door Step School

Door Step School provides education and support to underprivileged families in Pune and Mumbai. Its School on Wheels initiative provides buses, kitted out as mobile classrooms, which travel to the poorer parts of Pune and Mumbai, offering basic education and reading skills.

Springer’s involvement with Door Step School began in 2007 when the organization became a partner for the volunteering segment of Springer’s Cross-Cultural Internship Program. Since then, Springer has embarked on a 3-year sponsorship to pay for the running costs and activities associated with a School on Wheels bus. In 2011, we were especially pleased to have the opportunity to donate a new bus to the scheme in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Cross-Cultural Internship Program. The donation increased the fleet of buses to 6, meaning even more people can learn the basis skills required to improve their quality of life.

Springer Hilfsfonds awards grants

In addition to our participation in the programs outlined above, Springer provides financial aid through its Hilfsfonds awards grants. This aid is available to victims of extreme tragedies who are unable to receive support from their country’s social welfare systems.

The scheme has provided much-needed support not only to Springer employees and their families, but also other individuals who have been recommended to apply to the scheme for consideration.
We were particularly pleased to be able to award grants to three high school students from the Fukushima and Iwate districts of Japan which were devastated in the tsunami. Tentatsu Cho, Ayumi Juodate and Ayaka Matsuno were awarded 15,000 EUR each following their successful applications, which included submitting a 3-page essay outlining their specific area of scientific interest. Upon receiving the awards, the students commented how they can now fulfill their dreams of studying and working in the fields of cell research, cancer research/pharmacology and gynecology/obstetrics. In the future, they may well become Springer authors themselves!

To find out more about these initiatives and others that Springer is involved with, please visit