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Open Access - Open Access Track Record | Springer's Open Access Track Record

Springer's Open Access Track Record

Springer has been active in open access for many years. We have summarized Springer's history of open access activities below.

Over the past several years, and within a more general debate on whether information should be universally accessible in the internet age, the scientific community, including librarians, researchers, authors, educators and publishers have been discussing, sometimes heatedly, whether the traditional subscription model for scientific journals is the best way forward.
The most strident proponents of the open access model have styled themselves as a movement and demand that information should be “free”; more moderate representatives just argue that it should be “free of charge to the reader.” Open access opponents allege that only the subscription model, i.e., where readers or the institutions they belong to pay for content, can guarantee the integrity of scientific literature.

Introducing Springer Open Choice – 2004 

At the beginning of 2004, at the height of the debate on open access and STM publishing, Springer began looking into a system that would accommodate those that wished to publish using an open access model. The premise was that, as long as the added value of services provided by publishers was acknowledged and the accompanying costs were covered, Springer was happy to provide the research community the opportunity to do so.
In the spirit of experimentation that is part of Springer’s corporate culture, and while the debate raged on, Springer Open Choice was launched during the summer of 2004.
This publishing option gives authors the choice of publishing model after their article has been through the peer review process. The author or his/her institution has the choice of paying a publishing fee of USD 3000 and publishing open access, or not paying and publishing with the traditional subscription model.
Our key message is: Springer Open Choice provides the scientific community the possibility of using and testing open access publishing.

Pioneering Institutional Experiments – 2007 

In June 2007, UKB (the consortium of Dutch university libraries and the National Library of the Netherlands) and Springer signed a declaration of intent for a pilot project to study the economic effects of open access publishing – the first ever by a large STM publisher and a consortium of libraries in this area.
In September 2007 the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) expressed its support for Springer Open Choice as a publishing option for its grantees.
Similar projects were agreed upon with the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, The California Digital Library on behalf of the ten campuses of the University of California, and others.

Reacting to the NIH Debate – 2007/2008 

In the autumn of 2007, the debate in the United States on the National Institute of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy became so intense that, in September 2007, Springer issued a statement clarifying its position. In April 2008, Springer made a change to the language in its Copyright Transfer Statement, allowing authors to fully comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Becoming the largest open access publisher – October 2008 

In October 2008, Springer acquired BioMed Central, the leading global open access publisher. This acquisition makes Springer Science+Business Media the world's largest open access publisher.

Being more involved than ever: SOAP/PEER – 2009 

Since March 2009 Springer has been involved in the Study of Open Access Publishing (SOAP), a project funded by the European Commission. This extensive study involves other partners from libraries (the Max Planck Digital Library), funding agencies, research institutes (CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research ) and publishers (BioMed Central and Sage Publications) and runs until February 2011. Springer is further involved in the PEER Project, a collaboration between publishers, repositories and researchers.

Launching SpringerOpen: Open Access Journals In All Areas of Science – June 2010 

In June 2010 Springer launched SpringerOpen, a new suite of open access journals which will cover all disciplines. SpringerOpen journals are fully and immediately open access and will publish articles under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Permitting commercial use for our Open Choice program – 2012 

Springer brought its hybrid open access option Open Choice into line with the fully open access journals published by SpringerOpen and BioMed Central. As a result, all open access content at Springer is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license from January 16, 2012 onwards. The CC BY license permits commercial and non-commercial re-use of an open access article as long as the author is attributed.

Reacting to the US Research Works Act (RWA) – 2012 

The US Research Works Act (RWA) was introduced in the United States House of Representatives in December 2011. If passed, the bill would effectively revert the NIH's Public Access Policy introduced by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2005, a policy that requires all NIH-funded research to be made freely accessible online within 12 months. The RWA would be a huge setback for the open access movement as it also contains provision to prohibit open access mandates for federally funded research.
Following the discussion within the community, Springer published a statement on the RWA.