Springer Nature to expand content-sharing partnership with ResearchGate

Springer Nature to expand content-sharing partnership with ResearchGate

Articles from all Springer Nature-owned journals will now be syndicated to academic-networking site ResearchGate, following "positive" feedback from the pilot phases begun last year, the publisher has announced.

The partnership will enable entitled users to download and read version-of-record articles published in Springer journals from the past five years, and all Nature-branded research journals from the past three years, on ResearchGate. Non-entitled users will be able to access an enhanced abstract of the article on ResearchGate, including metadata, abstracts, figures and captions and the full first page.

Steven Inchcoombe, chief publishing and solutions officer at Springer Nature, said: “This partnership is a wonderful example of how we can provide content directly to researchers on the platforms that they use for collaboration and networking, therefore improving the discoverability and visibility of our authors’ work. We are pleased that we can build on the success of the pilot phases, which showed numerous benefits to librarians, researchers and authors. By bringing together two organisations with differing areas of expertise but similar goals, we strongly believe that we can support a seamless experience so that researchers can access the articles they need while maximising engagement with their peers.”

A white paper, Researchers at the Centre, released today (9th September), found the partnership offered improved discoverability for articles, and increased usage, with downloads up between 0.6% and 19.5% across different journal titles. Author feedback was 90% positive, the paper found.

Sören Hofmayer, ResearchGate co-founder and chief strategy officer, said: “Springer Nature and ResearchGate entered this collaborative content syndication pilot with the aim of better supporting the researchers we serve. We have learned a lot and we're excited to share the outcomes of this work through the white paper we are jointly releasing today. We hope it will encourage other actors in the scholarly communication ecosystem to join us to keep innovating to better support researchers, together.”

ResearchGate has previously run into trouble from publishers including Elsevier, Wiley, Wolters Kluwer, The American Chemical Society and Brill which issued takedown notices, claiming it was sharing up to seven million copyrighted articles without permission. A number of journal publishers also launched legal proceedings against the site. But Springer Nature and ResearchGate reached agreement, along with CUP and Thieme, on sharing articles in April 2018 in a way that would offer protection to author and publisher rights.