Springer Nature’s free content-sharing initiative SharedIt has racked up over 3.25m shares in its first full year, the publisher has revealed.
SharedIt, launched in October 2016 following an extensive earlier pilot period, provides authors and subscribers with links to free-to-read articles in 2,700 journals including all the Springer Nature-owned portfolio and more than 1,000 co-owned and partner owned journals. The links can be posted anywhere, including social media platforms, repositories and scholarly collaboration networks. Certain media outlets - including the BBC, the Economist and the New York Times - are also given free rein to use the links for their readers.
The data showed that the majority of links used to access articles were those shared by subscribers to Springer Nature journals (1.24 million). Over a third of those accessing the links were from the US, followed by the UK and Germany. In total, readers came from 200 markets and almost 29,000 institutions.
The single most accessed paper via SharedIt links was one on artificial intelligence, “Hybrid computing using a neural network with dynamic external memory”, published in Nature, accessed 43,869 times. The second most-accessed was also an AI paper published by Nature, “Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge”, with 42,286 clicks. Six of the top 10 most-accessed papers were published in Nature, with the others published in Nature Medicine, Nature Genetics and Nature Geoscience.
The breakdown of clicks was: Nature Research subscriber shares – 955,519; Nature Research author shares – 297,021; Nature Research media shares – 883,849; Springer author shares – 853,807; Springer subscriber shares – 284,583; and clicks from Springer media shares – 1,346.
Springer Nature chief publishing officer Steven Inchcoombe said: “For too long ‘sharing’ has been a difficult word in academic publishing. We believe we work at the behest of our authors and subscribers, and as the ability to share their work and collaborate around new research is critical to them, it needs to be critical to us as well. Our investment in SharedIt is testament to this. I am delighted therefore to see SharedIt embraced so strongly by our authors and our readers, and both across the globe and our portfolio. We are sharing these data now as part of a wider programme to encourage others to apply similar sharing approaches.”
He added: “We are excited by the potential these numbers suggest and are keen to explore adding more of the journals of our society partners to the initiative to enable even greater sharing of the research that we publish."
In another content-sharing development, Springer Nature recently announced plans to co-operate with scholarly collaboration network Researchgate, saying the two had been “in serious discussions for some time about finding solutions to sharing scientific journal articles online, while at the same time protecting intellectual property rights" and were "cautiously optimistic" of finding a solution.
However it also recently emerged that 1,000 Springer Nature articles containing politically sensitive material have been blocked in China.
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