(17 October 2016, London) Springer Nature has rolled out its free content sharing initiative, now named SharedIt, to all of the Springer Nature-owned portfolio and over one thousand additional co-owned and partner-owned journals. This now encompasses over 2,300 journals and enables authors and subscribers to post links to free-to-read versions of primary research articles anywhere, including social media platforms, repositories, websites, scholarly collaborative networks and via emails. It follows a successful trial and roll out of the initiative for research articles in Nature-branded journals which has resulted in over 2.2 million additional article views since its launch in December 2014.
“As the first publisher to trial free sharing of subscription journal articles back in December 2014 via a new service now named SharedIt, we were confident that our initiative would be a useful service to our authors and subscribers, which was why we took the bold step to trial it. Uptake of the service and the positive feedback we have received since then clearly demonstrate that there is a need – and a real appetite – for a simple, quick and legitimate way to share research in the academic community. This led us to the decision to invest in extending SharedIt across the entire portfolio, in combination with our partners at ReadCube,” said Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing Officer at Springer Nature. “We believe that SharedIt is particularly beneficial because, unlike when PDFs or paper versions of research are circulated, the SharedIt links ensure that the most up to date, online version of the article is accessed, as well as providing valuable information to librarians, our authors and the wider community about how content is being utilised.”
Springer Nature is committed to enabling new research findings to be read by those that support and enable research, those that help findings to be applied for the benefit of all, and the interested wider public. In addition to enabling content sharing by authors and subscribers, SharedIt also facilitates the sharing of research to these wider communities by enabling over 200 key media outlets and blogs to link to free-to-read versions of research articles. This media list has been significantly expanded to coincide with the expansion of the initiative across the Springer Nature portfolio. Many on this media list are aimed at the public, including the BBC, The Economist, WIRED and The New York Times, and the list also includes many leading science bloggers. Springer Nature is now extending this feature to the non-profit program PatientINFORM, to allow visitors to the websites of the participating patient advocacy organisations, such as the American Cancer Society and National Breast Cancer Coalition, to click through to free-to-read versions of relevant research articles.
This expansion of content sharing services follows the success of a 15-month content sharing trial conducted via nature.com, launched in December 2014 and covering approximately 50 journals and 6,000 articles. The results of the first twelve months were released in December 2015. Last year Springer Nature also successfully participated in creating and endorsing the STM industry content sharing initiative.
“As a progressive and trusted publisher, we’re constantly searching for ways to support the progress of research and make it easier for researchers to collaborate and for those in the wider world to read and understand new research findings,” added Inchcoombe. “We’re delighted to announce the delivery of SharedIt across our entire portfolio and to see increasing interest in the concept from the publishing industry as a whole. In addition to content sharing, we’re committed to Open Access and are now the world’s largest publisher of open access content.”
The technology that enables the SharedIt functionality is provided by ReadCube, whose industry-leading functionality enables sharers to make final published versions of research papers available in the streaming Enhanced PDF format. In addition to the full text of the articles, the Enhanced PDF provides hyperlinked in-line citations and figures, annotation capabilities, one-click access to supplemental content and figures and advanced article metrics.