Open Access: Springer Tightens Rules On Self-Archiving

Richard Poynder | Open and Shut? | June 25, 2013

Last month Danny Kingsley — Executive Officer of the Australian Open Access Support Group (AOASG) — highlighted a number of publishers that have recently changed their self-archiving (Green OA) policies.

Amongst those named by Kingsley was Springer — the world’s second-largest journal publisher — which changed its self-archiving policy earlier this year.

While Springer had previously insisted that where a funder required papers to be deposited in a central repository like PubMed Central this could only be done after a 12-month embargo, it allowed authors to post their papers in institutional repositories immediately. Under the new policy, however, the 12-month embargo has been extended to cover papers posted in institutional repositories as well. (Although authors can still post copies of their accepted manuscripts on their personal web sites without embargo).

Kingsley concluded that the change was likely a response to the new UK OA policy introduced by Research Councils UK (RCUK) on April 1st.  Elsewhere, OA advocate Stevan Harnad has described the change as “Springer Silliness”, and a Springer author has expressed “confusion” over what the policy actually means.