FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Open Access Hybrid Model - FAQs for Authors

What is the hybrid model?

The hybrid model is a mixed revenue model of subscription charges and publication fees. It offers authors of accepted research papers the choice to pay an article processing charge (APC) in order for their article to be made open access immediately upon publication.

What are authors paying for?

As costs are involved in every stage of the publication process, from peer-review, to copy-editing and hosting the final article on dedicated servers, the author is asked to pay an article processing charge. This charge differs from journal to journal based on a journal's rejection rate, aims and scope and volume of content.

Please note the APC is levied in order for an author to have their article published online without access control. By paying the APC, authors will also be permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a web site, institutional repository or other free public server, immediately on publication.

Will there be additional charges, especially if an article contains colour images?

There will be no additional charges to authors who choose to make their article open access.

What article types are included in the open access initiative?

The fee will apply to primary research papers only.

How will readers know which articles are available open access?

Open access articles will be clearly marked with the icon Open on the article itself and after the article title on the Table of Contents page, both in print and online.

When will authors be given the choice to pay for open access?

Upon submission authors have the option of ticking a check box to indicate their intention to pay the APC to make their paper open access.

Upon acceptance of their article for publication, authors will need to confirm with the editorial office if they have changed their mind and do not wish to take this option within 48 hours.

If they do wish to take the OA option, then authors must proceed to complete a payment form, a link to which will be provided in the acceptance letter (this can also be downloaded from the individual journal's online instructions to authors).

The license to publish form and the payment form must be sent in at the same time upon acceptance for the article to be processed correctly as an open access paper.

The APC will be collected by the publisher, Springer Nature, and payment can be made either via a credit card or by requesting an invoice to be raised.

What if I want my institution to pay on my behalf?

As indicated on the payment form, authors can request an invoice to be sent to their institution.

What time period do I have within which to make the payment?

Payment is due within 30 days of receipt of original invoice. Invoices will be chased periodically and a final notice will be issued at 90 days after which the article will be placed under access control, losing its open access status and the debt will be passed to a debt collection agency.

In the case of articles in journals Springer Nature publishes on behalf of society partners, the Society and journals Editors will be notified of non-payment and will make a decision on what penalty to levy on the author.

How will you ensure that the payment of publication charges by authors has no influence on whether an article is accepted for publication in a particular journal?

All articles are treated in the same way. They go through the journal's rigorous process of editorial consideration and peer review, thereby ensuring that the high standards the community has come to expect from the journal are maintained.

Open access papers and subscribed to papers look exactly the same to reviewers and journal editors and so they will be blind to the author's choice, avoiding any possibility of a conflict of interest during peer review and acceptance.

Who retains copyright of the open access articles and what license is it published under?

All authors retain the copyright to their article. Authors can choose to publish their open access content under one of two creative commons licenses; the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License or the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 4.0 International License.

The Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License allows readers to disseminate and reuse the article, and so will enable the sharing and reuse of scientific material. It does not however permit commercial exploitation or the creation of derivative works without specific permission. To view a copy of this license visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode.

The Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 4.0 International License allows readers to alter, transform, or build upon the article and then distribute the resulting work under the same or similar license. The work must be attributed back to the original author and commercial use is not permitted. To view a copy of this license visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/legalcode. Alternative Creative Commons licence options are available on request, where required by the authors' research funder(s). For further information about the CC licence requirements of major funding bodies including RCUK and the Wellcome Trust, please see here.

Other articles will continue to be published under Springer Nature's exclusive license to publish, where Springer Nature's usual self-archiving policy will apply.

All authors are required to complete a license to publish form before publication - this form can be downloaded from the journal's instructions to authors.

If I publish in an Springer Nature journal does this make me compliant with my funding body requirements?

NPG's publishing policies ensure that authors can fully comply with the public access requirements of major funding bodies worldwide - please visit www.sherpa.ac.uk for more information. However, it is the author's responsibility to take the necessary actions to achieve compliance. These may include self archiving, opting into Springer Nature's manuscript deposition service and/or choosing open access publication.

What if I wish to make my paper open access but do not have funding?

Visit NPG's open access funding page for information about research funders and institutions that provide funding for open access.

NPG also offers and APC support service to make it easier for Springer Nature authors to discover and apply for open access funding. For advice on what funding is available to you and help in approaching funders and institutions, please contact us at openaccess@nature.com.

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