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. 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.

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.

The APC price list can be accessed on the journal's Instructions to Authors Page (VAT or local taxes will be applied where applicable).

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

The optional open access charge is in addition to any standard publication charges, such as for colour images. These charges will therefore continue to apply.

What article types are included in the open access initiative?

Open access is available for all article types.

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 acceptance of an original research paper, authors can indicate to the editorial office staff that they wish to pay an article processing charge for their article to be published open access.

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 a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License, a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License, or for some selected titles a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please check individual journal's Instructions to Authors for a list of offered licenses.

Under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA), users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit) and remix (adapt) the contribution under the following conditions (read full legal code):

  • Attribution. Users must attribute the contribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they or their use of the contribution is endorsed by the author or licensor)
  • Noncommercial. Users may not use this work for commercial purposes.
  • Share Alike. If users alter, transform, or build upon this work, they may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

Under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND), users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit) the contribution under the following conditions (read full legal code):

  • Attribution. Users must attribute the contribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they or their use of the contribution is endorsed by the author or licensor).
  • Non-commercial. Users may not use this contribution for commercial purposes.
  • No derivative works. Users may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

Under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY), users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit) and remix (adapt) the contribution under the following conditions (read full legal code):

  • Attribution. Users must attribute the contribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they or their use of the contribution is endorsed by the author or licensor)

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 an 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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