Self archiving and license to publish

Publishing licences and compliance with open access mandates.

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Nature Research author licence policy

This policy applies to all journals published by Nature Research, including Nature and the journals with "Nature" in their titles. Nature Research's policies are compatible with the vast majority of funders' open access and self-archiving policies.

Nature Research does not require authors of original (primary) research papers to assign the copyright of their published contributions. Authors grant Nature Research an exclusive licence to publish, in return for which they can reuse their papers in their future printed work without first requiring permission from the publisher of the journal.

For commissioned articles (for example, Reviews, News and Views), copyright is retained by Nature Research.

General information about licencing policies and re-use can be found at the reprint and permission website.

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Creative commons licences

Nature Research open access and hybrid journals

All open access articles published in Nature Research Journals are published under Creative Commons licenses. Please see the licence section on individual journal websites for more information, for example: Nature Communications and Scientific Reports.

For more information about open access licensing, please see "OA licensing and copyright" on our journal open access policies page on

Nature Research journals

At Nature Research, we occasionally publish specific types of papers in our subscription journals under a Creative Commons licence. These include: 

  • articles that are publishing the reference sequence of an organism's genomes (or in the case of microorganisms, finished or draft genomes of novel taxa for which no previous genome sequence was available). A Nature Editorial introducing this service can be read here.
  • articles describing reporting and experimental standards, consensus statements and white papers presenting the roadmap of large community initiatives (policy introduced in April 2011)
  • articles describing community experiments to compare the performance of software tools (policy introduced in November 2012)
  • under exceptional circumstances, articles addressing important public health needs 

The application of these licences is at the editor's discretion and for journals that do not have an open access option no article processing charge is applied. If you have questions about this type of content, please contact the journal's editor who will determine if the paper qualifies as part of one of these categories. 

The licence used for OA articles in Nature Research subscription journals is CC BY 4.0. Our policies are compatible with the vast majority of funders' open access and self-archiving policies. Please see here for exceptions.   

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Self-archiving policy

Nature Research's policies are compatible with the vast majority of funders' open access and self-archiving mandates.

More information is available on the SHERPA/ROMEO website. Nature Research actively supports the self-archiving process, and continually works with authors, readers, subscribers and site-license holders to develop its policy.


Nature Research journals encourage posting of preprints of primary research manuscripts on preprint servers, authors’ or institutional websites, and open communications between researchers whether on community preprint servers or preprint commenting platforms. Preprints are defined as an author’s version of a research manuscript prior to formal peer review at a journal, which is deposited on a public server (as described in Preprints for the life sciences. Science 352, 899–901; 2016); preprints may be posted at any time during the peer review process. Posting of preprints is not considered prior publication and will not jeopardize consideration at Nature Research journals. Manuscripts posted on preprint servers will not be taken into account when determining the advance provided by a study under consideration at a Nature Research journal.

Our policy on posting, licensing, citation of preprints and communications with the media about preprints of primary research manuscripts is summarized below.

Authors should disclose details of preprint posting, including DOI and licensing terms, upon submission of the manuscript or at any other point during consideration at a Nature Research journal. Once the preprint is published, it is the author’s responsibility to ensure that the preprint record is updated with a publication reference, including the DOI and a URL link to the published version of the article on the journal website.

Authors may choose any license of their choice for the preprint including Creative Commons licenses. The type of CC-license chosen will affect how the preprint may be shared and reused. More information to help guide licensing choices can be found in these resource documents developed by an ASAPbio licensing taskforce.

Preprints may be cited in the reference list of articles under consideration at Nature Research journals as shown below:

Babichev, S. A., Ries, J. & Lvovsky, A. I. Quantum scissors: teleportation of single-mode optical states by means of a nonlocal single photon. Preprint at (2002).

Authors posting preprints are asked to respect our policy on communications with the media. Researchers may respond to requests from the media in response to a preprint or conference presentation by providing explanation or clarification of the work, or information about its context. In these circumstances, media coverage will not hinder editorial handling of the submission. Researchers should be aware however that such coverage may reduce or pre-empt coverage by other media at the time of publication. We also advise that researchers approached by reporters in response to a preprint make it clear that the paper has not yet undergone peer review, that the findings are provisional and that the conclusions may change.

Information about our self-archiving policies and release of Author’s Accepted Manuscript may be found here.

Author's Accepted Manuscript

When a paper is accepted for publication in an Nature Research journal, authors are encouraged to submit the Author's Accepted Manuscript to PubMedCentral or other appropriate funding body's archive, for public release six months after first publication. In addition, authors are encouraged to archive this version of the manuscript in their institution's repositories and, if they wish, on their personal websites, also six months after the original publication. Authors should cite the publication reference and DOI number on the first page of any deposited version, and provide a link from it to the URL of the published article on the journal's website.

Where journals publish content online ahead of publication in a print issue (known as advanced online publication, or AOP), authors may make the archived version openly available six months after first online publication (AOP).

Please note that the Author's Accepted Manuscript may not be released under a Creative Commons license. For Nature Research's Terms of Reuse of archived manuscripts please see:

Open access content

For open access content published under a Creative Commons licence, the published version can be deposited immediately on publication, alongside a link to the URL of the published article on the journal's website.

In all cases, the requirement to link to the journal's website is designed to protect the integrity and authenticity of the scientific record, with the online published version on clearly identified as the definitive version of record.

Manuscript deposition service

To facilitate self-archiving of original research papers and help authors fulfil funder and institutional mandates, Nature Research deposits manuscripts in PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central on behalf of authors who opt-in to this free service during submission. (This service does not apply to Reviews or Protocols.) Only authors whose funders are listed in the number of participating funders on our website may use this service. 

More information on the Nature Research's Manuscript Deposition Service is available. To take advantage of this service, the corresponding author must opt-in during the manuscript submission process. Corresponding authors should be mindful of all co-authors’ self-archiving requirements.

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Springer Nature terms for use of archived author accepted manuscripts of subscription articles

For articles published within the Springer Nature group of companies that have been archived into academic repositories such as institutional repositories, PubMed Central and its mirror sites, where a Springer Nature company holds copyright, or an exclusive license to publish, users may view, print, copy, download and text and data-mine the content, for the purposes of academic research, subject always to the full conditions of use. Any further use is subject to permission from Springer Nature. The conditions of use are not intended to override, should any national law grant further rights to any user.

Conditions of use

Articles published within the Springer Nature group of companies which are made available through academic repositories remain subject to copyright. The following restrictions on use of such articles apply:

Academic research only
1. Archived content may only be used for academic research. Any content downloaded for text based experiments should be destroyed when the experiment is complete.

Use must not be for Commercial Purposes
2. Archived content may not be used for purposes that are intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or monetary compensation by means of sale, resale, licence, loan, transfer or any other form of commercial exploitation ("Commercial Purposes").

Wholesale re-publishing is prohibited
3. Archived content may not be published verbatim in whole or in part, whether or not this is done for Commercial Purposes, either in print or online.

4. This restriction does not apply to reproducing normal quotations with an appropriate citation. In the case of text-mining, individual words, concepts and quotes up to 100 words per matching sentence may be used, whereas longer paragraphs of text and images cannot (without specific permission from Springer Nature).

Moral rights
5. All use must be fully attributed. Attribution must take the form of a link—using the article DOI—to the published article on the journal's website.

6. All use must ensure that the authors' moral right to the integrity of their work is not compromised.

Third party content
7. Where content in the document is identified as belonging to a third party, it is the obligation of the user to ensure that any use complies with copyright policies of the owner.

Use at own risk
8. Any use of Springer Nature content is at your own risk and Springer Nature accepts no liability arising from such use.

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