Open Access & Self Archiving
Open Access & Self Archiving
Open access refers to free, unrestricted online access to research outputs such as journal articles and books. Open access content is open to all, with no access fees.
There are two main routes to making your research openly accessible:
- Publishing your article fully open access, often referred to as gold open access, via the open access route on a publisher’s platform. Gold open access makes the final version of an article freely and permanently accessible for everyone, immediately after publication. Copyright for the article is retained by the authors and most of the permission barriers are removed. Authors are required to pay an article processing charge (APC) to facilitate open access publication.
- Publishing your article via the traditional subscription route but archiving a version of the manuscript in an open acces repository, making it freely accessible for everyone after a set embargo period - often described as green open access. Unlike gold open access the version deposited must be the author accepted version (prior to copyediting and typesetting) rather than the final published pdf. The copyright for these articles remains with the publisher of, or the society affiliated with, the title and there are restrictions as to how the work can be reused.
Open access licensing
Open access (OA) articles in Springer Nature journals are published under Creative Commons licences. These provide an industry-standard framework to support easy re-use of open access material. Our preferred licence is the Creative Commons Attribution v4.0 International licence (CC BY), which is the most open licence available and considered the industry 'gold standard' for open access; it is also preferred by many funders. This licence allows readers to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to alter, transform, or build upon the material, including for commercial use, providing the original author is credited.
All Springer Nature journals with an open access option offer intergovernmental organisation (IGO) versions of Creative Commons licences on request, where required by the author’s employer.
The corresponding author will be prompted to choose Open Access or Standard publication and complete the relevant forms via the Springer Nature online signing portal following acceptance.
Open Access Publication
If authors opt to publish via the open access route then the corresponding author must complete an open access License to Publish (LTP) form on behalf of all authors, and will be contacted to arrange payment of the associated Article Processing Charge (APC).
Please note this process must be completed prior to publication and failure to do so will result in delay of publication.
Government employees from the United States, Canada and the UK who wish to publish open access are required to complete the open access form relevant to them.
The cost for open access publication in Spinal Cord is £2,490/ $3,760/ €2,990 (VAT or local taxes will be added where applicable).
Please note with regards to payment that usual credit terms are 30 days from receipt of invoice. Failure to pay your invoice within the stated credit term may result in the open access status of the paper being rescinded, with the paper being placed behind the paywall. You may also be subject to such penalties as restrictions on your ability to publish with Springer Nature in the future, involvement of a third party debt collection agency and legal proceedings.
If authors opt to publish via the standard subscription publication route then the corresponding author must complete the standard Licence to Publish form when prompted.
Government employees from the United States, Canada and the UK are required to sign and submit the license to publish form relevant to them.
Waiver of institutional open access policies
Please note that Harvard University FAS, MIT, Princeton, UCSF, University of Hawaii at Manoa, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Georgia Institute of Technology have enacted Open Access policies that conflict with our own policy for articles published via the subscription route. If any corresponding or contributing authors are from these institutions, you will need to provide a waiver from the institution of every affected author, which can be obtained from the institution. This waiver should be submitted at the same time as the Licence to Publish form. This requirement does not apply to articles published via the open access route.
Retrospective open access
Authors who initially opted to publish their paper under the subscription model in a hybrid journal may be able to retrospectively pay an article processing charge (APC) to make their paper open access. To request retrospective open access for an article that has already been published, please contact the Open Research Support Team at ORSupport@springernature.com with your Article’s title, DOI and Journal name.
Self-archiving, manuscript deposition, and digital preservation
Self-archiving of papers published open access
Authors publishing via the open access route are encouraged to deposit the final published PDF in their institutional repository or any suitable subject repository on publication.
Authors should provide a link from the deposited version 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 the journal’s website clearly identified as the definitive version of record.
Authors are advised to check their funders' deposition requirements to ensure compliance. Read our policy compliance FAQs to learn about how authors can ensure they meet funder self-archiving requirements.
Self-archiving of papers published via the subscription route
Where articles are published via the subscription route, Springer Nature encourages authors to archive the author accepted version of their articles on their own personal website and/or in their funder’s or institution’s repository, for public release after an embargo period of six months after first publication. Where journals publish online in advance of print, the online publication date counts as the publication date.
Publisher deposition of papers published open access
Springer Nature automatically deposits open access articles in PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (EPMC) on publication, if the article meets the PMC deposition guidelines.
Please note that there may be an interval of a few weeks between publication and the appearance of an article in PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central, depending on the time required for PubMed Central to process the deposit and for PMC articles to be mirrored to Europe PubMed Central. Where a journal publishes content online ahead of publication in a print issue (known as advanced online publication, or AOP), open access articles will be deposited to PubMed Central at the point of issue publication, as PubMed Central requires that articles are deposited in their final format.
Authors are advised to check their funders' deposition requirements to ensure compliance. Read our policy compliance FAQs to learn about how authors can ensure they meet all their funders’ self-archiving requirements. If you believe your open access article is eligible to be deposited to PubMed Central but has not been, please contact us, or you can submit an open access article directly to PubMed Central or Europe PubMed Central through their submission systems: PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central.
Publisher deposition of papers published via the subscription route
To facilitate self-archiving of original research papers and help authors fulfil funder and institutional mandates when authors do not choose to publish via the gold open access route, this journal offers a Manuscript Deposition Service. The journal will deposit manuscripts in PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central on behalf of authors who opt-in to this free service during submission. Only authors whose funders are listed in the number of participating funders on our website may use this service. 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.
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. Any further use is subject to permission from Springer Nature. 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).
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.
Springer Nature ensures that publications are preserved and available for future scholars, researchers, and students. Find out more about archiving agreements with Digital Preservation organisations here.
Availability of research data
Springer Nature helps authors make their research data as open as possible by supporting practices for sharing and archiving data. Find out more about our policies and services here.