Tuesday 5 September 2017

Spotlight on Springer Nature SharedIt - shortlisted for the 2017 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

In this blog we talk to Sarah Greaves of Springer Nature about their shortlisted entry to tell us the story behind SharedIt.

Tell us a bit about your company

Springer Nature was formed through the merger of Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Springer Science+Business Media in 2015. It is a leading global research, educational and professional publisher, home to an array of respected and trusted brands providing quality content through a range of innovative products and services. The company numbers almost 13,000 staff in over 50 countries.

Our brands are some of the most trusted and respected in their fields, with Springer founded by Julius Springer in 1842, Nature first published in 1869 and Macmillan Education a leading publisher for over 150 years.

What is the project that you submitted for the Awards?

The project Springer Nature submitted to the Awards is SharedIt. SharedIt is a content-sharing initiative that provides links to view-only, full-text subscription research articles which can be posted anywhere - including on social media platforms, author websites and in institutional repositories – allowing researchers to share research, legally and freely, with colleagues and general audiences.

Tell us more about how it works and the team behind it

SharedIt uses technology provided by ReadCube, part of DigitalScience, to create a readable PDF version of the published paper – but one that cannot be downloaded – and creates a unique ‘SharedIt’ link which authors, and subscribers, can then forward on to other researchers.

Why do you think it demonstrates publishing innovation?

SharedIt is the first initiative by a global STM publisher to encourage authors to promote and use a free sharing facility – meaning anyone can access the published version of record if they have the SharedIt link. By not limiting the amount of times a paper can be shared this increases access to the published literature across the globe and through our own analysis we see many students and post-docs taking advantage of this sharing facility. Authors are also encouraged to share their links on social networking sites knowing that the research community will always have access to the final published version of record.

What are you plans for the future?

We plan to continue developing SharedIt and are currently trialling the use of sharing for books and book chapters. We are also looking into the use of SharedIt for our peer reviewer community. We are keen to listen to the community and expand SharedIt based on their needs and expectations around content sharing.

Sarah Greaves, PhD, is an experienced science publisher at the cutting edge of innovation and product development - having led successful journal launches and numerous other profitable projects in both traditional and new business models. During 18 years at Nature Publishing Group and now Springer Nature, Sarah has moved from being an editor at Nature Cell Biology, to the Nature publishing team; becoming the Nature publisher in 2007.

Since 2010 Sarah has focussed exclusively on innovation and new product launches and drove the launch of open access titles across Nature Publishing Group and has recently launched Recommended, a primary paper pan-publisher recommendation service across the Springer Nature platforms as well as helping to lead the SharedIt initiative.


See the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing Finalists lightning sessions at our Annual Conference on 13-15 September, where the winners will be announced. 

The ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing 2017 are sponsored by MPS Ltd.

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