Nature publisher to continue free papersharing service

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Country Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe According to a report released today by the publisher, links to read-only articles were shared 815,000 times over the 12-month trial. “The total numbers were modest, which was not a huge surprise to us given that as a trial, we let it run with no marketing support to see what natural usage would be,” says Lisa Hulme, a spokesperson for Digital Science, the London-based company that provides the ReadCube technology and ran the trial.Not surprisingly, the media drove most of the traffic through ReadCube, compared with subscribers. The biggest single paper by far was this year’s Nature paper describing a powerful new antibiotic. And, in general, Science’s news site was one of the top five referrers to Nature’s content.Did the read-only access cut down on dark sharing? “The volume of dark sharing is really unknown to us,” Hulme says. “We wish we knew!” But ReadCube had no impact on profits, according to a press release: “The trial had no adverse implications for subscription-based journals either in terms of institutional business or individual article sales.” So read-only ReadCube access is now permanent for the Nature journals.Nature’s publisher is now known as Springer Nature after a corporate megamerger in January. Will the read-only access be extended to the hundreds of Springer journals? “No decision yet has been made,” says Rachel Scheer of Springer Nature public relations. “One of our aims of the trial was to collect data and information about how researchers are reading and sharing our content. We’re looking at the results now.”ReadCube may be a win in the short-term for researchers, but some insiders see it as part of a darker trend. “Digital Sciences is looking at a model where the local control of content-based services is moved out onto the Internet in a consolidated manner,” says Joe Esposito, a publishing industry management consultant in New York City. “This means that libraries, with their attempts to create such things as institutional repositories or data archives, not to mention open-access publishing platforms, are now competing with commercial interests. … From a publisher’s perspective, the strategy is to reduce libraries to a checkbook. Digital Science is a shrewd investment strategy designed to take advantage of that emergent trend.”center_img In December 2014, the publisher of Nature and its 48 sister journals launched a 1-year experiment: an online tool called ReadCube that allowed subscribers to share a read-only version of the subscription journal content with anyone, for free. One year later, the results are in. Although the publisher says use of the new sharing option was only “modest,” the free ReadCube option is here to stay.One of the motivations of providing free read-only links to articles was to cut down on “dark sharing,” in which researchers share PDF versions of journal articles by email or cloud services like Dropbox. Some publishers frown on such sharing. It is impossible to track, injecting more uncertainty into their usage statistics. And it may be cutting into their profits by relieving pressure on readers who do not pay for access.The trial had some strings attached. For example, whereas individual subscribers could freely share links to papers, only 100 news sites and bloggers on a whitelist were allowed. And mass-sharing, for example automatically tweeting a link to every Nature article, was not allowed. But otherwise, the system made the entire fleet of 49 Nature journals effectively open access for reading—as long as a link got shared. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more