Springer Nature and ResearchGate have agreed to move forward with a long-term content syndication partnership starting in Q4 of 2020. This cooperation expands the scope of a two-phase pilot, which began in 2019 and has been evaluated in a white paper published today.
The partnership will enable content delivery of the version-of-record (VoR) articles directly to ResearchGate publication pages. Entitled users will be able to download and read the VoR of articles published in Springer journals from the past five years, and all Nature-branded research journals from the past three years, on ResearchGate; new articles will be made available on a daily basis as they are published. Non-entitled users will be able to access an enhanced abstract of the article on ResearchGate, which includes metadata, abstract, figures and captions and the full first page. By combining Springer Nature’s expertise in publishing high-quality research with ResearchGate’s online platform for millions of scientists, both organisations aim to deliver an enhanced and seamless experience for the communities they serve.
Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing and Solutions Officer at Springer Nature, said: “This partnership is a wonderful example of how we can provide content directly to researchers on the platforms that they use for collaboration and networking, therefore improving the discoverability and visibility of our authors’ work. We are pleased that we can build on the success of the pilot phases, which showed numerous benefits to librarians, researchers and authors. By bringing together two organisations with differing areas of expertise but similar goals, we strongly believe that we can support a seamless experience so that researchers can access the articles they need while maximising engagement with their peers.”
Springer Nature and ResearchGate began the content-sharing pilot in response to a number of challenges, such as how to streamline multi-step authentication processes; the need to enable seamless remote access to content; and ways to support researchers in finding the most relevant and reliable research in context.
The white paper, Researchers at the Centre, released today indicates that the partnership brought multiple benefits that led to an enhanced user experience for authors, researchers and librarians.
Key findings from the pilot phases of the partnership show:
● Augmented entitlement recognition: user entitlements were more easily identified; readers benefited from seamless, remote authentication.
● Institution recognition: entitled users could clearly see which library enabled access through a subscription.
● Improved discoverability: version of record (VoR) articles could be read and discussed with peers in context, and alongside author versions of papers.
● Positive author feedback: 90% of authors were positive or very positive about the partnership between ResearchGate and Springer Nature.
● Increased usage: content syndicated to ResearchGate was downloaded between 0.6% and 19.5% more across different journal titles.
Sören Hofmayer, ResearchGate co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, said: “Springer Nature and ResearchGate entered this collaborative content syndication pilot with the aim of better supporting the researchers we serve. We have learned a lot and we’re excited to share the outcomes of this work through the white paper we are jointly releasing today. We hope it will encourage other actors in the scholarly communication ecosystem to join us to keep innovating to better support researchers, together.”
For the full evaluation of the pilot phases of the Springer Nature/ResearchGate partnership, please see the white paper “Researchers at the centre: content discoverability, visibility and access ”.