Springer Nature hails shared links boom

News - Academic Thursday, 18 April 2019

Sharing of links by subscribers surges with Nature leading the way; most shared article accessed 70,000 times

The SharedIt service, enabling authors to share links to their work even if published in subscription journals, was used by Springer Nature authors, its subscribers and its media partners to create over 7 million free sharable links to content in 2018.

These links, which can also be shared on authors’ websites and on social media, were then used to view articles for free nearly 7 million times. The SharedIt service has seen a major increase in its use from 2017 when 2.5 million links were generated using the service.

The biggest increase came from subscribers to journals on nature.com who in 2018 shared nearly 3 million (2,950,795) links to research with non-subscribers, compared with just over half a million (504,671) links in 2017.

Nature remains the journal with the highest number of clicks from SharedIt links. In 2018, Nature articles were accessed 1.5 million times, providing researchers and members of the public via Spinger's media partners with free access to content published in the world’s most highly cited journal.

The most viewed single article using a SharedIt link generated by authors was Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge, which was published in Nature in October 2017 and has now been viewed over 69,000 times. Evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education, published in Nature Biotechnology in March 2018, was the most viewed article shared by subscribers and viewed over 39,000 times.

Steven Inchcoombe, Springer Nature’s chief publishing officer, said: "Our goal at Springer Nature is to make access to our content as easy as possible and to as many people as possible. I am delighted to see the use of SharedIt increase so substantially, as this enables authors and subscribers to freely and directly share research with the rest of the research community and beyond for the benefit of all.

"This service, along with other initiatives we are pioneering at Springer Nature such as our ground-breaking partnership with ResearchGate, our continued commitment as the largest open access (OA) publisher to the transition to OA, and our focus on driving forward open data, goes to the heart of our mission: to advance discovery by helping researchers make their findings as accessible, understandable, discoverable, usable, reusable and shareable as possible."

The tools behind SharedIt are provided by ReadCube, whose functionality enables sharers to make available final published versions of research papers in the streaming Enhanced PDF format. As well as the full text of the articles, the Enhanced PDF provides hyperlinked in-line citations and figures, annotation capabilities, one-click access to supplemental content and figures and advanced article metrics.

Pictured: Steven Inchcoombe

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