Springer Nature announces unified open code policy to better support open research practices

The policy marks the latest move by the publisher in integrating open research practice into its journal and book workflow, making it easier for authors to benefit from open science

Springer Nature introduced a new unified open code policy for its books and journals portfolios. The policy compliments the publisher's single data policy announced last year and is the latest step in its commitment to making it easier for authors to take part in, and benefit from open research practice.

With limited open access to research code, efforts to reproduce and replicate key findings have been and are being restricted; seriously impeding researchers' ability to validate and build on existing scientific knowledge for some of our world’s most pressing challenges.  Despite this, many scientific publications are still without straightforward, accessible and comprehensive guidance for the timely public sharing of code. Springer Nature, building on its long-established support of open research practices, is addressing this by increasing the visibility, clarity and workflows for code sharing across its whole portfolio. 

All journal articles will now feature a Code Availability section and authors will be encouraged to share code publicly, using permanent identifiers, and citing code they have used. Journals with existing code-sharing policies will see no changes. For journals without an existing policy, a gradual implementation will occur via integration into Snapp (Springer Nature’s Article Process platform—the publisher's next generation peer review platform) providing a simplified and singular workflow for authors to manage their article submissions with the publisher.

For the book portfolio, implementation will come into effect immediately. Authors will be encouraged to share their code in public repositories and all authors will be supported in sharing their code at the time of publication for all primary research covered in the book/chapter.

More information on the policy can be found here.  To learn more about Springer Nature's drive for open science and the publishers' open research publication policies, visit our website.