Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Nature will deposit into disciplinary and institutional repositories

Nature Publishing Group to archive on behalf of authors, a press release from the Nature Publishing Group, July 8, 2008.  Excerpt:

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is pleased to announce the initiation of a free service, launching in 2008, to help authors fulfil funder and institutional mandates.

NPG has encouraged self-archiving, including in PubMed Central, since 2005. Later in 2008, NPG will begin depositing authors’ accepted manuscripts with PubMed Central (PMC) and UK PubMed Central (UKPMC), meeting the requirements for authors funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council and a number of other major funders in the US, the UK and Canada who mandate deposition in either PMC or UKPMC. NPG hopes to extend the service to other archives and repositories in future....

For eligible authors who opt-in during the submission process, NPG will deposit the accepted version of the author’s manuscript on acceptance, setting a public release date of 6-months post-publication. There will be no charge to authors or funders for the service....

NPG has been an early mover amongst subscription publishers in encouraging self-archiving. In 2002, the publisher moved from requesting copyright transfer for original research articles to requesting an exclusive license to publish. In 2005, NPG announced a self-archiving policy that encourages authors of research articles to self-archive the accepted version of their manuscript to PubMed Central or other appropriate funding body's archive, their institution's repositories and, if they wish, on their personal websites. In all cases, the manuscript can be made publicly accessible six months after publication. NPG’s policies are explained in detail [here].


  • What's interesting here is not that NPG will automatically deposit peer-reviewed manuscripts by NIH-funded authors in PMC.  In fact, 366 journals already do better than that:  they deposit the published editions, not just the peer-reviewed manuscripts.
  • What's interesting is that NPG is willing to accommodate university mandates as well as funder mandates, and deposit in institutional repositories as well as disciplinary repositories like PMC.  I asked NPG's Grace Baynes about this, and she gave me permission to quote from her reply:
    NPG do hope to eventually deposit directly into institutional repositories in line with institutional mandates. In order to do this we will need institutional repositories to accept automated deposits by publishers on behalf of authors, preferably using a similar batch upload service to that offered by PubMed Central and now UK PubMed Central. Once this is possible we anticipate extending the service to institutional repositories. We hope that other repostitories mandated by funders will make that functionality available as well. In all cases, NPG would need these repositories to set a public release date in line with NPG's self-archiving policy.

    As far as I know, NPG will be the first publisher willing to make direct deposits into institutional repositories.

Update.  Also see Stevan Harnad's comment:  "...If Nature really wants to help OA, then dropping its access embargo would be a lot more helpful than saving authors from having to do a few keystrokes...."

UpdateEPrints and DSpace do support batch uploads, meeting the NPG conditions for IR deposits.

Update.  Also see Dorothea Salo's comment:

...This repository-rat was very happy to see that announcement....[T]hinking strategically, this announcement can only ratchet up the momentum behind the SWORD API and OAI-ORE, never mind institutional permission mandates, and that will be good for IRs....

A lot of keystrokes were just eliminated, and very likely more will be as other publishers (who watch NPG like hawks, because NPG is amazing) follow suit....