2022 - All Press Releases

Springer Nature releases first Annual Progress Report demonstrating value provided to the research community

Springer Nature shares key 2021 performance metrics from across its portfolio and platforms in new report

London | New York | Berlin, 06th October 2022

The report details the investment made by the company in new products and solutions for researchers, teachers, students and clinicians, faster and more efficient publishing systems, projects to drive sustainability and DEI initiatives, and training and development for its workforce.  

The data reveals significant improvement in the overall benefits delivered for researchers:

  • More than 7 million article and book chapter downloads per day on its platforms - over 2.6 billion in total in 2021, up over 10% on 2020 
  • Increased reuse per article - 5.83 average citations per article; up 60% in three years
  • Downloads per article more than doubling from 2017 to 2020 to 902 downloads per article 
  • Fully OA articles cited on average over 7 times - more than any other OA publisher - with citations from all OA articles growing by 50% between 2017 and 2020

This in turn is driving increased value for money for the community. The average cost for each use of an OA article in one of Springer Nature’s fully OA journals is €0.24, around 30% lower than nearest pure-OA competitor.

The report also details some key additional spending:

  • Over €300 million invested in technology to improve and speed up the publishing experience, ensure research integrity is protected, and misinformation is tackled, €120 million in 2021 alone;
  • Increased investment to accelerate solutions to world challenges - over €18 million waived in APC fees in 2021 for researchers in financial need; increased investment in initiatives that support commitment to be carbon net zero by 2040; 
  • Increased investment in those who work for Springer Nature with an additional €5 million invested in staff training and development, along with an expanded DEI programmes, data collection for better progress monitoring, and new employee networks. 

Commenting, Frank Vrancken Peeters Chief Executive Officer Springer Nature, said: 

“Researchers, teachers, students and clinicians  all rely on us to provide them with trusted information, and in the case of our authors, place in our care their most valuable resource. We have a clear mission to open doors to discovery and are committed to holding ourselves to account on how we are delivering against this. I am proud of the progress we are making for our many communities, our planet and our people. We continue to see downloads and citations grow for researchers who publish with us, while offering increasing value for money to authors and librarians.”

The report also shows the strength of Springer Nature’s professional and education businesses.

  • After a challenging 2020 due to global school closures during the pandemic, Macmillan Education saw an 11% increase in revenue despite continuing difficult operating conditions.
  • Its medical publication business in Germany and the Netherlands also saw increased revenues. The creation in 2022 of a new health division builds on Springer Nature’s 100 years of experience in providing doctors, dentists and pharmacists with trusted insights for the benefit of patients, and will drive the advancement of medical knowledge in this important area.

The Annual Progress Report builds on the recent Fully OA report and the Sustainable Business report, and is part of increased openness from Springer Nature into its activities.


Notes to editors

  • In 2021 Springer Nature revenues were €1.7bn. Adjusted operating margin was 26%
  • This is before payments to reduce net debt (in 2021 this was around €150m) and corporate income taxes (in 2021 c€90m).

About the Springer Nature Group

Springer Nature opens the doors to discovery for researchers, educators, clinicians and other professionals. Every day, around the globe, our imprints, books, journals, platforms and technology solutions reach millions of people. For over 180 years our brands and imprints have been a trusted source of knowledge to these communities and today, more than ever, we see it as our responsibility to ensure that fundamental knowledge can be found, verified, understood and used by our communities – enabling them to improve outcomes, make progress, and benefit the generations that follow. 

Visit: springernature.com/gp/group and follow @SpringerNature 

Press contact

Susie Winter

VP External Communications

Springer Nature