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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

London | Berlin | New York, 29 February 2024 

Springer Nature has 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. 

Speaking on the rollout, Erika Pastrana, Editorial Director, Nature Journals Health & Applied Sciences commented:

"The importance of policies that encourage code sharing cannot be emphasised enough. Code-sharing is at the centre of the open science movement, being a key driver of building scientific advancements and supporting efficiency. Publishers and Editors play an important role in supporting and encouraging open science practices. This policy will make it easier for Springer Nature editors, authors and reviewers to support the release of open code as part of journal and book submissions, ensuring research can be fully replicable and reproducible, advancing knowledge and science forward.”

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.

To learn more about Springer Nature's drive for open science and the publishers' open research publication policies, visit our website.


Note to editors

  • Integral to this policy, is an encouragement for authors to publicly share code used in primary research, covered in books/chapters, and newly developed code within original research articles. 
  • The Code Availability section will be included in all original research where authors have declared the development of new code that is necessary to interpret and replicate the conclusions. 
  • Some journals will require code sharing during peer review.

About Springer Nature

For over 180 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies. 

As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to trusted brands including Springer, Nature Portfolio, BMC, Palgrave Macmillan and Scientific American. 

For more information, please visit and @SpringerNature


Theodore HibbertGreaves | Corporate Affairs | Springer Nature