Last year I submitted an article to a peer-reviewed book to be added as a chapter. Finally, my article got accepted and it is ready for publication. The publisher is going to be Springer.

I would like to share a copy of my article on my website and with my colleagues through the university repository. My concern is that I am not sure whether I can do it or not.

Springer has some sharing policies for journal articles. You can share a preprint version with a link to the published one (via DOI). However, it is not clear whether I can do that with a book chapter.

Can someone with similar experience clarify this?

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    You should ask the publisher. – user68958 Apr 10 '18 at 12:08

I generally recommend putting manuscripts online before involving the publisher, that way the manuscript is already public. For the OP, the manuscript can be put online, if no agreement has been signed. Otherwise, the signed agreement will need to be check to see what is permissible.

  • @Salias Have you signed an agreement? – user2768 Apr 10 '18 at 12:30
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    Hi, I have not signed anything. I just got a notification by email that my paper was accepted and ready to publish. However, I have found something that may have the answer to this. I have posted it as a response. – Salias Apr 10 '18 at 12:33
  • If you (nor your co-authors) haven't entered into an agreement with Springer, then you have no obligations to Springer. – user2768 Apr 10 '18 at 12:34
  • @Salias: I'm not a lawyer (and in particular, not your lawyer), but just because you don't remember signing a piece of paper doesn't mean you have not entered into a contract. You might have done so by sending your chapter in for review, for example, which may or may not mean that you are already prohibited from sharing your chapter. – RQM Jun 6 '18 at 13:04
  • Hi @RQM. Thanks very much for your comment. I think the same way. For now, I haven't taken any actions as the book will be published in a month. After that, I have decided to contact Springer editors. Also, my University requires me to send then a preprint copy (or an open-access copy) for their repositories, therefore, they should have an experienced legal team for this kind of issues. I will update this thread as soon as I have finally solved it. – Salias Jun 7 '18 at 2:41

This is the answer I got from Springer for a smiliar question:

"Thank you for getting in touch. Springer doesn’t have a green OA policy at this time. Chapter authors would need to choose the gold OA route. We are able to offer gold OA for chapters already published (retrospective OA) in cases where the authors need to fulfill a funder OA mandate.

Our policies regarding OA books can be found here: https://www.springernature.com/gp/open-research/policies/book-policies

Please feel free to be in touch if you have further questions—I’m happy to help."

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    In case people are not familiar with the newspeak used by publishers, "green OA" means that authors are allowed to published their own version of the work, aka "self archiving". On the other hand "gold OA" means authors pay the publisher for the privilege of giving the publisher all rights over their own work and making it open access. Remember, "gold" is for what ends up in the publisher's pockets. – user9646 Jun 7 '18 at 0:09

Do not be too legalistic. Finding what is legal or not may involve quite some work, and you may easily reach the wrong conclusion if you are not trained in law. Moreover, something can be tolerated even if it is not officially allowed. In your case, I would recommend that you share your chapter. The worst that can happen is that you are asked to remove it from the website and/or repository. But usually, big publishers go after platforms such as ResearchGate, not after individual scholars.


Digging in a little more, there is an statement on Springer self-archiving policies regarding books. It was a bit hidden and difficult to find. The statement can be found in this link and says the following:

Does Springer's self-archiving policy also apply to books?

No. Book publishing is a different business model, and this policy does not apply to books.

  • You haven't published a book and you haven't signed an agreement, so this isn't relevant. – user2768 Apr 10 '18 at 12:34
  • Ok. I will ask the publisher then about the agreement. That was very helpful, thanks for your help :). – Salias Apr 10 '18 at 12:36
  • You can put a draft online prior to signing the agreement. – user2768 Apr 10 '18 at 12:37
  • Then it will be public before the agreement right? Good idea. – Salias Apr 10 '18 at 12:38
  • 1
    Yes, public before the agreement, but make sure the agreement doesn't forbid prior public versions or require such versions to be removed or .... – user2768 Apr 10 '18 at 13:19

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