My institution has access to a very limited selection of ebooks published by Springer-Verlag. Is it possible to buy individual access to their whole collection myself? I'm a PhD student in case that changes anything.

  • @NateEldredge I thought the middle bit was applicable, the journal collection/SpringerLINK one. In that case "for institutions only" isn't what OP wants, but seemed conclusive to me. On the other hand, I guess OP is only after the ebook collection, in which case it isn't a particularly useful link. Removed.
    – Anyon
    Jul 19 '19 at 20:11
  • 3
    I don't know the answer to this, but I do know that contacting Springer sales in your country would be the best way to find out about any unusual sales arrangements or discounts that might not be listed as one of the standard options. Jul 20 '19 at 17:10

You must ask Springer; they are the only ones who will know. There's a good chance they will be okay with you purchasing such a subscription since after all it doesn't cost them much to sell their collection to one more viewer.

However: although individual subscriptions tend to be way cheaper than institutional subscriptions, you are talking about subscribing to the entire Springer collection. This is a veritable mountain of information! Checking the Springer website right now, they have a collection of 301,765 books, and a publisher of their scale is going to be publishing several new books every day. Small wonder it is going to break your wallet to subscribe! Further, most of them won't be at all relevant to you and you won't have time to read them anyway.

If you can't get institutional access to this collection, you are probably better off buying each item you need one by one. Even then, be sure to ask your institution's library - they might be able to acquire/rent copies of what you need for cheap or even for free.

  • Thanks! I really only want access to their math textbooks. My institution has access to all the journals I believe, but not the textbooks like the GSM series.
    – Mathmank
    Jul 25 '19 at 21:52
  • It's still going to be a lot of books, on the order of thousands. Instead of subscribing yourself, I strongly suggest you talk to your institution's librarians for each individual book you need. They'll have a good idea on how to get you access for cheap.
    – Allure
    Jul 26 '19 at 0:07

Even if it was technically possible, it's likely to be ridiculously expensive. Big consortiums of libraries have been struggling with Springer for years about the price of their subscriptions:

If this kind of academic groups which have very signifcant budgets and teams of lawyers to defend their interests have difficulties paying the fees, it's not hard to understand why there is no option for an individual to subscribe to the full service. And this is certainly the reason why your institution has only access to a limited selection of publications.

So as far as I know it's not possible for an individual to subscribe (unless they are a billionaire).

  • -1: individual subscriptions tend to be way cheaper than institutional subscriptions, for obvious reasons, so one is not likely to need to be a billionaire (or even a millionaire).
    – Allure
    Jul 24 '19 at 2:38
  • @Allure If Springer wanted to sell access to their whole collection to individuals they could easily have provided an option to do so. The fact that they don't (springer.com/gp/shop/subscriptions) is a sign that they don't think there is a market for this at the price that they would be selling it.
    – Erwan
    Jul 24 '19 at 11:51
  • I'm pretty certain there's no demand at any reasonable price. As I wrote in my answer, Springer have published over 300k books. They also publish 2900 journals. How much would be a reasonable price to charge for access to all these books and journals? One could charge $0.10/year for each book and still no individual would subscribe.
    – Allure
    Jul 24 '19 at 12:03
  • @Allure "One could charge $0.10/year for each book and still no individual would subscribe." -> At least OP would pay this price obviously :) I'm quite sure a lot of people would be willing to pay much more than that but we will never know
    – Erwan
    Jul 24 '19 at 13:58
  • At $0.10/year, for 300k books, that's still $30k/year. I doubt OP can pay this price.
    – Allure
    Jul 24 '19 at 21:21

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