Nature Research and Springer Formally Endorse Guidelines that Promote Transparency in the Process of Science


March 16, 2017


Charlottesville, VA


The Center for Open Science is pleased to announce that Nature Research and Springer journals have today become signatories of the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines (https://cos.io/top). As a committed stakeholder and leader in the ecosystem of scholarly publishing, Nature Research and Springer have been working for years to increase clarity and rigor in the published literature. This action demonstrates the next step of this journey.


The editorial may be found here.


“Nature and the other Nature Research journals have been focusing on improving the reproducibility of our research since 2013,” writes Sir Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief, Nature & Nature publications. “The TOP guidelines represent key aspects of the transparency that underpins the ultimate robustness of scientific advance. We are delighted to commit to them.”    


The TOP Guidelines were created in 2015 in order to provide tools for scholarly publishers and funders to promote more ideal scientific practices. They provide guidance for authors on data citation, data and materials sharing, preregistration, and replication. These actions are enabled by infrastructure developed by the Center for Open Science, whose mission is to increase reproducibility in the published scientific literature


The TOP Guidelines provide a common framework for actions that journals may take as they move toward increasing transparency in how is science conducted and reported.  The guidelines allow journals to use standards that are appropriate for their discipline. Given the variation in practices across fields, each journal will be free to apply those standards that are most relevant to them, while still providing guidance for potential future changes.


“Springer has a broad journal portfolio across a wide range of research fields,” Heinz Weinheimer, Managing Director Springer Research Group, Springer Nature, notes. “As we are convinced that transparency and openness are core values for science, we believe that the TOP Guidelines are important to keep up with the highest standard in scientific publishing. Therefore we feel strongly committed to making them part of our journal development plans. Some of our journals have already endorsed the TOP Guidelines. We are working on implementing the measures for most of our journals in the near future.”


Journals play a crucial role in insuring the integrity of science. “The TOP Guidelines were designed by scientists to help journals take steps to publish research that is more transparent and replicable, and to give authors credit for doing so.  We are delighted that Nature Research, with its impressive list of high-quality journals, has joined the other TOP signatories in promoting our common values,” writes Barbara Spellman, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia and chairperson of the TOP Coordinating Committee.


“Springer Nature plays a huge role in disseminating important work throughout the community, so this is an important step toward making open science what it should be: just typical science,” writes David Mellor, project manager at the Center for Open Science leading their journal and funding incentive programs.  


Writing of the progression toward increased reproducibility in the scientific literature, an editorial in Nature notes that “this journey is far from complete, and all of us in the research landscape are stakeholders in its progress. Nature will continue to play its part in championing the increased robustness of research.”


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About Center for Open Science


The Center for Open Science (COS) is a non-profit technology startup founded in 2013 with a mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. COS pursues this mission by building communities around open science practices, supporting metascience research, and developing and maintaining free, open source software tools. The Open Science Framework (OSF), COS’s flagship product, is a web application that connects and supports the research workflow, enabling scientists to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their research. Researchers use the OSF to collaborate, document, archive, share, and register research projects, materials, and data. Learn more at cos.io, osf.io and @osframework.


About Nature Research


Nature Research is a portfolio of high-quality products and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences – including journals, databases and researcher services – dedicated to serving the scientific community.

Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading, international weekly journal of science. Nature Research also publishes a range of Nature branded subscription journals, the leading open access multidisciplinary journal Nature Communications, other open access journals including Scientific Reports, and a range of Nature Partner Journals published in partnership with institutions and societies. Together, these journals publish some of the world's most significant scientific discoveries.

Online, nature.com provides over nine million unique visitors per month with Nature Research content, including news and comment from Nature, and the leading scientific jobs board, Naturejobs. Nature Research also offers a range of researcher services, including online and in-person training and expert language and editing services. For more information, please visit nature.com and follow @nresearchnews. Nature Research is part of Springer Nature.


About Springer


Springer is a leading global scientific, technical and medical portfolio, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D departments with quality content through innovative information, products and services. Springer has one of the strongest STM and HSS eBook collections and archives, as well as a comprehensive range of hybrid and open access journals. Springer is part of Springer Nature, a global publisher that serves and supports the research community. Springer Nature aims to advance discovery by publishing robust and insightful science, supporting the development of new areas of research and making ideas and knowledge accessible around the world.


As part of Springer Nature, Springer sits alongside other trusted brands like Nature Research, BioMed Central and Palgrave Macmillan. Visit www.springer.com and follow @SpringerNature


Contacts for the Center for Open Science

Media: Rusty Speidel: rusty@cos.io | 434-284-3403

TOP Guidelines: David Mellor: david@cos.io

Web: https://cos.io/top