The UC and Springer Nature open science pilot project is designed to test practices that enable open science and enhance our understanding of researcher perceptions of them.

The pilot runs April 15, 2021 to April 2022 and will focus on neuroscience articles submitted to two Nature titles: Nature and Nature Neuroscience. It is open to all UC corresponding authors publishing neuroscience research who are interested in having their work considered by Nature or Nature Neuroscience

Authors who elect to participate will have the opportunity for:

  • Open access publishing without any cost to authors. For accepted articles, the Article Processing Charge and Editorial Assessment Charge (see below) will be covered by the UC libraries and Springer Nature.
  • Consideration by more than one journal through a single submission: UC corresponding authors can submit to either Nature or Nature Neuroscience as appropriate but will be considered by editors from both. If the paper is reviewed at either journal, the author will receive feedback on what revisions would be appropriate in order to be published in these journals, as well as whether the manuscript is appropriate for publication in Nature Communications.
  • Related open science support: 
    • Via access to a customized version of Springer Nature’s “Guided Open Access,” a Springer Nature program designed to make the publishing process more transparent, efficient and easier to navigate for authors, the program will also include collaborative advice for authors through all the stages of publishing and an Editorial Assessment Report after a round of external peer review. 
    • In addition, support for making research outputs openly available will be provided, including optional open access for articles, data, code, and peer review reports.
  • Input on open science practices: Participants will be invited to provide feedback to Springer Nature on all aspects of the pilot study.

To participate: Any author wishing to be part of the pilot should write to the Chief editor of Nature (Francesca Cesari: or Nature Neuroscience (Kevin Da Silva: and request to be part of the Nature-UC Open Science trial. The authors will then receive an invitation to submit their paper through a personalized link. Please note that authors’ manuscripts will be considered for peer review and publication in the same way as any manuscript submitted to the participating journals; opting in to the pilot does not guarantee acceptance for publication. Authors submitting via the usual Nature Journals portal will not be able to take part in the pilot.

What we expect to learn:

The pilot provides for a joint exploration of three areas of interest to UC and Springer Nature:

  • Open science research outputs, including open access for articles, data, and code
  • Transparency, value and efficiency in peer review 
  • Supporting researchers in the early sharing of research findings through automated preprint deposition

About the pilot:

The UC/Springer Nature pilot was developed as part of the UC/Springer Nature agreement signed in 2020. The pilot was developed by a team of faculty and graduate students from UCSF working in collaboration with Springer Nature to define the terms of the pilot and how outcomes will be assessed. The members of the collaborative UC / Springer Nature team that developed the pilot, and who will participate in assessing it, are:

From UCSF:

  • Sam Pleasure, Professor of Neurology, UCSF
  • Mazen Kheirbek, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF 
  • Jennifer Cummings, Graduate Student, UC Berkeley/UCSF Bioengineering Graduate Program
  • Michael Reitman, Graduate Student, Neuroscience Graduate Program, UCSF
  • Marta Margeta, Associate Professor of Pathology, UCSF
  • Rich Schneider, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, UCSF

 From Springer Nature:

  • Ruth Wilson, Publishing Director, Nature Research Journals
  • Ritu Dhand, Vice President Editorial, Nature Journals
  • Sowmya Swaminathan, Head of Editorial Policy, Nature Research
  • Kevin Da Silva, Chief Editor, Nature Neuroscience

 For more information, please see: