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SpringerOpen's policy for protecting your personal information

Privacy is an important concern for internet users, and is something that SpringerOpen takes very seriously. What follows is an explanation of SpringerOpen's policy for protecting users' personal information.

What personal information does SpringerOpen ask users to supply, and why?

Registration on SpringerOpen is optional and voluntary. Browsing and viewing articles on SpringerOpen does not require any personal information to be submitted from users. Nor do these functions require the user's browser to be set to accept cookies.

Some other aspects of SpringerOpen's service do require the use of cookies, and the supply of information such as name, email etc. This is necessary for security reasons and also for SpringerOpen to be able to assure standards of scientific integrity. Users may submit further personal information (e.g. details of research areas of interest) in order to take advantage of present and future personalization facilities on SpringerOpen.

In accordance with European Union guidelines, registrants may decline to provide the information requested. They should be advised, however, that SpringerOpen may be unable to deliver its services unless at least the information necessary for security and identification purposes is provided.

What further information does SpringerOpen track, and why?

In order to offer the best possible service to users, SpringerOpen tracks the patterns of usage of pages on the site. This enables us to identify the most popular articles and services. Where users have provided details of their research areas of interest, this information can be correlated, helping SpringerOpen to provide a useful service for researchers, offering them the most relevant information based on their areas of interest.

What is SpringerOpen's policy on sharing email addresses with third parties?

User information will only be shared with third parties with the explicit consent of the user. If the user has explicitly opted to receive special offer and product information emails from SpringerOpen partners, then SpringerOpen may from time to time email the user on behalf of these partner companies. However, these companies will not be given the user's details without that user's explicit consent.

What is SpringerOpen's policy on emailing its registrants?

SpringerOpen may contact registrants from time to time to draw the registrant's attention to information that may be of interest. Members may opt out from receiving such email when registering as a member, or at any time thereafter by responding to such an email or contacting customer services.

What is SpringerOpen's policy on using demographic information about users for online advertising purposes?

Support from advertisers is important to SpringerOpen's model of free access to research articles. Statistical demographic information about the SpringerOpen registrants may be supplied to advertisers. SpringerOpen may target online advertising to specific users on the basis of this demographic information, or on the basis of their past behavior on the site, but information about an individual user will not be passed on to an advertiser without the users' express consent.

Access for journalists

Articles on SpringerOpen will be published electronically immediately upon acceptance. So, the issue of having an 'embargo' on controversial or publicity sensitive material in the temporal gap between acceptance and publication is not an issue for SpringerOpen. Journalists, like everyone else, will have access to published material immediately upon acceptance.

How does this privacy policy relate to authors of research articles published through SpringerOpen

Publishing a scientific manuscript is inherently a public (as opposed to anonymous) process. The name and email address of all authors of a BioMed Central manuscript will be available to users of SpringerOpen. These details are made available in this way purely to facilitate scientific communication. Collecting these email addresses for commercial use is not permitted, nor will SpringerOpen itself send unsolicited email to authors, unless it directly concerns the paper they have published on SpringerOpen.

Use of cookies

SpringerOpen uses cookies to track usage. For auto login a cookie is sent from our server and is stored on your computer's hard drive.

Session cookies are also sent from our server to your computer and used for session management. However these cookies do not remain on your hard drive on completion of your session.

Cookies are used by SpringerOpen to:

  1. Enable us to identify you without having to ask you for username and password.
  2. Measure usage.
  3. Track movement within SpringerOpen.

If you do not wish to accept any of these cookies or wish to be notified when a cookie is sent you can modify your browser preferences. If you refuse to accept the permanent cookie that is saved on your computer's hard drive then you will not be able to use the auto login facility. If you choose not to accept session cookies then you may not be able to use all of the facilities offered on SpringerOpen.

More information about cookies

Legal responsibilities

SpringerOpen reserves the right to disclose registrants' personal information if required to do so by law, or in the good faith and belief that such action is reasonably necessary to comply with legal process, respond to claims, or protect the rights, property or safety of SpringerOpen, employees or registrants.

Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns about my privacy?

If you have any questions or concerns about your privacy and SpringerOpen please contact our customer services team.