Extending reach and impact

Springer Nature authors benefit from fully OA journals with the highest global reach and impact.

We have the highest average citation rate among fully OA publishers

Articles published in Springer Nature’s fully OA journals are cited more than those published in fully OA journals by other publishers. Each Springer Nature article is cited on average 7.39 times, the highest citation rate of all fully OA publishers.

Top 10 Average Citations (2020) for articles in fully OA journals

Average citation per article

# Name Visual reference Average citation per article
1 Springer Nature 7.39
2 Frontiers 6.0
3 Public Library of Science (PLoS) 5.8
4 Elsevier 5.53
5 MDPI 5.35
6 Wiley 5.22
7 Taylor & Francis 4.3
8 Hindawi 2.81
9 Wolters Kluwer 2.3
10 IOP Publishing 0.82

Source: Digital Science, Dimensions - reflecting 2020/2021 average citations per article for fully OA articles published in 2020

The chart shows the top 10 largest publishers by Full OA volume in 2020, then ranked by their average citations (for articles published in 2020, and cited in 2020 and 2021) for articles in fully OA journals.

We are number one for cumulated citations among fully OA publishers

Springer Nature’s fully OA portfolio holds the highest number of cumulated citations* among all fully OA publishers, giving it the highest market share (27.56%) where citations are concerned.

*Cumulated citations for 2021 are the total number of citations received that year by our total portfolio

Top 10 publishers ranked by cumulated citations of fully OA portfolio

Cumulated citations

# Publisher Visual reference Cumulated citations
1 Springer Nature 3,519,853
2 Elsevier 2,362,413
3 MDPI 1,911,556
4 PLoS 1,237,832
5 Frontiers 1,043,442
6 Wiley 870,107
7 Taylor & Francis 574,724
8 OUP 545,438
9 Hindawi 408,286
10 SAGE 299,136

Source: Clarivate, JCR 2021.

The download rate of our fully OA articles is increasing year on year

In 2021, Springer Nature published over 106,000 fully OA articles that were collectively downloaded 756 million times. This means that each article was downloaded on average over 7,000 times.

Downloads of our fully OA articles increased on average by 26% per annum over 2016-2021. The average download per article increased by 66% over the whole five year period.

Publishers ranked by downloads

Average downloads per article

Publisher Average downloads per article
Springer Nature 7.1k
MDPI 1.5k
Frontiers 1.2k

Our fully OA titles appear in more JCR categories than other fully OA publishers

Our fully OA titles cover a broader range of disciplines than other fully OA journals from other OA publishers, being listed in more Journal Citation Reports (JCR) categories. Our journals rank in the top 25% of their field for 94 categories (44%) and take the top spot in six of these.

In the 2021 rankings, over 78% of our fully OA titles saw an Impact Factor increase, with over 53% of those titles seeing a rank increase in at least one JCR category.

Top 10 publishers ranked by number of JCR category listings

Number of JCR categories

Springer Nature






Taylor & Francis








Oxford University Press




Walter de Gruyter


We are proud of our achievements within the fully OA sector and will continue to work to make research immediately available for all to read, share, use and reuse to advance discovery.

Learn more about fully OA

How we are advancing OA

We want 50% of all primary research published by Springer Nature to be OA by 2024.

Our OA portfolio

With over 580 fully OA journals across three imprint brands, we are proud of our world-leading, fully OA portfolio.

The value of OA publishing

Our authors’ OA papers benefit from greater reach – advancing global discovery.