All research papers from the scientific journal Nature will now be available free to read in a screen-view format
that can be annotated but not copied, printed or downloaded, the journal’s publisher Macmillan announced.
ReadCube, a software platform similar to Apple’s iTunes will be used to host and display read-only versions of the articles’ PDFs.
If the initiative becomes popular, it may also boost the prospects of the ReadCube platform, in which Macmillan has a majority investment, a Nature report stated.
The content-sharing policy will also apply to 48 other journals in Macmillan’s Nature Publishing Group (NPG) division that includes Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine and Nature Physics.
“The move is an attempt to let scientists freely read and share articles while preserving NPG’s primary source of income – the subscription fees libraries and individuals pay to gain access to articles,” the report added.
PDF articles can also be saved to a free desktop version of ReadCube similarly to how music files can be saved in iTunes.