University of Utah, Nature Publishing Group Pilot the “ReadCube” Alternative to Traditional Single Journal Article Purchases

In an effort to eliminate gaps in access to research literature, the software company Labtiva has launched a pilot program that provides libraries and institutions with affordable and instant access to scientific articles in non-subscribed journals. The first participants in the pilot program, called ReadCube Access, are the University of Utah and Nature Publishing Group.

“We want to help scientists access any journal article they need, without having to pay $30 per article or jump through other hoops,” says Siniša Hrvatin, who co-founded Labtiva to create simple software to improve the discovery, organization, and readability of peer-reviewed literature.

“Currently researchers rely on their libraries to purchase articles individually and at significant expense, spend research funds to purchase articles for themselves, or simply go without access,” says Rick Anderson, the University of Utah’s Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources and Collections.

Researchers at the university no longer need to pay to read articles in any journal on, including more than 50 titles for which the institution does not hold full site licenses. Instead, the library picks up the tab as researchers download articles in a single click through the free ReadCube literature management application.

The library will pay only $5 to $10 for each download. Researchers can also choose to rent an article for 48 hours, which will cost the library only $3 to $6. Articles downloaded through ReadCube Access appear as normal PDFs, but cost much less because they may not be printed or shared.

“Nature Publishing Group exists to provide the highest quality scientific research to the widest possible audience,” says its Managing Director, Steven Inchcoombe. “The ReadCube Access pilot program is another step in our continuing efforts to fulfill that role for science, building on our other article rental activities and initiatives like British Library Direct. We see these new offerings as a complement to site license and subscription-based access, which provide access to the full text HTML and downloadable PDF.”

“University libraries want to provide their patrons with immediate access to exactly the resources they need, but no library can afford to subscribe to every journal in every discipline,” says Anderson. “ We see the ReadCube Access program as a very promising model for giving our researchers and students fast and low-cost access to the specialized content they need in order to do their scholarly work. ”

The goal for ReadCube Access, according to Hrvatin, is to establish a model mutually beneficial to researchers, libraries, and publishers to expand access to research literature by supplementing existing site licenses.

Hrvatin says discussions with other publishers and universities are already underway.

For more information, visit

About Labtiva

Labtiva develops software to make the world of research more accessible and connected. Its free ReadCube application for PC and Mac helps researchers in any discipline acquire journal articles rapidly, manage article libraries, and discover new literature through saved searches and daily recommendations based on reading habits. The ReadCube web reader is also integrated on 18 Nature journal websites, enabling annotation of articles in any web browser. Harvard researchers Robert McGrath and Siniša Hrvatin founded Labtiva in 2007, which now has offices in Cambridge, MA and Zagreb, Croatia, and is supported by Digital Science, a technology division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd. To watch a short video tour and download ReadCube, visit

About Digital Science

Digital Science is a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd., launched in December 2010 to provide technology solutions for researchers. From intelligent knowledge discovery tools to software applications for the laboratory and decision-support systems for managers, Digital Science combines world-class technology with a resolute focus on scientists and those who support the research process. For more information, visit

About Nature Publishing Group (NPG)

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a publisher of high impact scientific and medical information in print and online. Online, provides over 6 million visitors per month with access to NPG publications and online databases and services. Part of Macmillan Publishers Limited, NPG is a global company with principal offices in London, New York and Tokyo, and offices in cities worldwide. For more information, please go to