General Terms and Conditions of Use of the Single Sign-on authentications service of Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA
To be able to use the restricted content and restricted offerings of the participating specialist publishing houses of the Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA, users first need to register an account and wait for the necessary login details to be sent and activated. Access to the specialist information on the portals is restricted, e.g. by requirements of the legislator – specifically, in the case of springermedizin.de, to the groups of persons specified in Sec. 10 Para. 1 of the German Act on the Advertising of Medicinal Products [Heilmittelwerbegesetz – HWG], or by the requirement to have a paid for subscription. To ensure compliance with this requirement, it needs to be verified that the user is a member of one of the groups of persons entitled to be given access to the restricted information.
By offering its registration service (hereinafter referred to as the “Single Sign-on authentications service “ or „SSO authentications service“), Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA offers a single platform from where users can obtain the necessary login data for all participating portals of the specialist publishing houses of the Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA. After registration, the SSO authentications service is available to the participating portals and to users as a single tool for logging in to the various participating specialist portals.
1. Scope of application
1.1 These General Terms and Conditions of Use shall apply to the use of the Single Sign-on authentications service and all other services offered and provided by Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA here under. The SSO authentications service is provided by Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA, represented by its Managing Directors Derk Haank, Martin Mos and Dr. Ulrich Vest, of Heidelberger Platz 3 in D-14197 Berlin.
1.2 The contractual relationships between users and the participating specialist portals and their respective online offerings in which the SSO authentications service is or can be used may be governed, if applicable, by general terms and conditions of business, or general terms and conditions of use, of the respective service providers for the various specialist portals.
2.1 For the purposes of the SSO authentications service offered by Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA, Single Sign-on (abbreviated “SSO”) means that after initial registration and authentication, users can log into, and access, all restricted services, areas and applications on all internet portals of the specialist publishing houses of the Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA, or other offerings (e.g. mobile apps) which use the SSO authentications service, using the same login details, without having to complete another registration process for each of those internet portals, as would otherwise be the case.
2.2 The SSO authentications service generates a unique user “identity” for each user which can be recognised and verified by all participating internet portals. This allows users, in addition, to have the data stored in their SSO account (e.g. their name and address and subscriptions purchased) used automatically, e.g. to access their subscribed journals without having to re-enter and re-verify the access data manually.
2.3 Moreover, the SSO authentications service allows certain information to be presented to users in a tailored and individual way. This makes the use of the participating portals more comfortable for users. For instance, users may be informed after logging in of whether new content has been added in their specific areas of interest.
2.4 The SSO authentications service allows users to manage their SSO account easily and through a single user interface using the “My Area” tool. In this way, users can, for instance, manage and correct the master data stored about them (e.g. their residential address), change their password and view information related to the contracts they entered into via the SSO authentications service.
2.5 Use of the SSO authentications service itself is free of charge for the user.
3. Identification and registration
3.1 To be able to use the SSO authentications service, users need to register an account.
3.2 If and when a user registers on an internet portal of a participating specialist publishing house access to which is restricted to users with a common interest in a particular subject area (e.g. if access is restricted to members of a certain professional group), or if and when a user visits such a portal for the first time, his or her eligibility to have access to it will be verified by asking him or her to fill in an additional form.
3.2.1 If the user registers via SSO for a platform with access restriction to medical specialists, by filling in this form, the user represents and warrants that he or she holds a medical licence or licence to practise as pharmaceutical chemist or is a member of any other of the eligible groups of persons listed on the additional form. Within ten days of registration, the user must then send appropriate proof of his or her eligibility (e.g. a copy of his or her doctor’s ID card or medical licence) to the customer service of Springer Medizin:
by email to: email@example.com
by fax to: +49 (0)30 884 293-940
by post to: Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA, z. Hd. Kundenservice Springer Medizin, Heidelberger Platz 3, D-14197 Berlin
Further details of this are provided on the registration forms.
3.2.2 As an alternative to the procedure described in clause 3.2.1, users may provide electronically verifiable proof of their eligibility via the registration form, e.g. their unique CPD number [einheitliche Fortbildungsnummer – EFN] or other registered professional ID code. If this number or code can be verified, no further proof of profession is required and Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA will be able to activate the user account immediately.
3.3 Moreover, the user represents and warrants that the personal information provided on his or her registration form, including, without limitation, his or her first and last name, postal address, date of birth and email address, is true and correct. In particular, users must not enter the details of others and are required to notify Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA without undue delay if there is any change in the personal information they supplied.
3.4 Completion and submission of the registration form by the user constitutes an offer to Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA to enter into the Agreement on Use of the SSO authentications service (hereinafter also referred to as the “User Agreement”). Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA will accept this offer, subject to the provision of clause 3.10, by sending an email to the user’s email address confirming their successful registration, or by enabling the user to access the areas or content requiring registration once the registration form has been submitted. In either of these cases, the User Agreement shall be deemed to have been entered into.
3.5 Promptly after receipt of the registration form by Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA, the user will receive a confirmation email containing a unique link. By clicking this link, the user confirms that he or she received the email and that the address is really his or hers. This confirmation is required before users are able to use the SSO authentications service to log in or to use services of other internet portals immediately after successful registration.
3.6 There is, however, no entitlement for users to be granted access to the portals.
3.7 Contracts may be entered into in German or English.
3.8 We reserve the right to refuse registrations on a case-by-case basis without stating reasons.
4. Use of login details, access to portals
4.1 Users will be able to access restricted content and offerings of the participating internet portals by entering their login details, i.e. usually their email address and password, into the respective login form.
4.2 The login details are intended to be used only by the respective user personally. Users must not disclose their login details, in particular their password, to anyone (including family members and co-workers). Users must ensure that their login details, in particular their password, are kept confidential and secure at all times and are required to prevent any unauthorised use of the participating portals by third parties.
4.3 If a user becomes aware of or suspects any misuse of his or her login details, he or she shall notify Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA without undue delay. In the event of actual or suspected misuse of a user’s login details, Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA shall have the right to terminate his or her access to the internet portals of the specialist publishing houses of the Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA immediately. If a user is responsible for such misuse of access details, he or she shall be liable for all consequences of use by a third party. In particular, a user shall be deemed responsible already if he or she enabled the unauthorised use of his or her login details through negligence. The liability of the user ends only if and when he or she has notified the Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA customer service by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the unauthorised use of his or her login details and changed the password, if necessary.
4.4 Clause 4.3 shall apply mutatis mutandis if a user has selected the “Remain logged in” option while working on a public or shared computer and third parties thereby gain access to the internet portals.
4.6 Users are hereby informed that each of the internet portals of the specialist publishing houses of the Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA is operated by the company identified as provider of the portal concerned. Unless an offering is operated by Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA itself, Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA accepts no responsibility for the content offerings provided thereon.
5. Termination or withdrawal of access
5.1 In the event that a user breaches these General Terms and Conditions of Use, in particular if a user
- provides incorrect data during or after registration and/or
- discloses or shares his or her login details, in particular his or her password, without authorisation,
Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA reserves the right to disable the login details of that user temporarily or permanently and/or terminate his or her access with immediate effect or within a period to be determined at our discretion and/or to terminate the User Agreement by extraordinary termination without notice. If this is the case, the user concerned will not be allowed to re-register without the express prior consent of Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA.
5.2 Moreover, user access will terminate automatically as soon as a user ceases to be a member of any of the eligible groups of persons listed on the specialist portal concerned. Users are required to notify the customer service (using the contact details specified in clause 3.3 above) without undue delay of any forthcoming or recent changes of their professional or employment status.
6. Termination of the User Agreement
6.1 The User Agreement is for an indefinite term. It may generally be terminated by either Party, for convenience, without notice (subject, however, to clause 6.2) at any time. This shall be without prejudice to the right of either Party to terminate the User Agreement by extraordinary termination for good cause. Notice must be given in text form, i.e. at least by email.
6.2 However, termination of the User Agreement with immediate effect would result in the user becoming unable to log in and, depending on the respective offering of a participating internet portal, possibly also to access subscriptions he or she purchased, or other restricted areas of the internet portal otherwise accessible to him or her. Therefore, any termination of the User Agreement shall only take effect when the user has terminated or otherwise ended any subscriptions or other fixed-term agreements which may remain in place with the internet portals at the time in question or when such other agreements have expired. Therefore, we are also unable to delete the SSO account of the user until this has been done.
7. Data protection
8. Changes to these General Terms and Conditions of Use
8.1 Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA reserves the right to amend these General Terms and Conditions of Use at any time without stating reasons. Users will then be provided with the amended version of these General Terms and Conditions of Use by email. If the user does not object to them within 14 days of receipt of the email, the amended Terms shall be deemed accepted. The objection must be in text form. In its email, Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA shall specifically inform the user of the possibility to object, the time limit for objection and the legal consequences of the user remaining silent.
8.2 As an alternative to the procedure described in clause 8.1, the amended General Terms and Conditions of Use may be presented to the user when he or she logs in using the SSO authentications service the next time. The amended General Terms and Conditions of Use shall be agreed through acceptance by the user when he or she logs in the next time. If the user does not object to them within one month of being presented with them for the first time, the amended Terms shall be deemed accepted. The objection must be in text form, i.e. at least by email. When presenting the amended Terms and Conditions of Use to the user, we shall specifically inform him or her of the possibility to object, the time limit for objection and the legal consequences of the user remaining silent.
8.3 If a user objects to the amended Terms, either Party shall have the right to terminate the Agreement on Use of the SSO authentications service by giving notice to the respective other Party with immediate effect.
8.4 However, the possibility to amend these General Terms and Conditions of Use shall not apply to amendments which restrict the scale and scope of use of the SSO authentications service available to the user to his or her disadvantage, nor to the introduction of new obligations of the user not previously provided for in these General Terms and Conditions of Use.
9. Final provisions
9.1 The contractual relationship with the user and these General Terms and Conditions of Use shall be governed by and construed solely and exclusively in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. The application of German and/or European conflict of law rules and the UN Sales Convention is hereby excluded.
9.2 If the user is a merchant or does not have a permanent residence in Germany, the exclusive place of jurisdiction for any disputes arising out of or in connection with this Agreement shall be Berlin. Under the same conditions, Berlin shall also be the place of performance of all rights and obligations arising from the contractual relationship with the user.
9.3 If the user is a consumer, the mandatory consumer protection provisions applicable in the country where the user has his or her habitual residence shall apply in addition to the extent that they provide for more comprehensive protection for the user.
9.4 If any individual provision(s) of these General Terms and Conditions of Use are become invalid and/or unenforceable, the validity of the remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby. By applying the German interpretative principle of construing incomplete contracts [ergänzende Vertragsauslegung], any invalid and/or unenforceable provision shall be replaced by such valid and enforceable provision as, taking into account the interests of both Parties, are most suitable to achieve the desired economic result. The same shall apply mutatis mutandis to any gaps in these General Terms and Conditions of Use which need to be filled. Sentences 2 and 3 of this clause 9.3 shall not apply if the user is a consumer within the meaning of Sec. 13 of the German Civil Code [Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch – BGB].
9.5 Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA does not provide any specific contract for the SSO authentications service. Therefore, the substance of the contract entered into with Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA is made up of these General Terms and Conditions of Use combined with the identity of Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA and the user and the subject matter of the user relationship. In other words, Springer Nature AG & Co. KGaA does not store “the contract” entered into with each individual user.
Last amended: March 2019