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Policy

ACS Expands Open Access Initiatives

ACS News Perspective: Offerings will include subsidies for authors and a prestigious free journal

by Brian D. Crawford, President, ACS Publications Division
November 18, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 46

As announced by ACS Publications and featured in a News of the Week article in C&EN on Nov. 4 (page 11), the American Chemical Society is undertaking a major new commitment to support open access publishing. This multifaceted program will assist ACS authors in meeting evolving requirements from their research funders and institutions.

ACS Central Science
A new journal that’s free to both readers and authors

To be led by a renowned scientist and international editorial board who will be appointed during 2014, this new, highly selective, peer-reviewed journal will publish exceptional multidisciplinary papers across the broad spectrum of the chemical sciences. All articles will be freely available online immediately upon publication, with no article publishing charges to authors or readers.

ACS Central Science will publish 100–200 original research articles annually at the outset and also will feature incisive editorials, topical reviews, and commentary on global science trends. The journal will emphasize the central role and importance of chemistry in interdisciplinary research, complementing the society’s subscription-based portfolio of 44 peer-reviewed journals.

Sponsored by ACS as a service to the scholarly community, ACS Central Science will be poised to expand in response to author and reader demand, and with support from additional organizations.

ACS Editors’ Choice
Free public access to new research of importance to the global community

Starting in January 2014, based on recommendations provided by the more than 400 scientific editors of ACS journals who are active researchers located around the world, ACS will feature one article each day that exemplifies the society’s commitment to improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry. These articles will remain open for all to access and read. ACS Publications will take advantage of social networking and other media to encourage broad public awareness of the highlighted research.

ACS Author Rewards
A $60 million stimulus program that will encourage ACS authors to choose open access

Recognizing that research communities may require time to fund and transition to open access publishing models, ACS will sponsor a direct-to-author open access stimulus program entitled ACS Author Rewards.

During 2014, ACS will reward each corresponding author of ­every article published that year with publishing credits for a ­total value of $1,500 per article. These credits may be used to fund any ACS open access publishing option of the author’s choosing within the next three years. Given the nearly 40,000 articles published across the society’s portfolio of journals ­annually, this stimulus program presents the research com­munity with a potential savings on the order of $60 million.

ACS Author Rewards will reward and subsidize loyal ACS authors who wish to enable the broadest possible public availability of their published work. Authors will be able to share the publishing credits awarded under this program with colleagues so as to encourage others to choose ACS journals when seeking to publish their work open access.

ACS AuthorChoice
Expanded to include new options to help authors meet open access requirements

Through the ACS AuthorChoice option introduced in 2006, authors can sponsor immediate open availability of their published articles in any ACS journal. Effective in 2014, ACS AuthorChoice will be expanded to offer authors a wider range of open access license options, such as Creative Commons licenses and provisions for immediate or 12-month embargoed open access, both coupled with a new ACS Certified Deposit service.

The new options are designed for research grantees who want ACS to help them comply with funder-mandated posting of articles in repositories that offer public access. The options will also be useful for authors who wish to post the final published article (i.e., the version of scientific record, rather than a less authoritative prior version) in an employer’s institutional repository or other open Web repositories.

ACS AuthorChoice options all include open availability of the final article on the ACS website. Participation in the ACS AuthorChoice program also enables open availability of the article’s content for noncommercial text and data-mining purposes, which is of growing interest in the scientific research community.

ACS Publications is providing special discounts to authors at institutions that support ACS by subscribing to all ACS journal publications, as well as special pricing for authors who are (or become) ACS members. Open access charges will be as low as $750 per article for ACS members located at subscribing institutions.

Together with the ACS Author Rewards program, these expanded ACS AuthorChoice options are intended to encourage ACS authors located around the world to engage in the transition to open access publishing by participating in a mixed article economy. In this way, the services ACS Publications offers its authors and readers can be sustained by a combination of article publishing charges and paid subscription access, along with digital advertising and other ancillary publishing revenues.

These bold new and expanded open access programs from ACS reinforce our commitment to sustainable, universal access to the results of scientific research. We invite our authors, readers, and customers to travel with us and to help us chart a new course for our society’s publications.

Brian D. Crawford, Ph.D., is president of the Publications Division of ACS, which publishes C&EN, and is a member of ACS.

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