ACS Joins Coalition of Publishers in Opposing cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy  - ACS Axial
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ACS Joins Coalition of Publishers in Opposing cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy 

Today, a group of more than 50 publishers, including the American Chemical Society (ACS), is publicly voicing its concern and opposition to the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) being advanced by cOAlition S. The statement, published by STM (The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers), is available in its entirety here

ACS has long been a supporter of open science. The Society: 

  • Publishes a dozen fully open access journals to serve the needs of the broad chemistry community.
  • Pioneered transformative Read + Publish Agreements to help speed the transition to open access.
  • Founded ChemRxiv, the premiere preprint server for chemistry.
  • Continues to facilitate a straightforward path for researchers to publish their research open access. 

ACS believes that open access is the future. We also know the best way to reach that future is by creating sustainable pathways for researchers, publishers, institutions, and funders to work together effectively. cOAlition S’ Rights Retention Strategy threatens this, and could stall or even regress the considerable progress and momentum achieved with open access to date. 

Under cOAlition S’ RRS approach, authors are considered to be in compliance with the open access requirements of their Plan S funders if they deposit the final peer-reviewed and accepted manuscript in an openly available public repository immediately upon publication under a creative commons attribution license. In choosing this route to open access, cOAlition S will not support any of the costs involved in the peer review and quality control checks undertaken and organized by the journal. cOAlition S acknowledges this requires significant resources to manage.  

The ability to reuse, repurpose and remix authors’ scholarly manuscripts may jeopardize the integrity and credit authors expect for their intellectual endeavors. Furthermore, immediate and free availability of the final content undermines ACS’ ability to invest in OA journals to expand options for the community.

“While other cOAlition S strategies are sustainable and can be fully supported, the Rights Retention Strategy will have a detrimental effect on our shared goals — to make access to research more equitable, open and trusted,” says James Milne, Ph.D., president, ACS Publications Division. “We continue to proactively advance open access for the chemistry community, ensuring we deliver the ‘most trusted, most cited and most-read’ research globally”.

ACS fully supports making the final ‘version of record’ available as widely as possible through open access, a stated goal of cOAlition S.  Authors can accomplish this and be in compliance with their cOAlition S funders’ requirements by publishing in any of ACS’ twelve gold open access journals or in any ACS journal individually or through a transformative Read + Publish Agreement negotiated by their institution. Ultimately, this approach supports researchers and supports the transition to a sustainable open access future. 

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