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New ACS Transformative Agreement marks two important firsts

Academic and research institutions across the state of California are among the nation’s highest-publishing organizations, producing hundreds of world class research articles in chemistry every year – and under the newly-announced Read + Publish Agreement, many of these researchers are now able to publish in ACS’ full range of open access and hybrid journals with additional support for publishing costs.

This agreement marks two ‘firsts’: not only is it the first ever California-wide transformative agreement with any publisher, but also the first ACS Read + Publish Agreement which includes multiple consortia. In total, the new agreement covers almost 60 institutions and thousands of researchers, granting both full reading access and affordable open access publishing across the full portfolio of 75+ ACS journals.

The three consortia included in the agreement – California State University system, the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortia (SCELC), and the University of California system – collaborated with ACS to represent the interests of their diverse community of researchers, to make even more of their research and scholarship available to the world, and to find an approach that guarantees an affordable and sustainable route to open access.

This new type of Read + Publish Agreement is unique, in that it engages funder support for open access in alignment with the partnership between the institutes and publisher. As the scholarly publishing industry transitions toward an open access future, innovations like this partnership will be crucial to ensuring that all educational institutions and their researchers can participate in the full benefits of open access publication.

“ACS is very excited about this new agreement, as it takes the workflows behind read and publish deals to the next level,” says Sybille Geisenheyner, Director of Open Science Strategy and Licensing at ACS. “As we embark upon this partnership, we invite funders to engage in this collaboration to support this transformation.”

The agreement is rolling out in two phases. Until early July 2022, affiliated authors will benefit from discounted open access publishing charges, making publication in all ACS journals even more affordable. The second phase, running through the end of 2025, will introduce a new workflow which will help authors make better use of the opportunities provided by their research funder. Authors will also have the option of publishing under a Read + Publish Agreement with their institution if no other funds are available.

ACS is a firm supporter of open science and has invested in programs and technology to make open access as widely available as possible. This includes a wide range of Read + Publish Agreements, which now cover more than 540 institutions in over 25 countries, including institutions which produce the most highly cited chemical research. These are intended to be transformative agreements: a sustainable way for researchers to publish in journals that are the best fit for their research, while increasing the proportion of global research that is freely available to readers with no barriers to access. Institutions and consortia maintain reading access to key parts of the literature, while also providing their authors with full article publishing charge support. Additionally, ACS also publishes more than 60 Transformative Journals: titles which include both subscription access and open access articles, which have made a long-term commitment to becoming fully open access.

“At ACS, we are committed to expanding our partnerships and innovating new ways to advance open access publication in chemistry,” says James Milne, Ph.D., President, ACS Publications Division. “I am confident that institutions around the world will see this collaboration as a prime example of creative thinking supporting the advancement of open science, for the benefit of chemistry and the world.”

More information on this announcement is available in the ACS News Room, and further details about ACS Read + Publish Agreements are available on the ACS Open Science website.

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