Each year, ACS conducts a survey of its authors, readers, and reviewers to gauge their attitudes towards open access (OA), and to gather feedback on their experiences. In 2021, this survey ran between July and August and gathered over 1,400 responses from around the world, with subsequent focus groups at the 2022 ACS Spring Meeting providing additional context for many of the points raised in the survey.

Recent years have seen a steady growth of researchers publishing their work in open access journals. This is driven by a mix of factors including the desire for greater visibility, a personal agreement with the principles behind the OA movement, and institutional and/or research funder requirements. In many cases, these expectations are backed up by initiatives such as Read + Publish Agreements, and survey respondents feel that this kind of institutional support will be instrumental in continuing the growth of OA in the chemical sciences.

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The survey also showed that more than two-thirds of respondents believe that publishing open access will be important within the next five years, with a preference for publishing in journals that include a mix of subscription-based and open access content in order to reach the best audience for their work. These ‘hybrid’ titles include ACS’ portfolio of more than 60 transformative journals, with their commitment to publishing an increasing proportion of open access content with the goal of eventually transitioning to 100% open access.

A free report is available discussing some of the survey’s findings in greater detail – visit the ACS Open Science website for more information.

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