How ACS Read and Publish Agreements Are Facilitating Significant Growth in Open Access Publishing

David Armstrong
  • 3 min read

Learn about how open access output in ACS journals has exploded across numerous institutions and countries following read and publish agreements.

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Read and publish agreements are a type of transformative agreement between publishers and institutions. They are, as their name implies, increasingly transforming the landscape of scholarly research access from the traditional subscription-based model to one that supports open access (OA) publishing. Under a read and publish agreement, the institution pays the publisher a single fee that covers both access to subscription-based content (the “read”) and the costs for authors to publish their work fully open access (the “publish”).

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) is a core value of ACS, and equity plays an enormous role in our longstanding support of open access and the broader goal of making scholarly information available for everyone. ACS read and publish agreements directly support OA equity by allowing researchers at participating institutions to publish their work freely and openly without the financial burden of article processing charges (APCs) or other publication costs. These agreements encourage the transition towards a more inclusive global publishing system, where anyone can contribute to the scholarly conversation regardless of location, institutional affiliation, or financial resources.

In 2019, ACS Publications entered into its first read and publish agreements with 125 institutions across 7 countries. Since then, we have seen exponential growth: as of early 2024, more than 1500 institutions across 39 countries (and counting!) are covered by ACS read and publish agreements.

ACS Read and Publish Agreements: Global Institutional Growth
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Furthermore, a number of European countries—most of which require authors to publish open access—have seen an explosive growth in OA publishing with ACS journals since signing read and publish agreements. Authors from selected European countries with national-level read and publish agreements are now all publishing at least 80% of their work in ACS journals as OA.

ACS Open Access Journal Article Growth in European Countries
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Turkish Institutions See 46% Growth in Publications in a Single Year

ANKOS, a Turkish consortium that includes 45 participating institutions, signed a read and publish agreement with ACS in 2022. Before the agreement, Türkiye was ranked 23rd on our list of top-submitting countries, but only 11% of articles on average from authors in Türkiye were published OA in ACS journals.

Just one year after signing a read and publish agreement with ACS Publications, ANKOS saw a 21% increase in submissions and 46% increase in published papers—notably, the percentage of content published OA in ACS Journals skyrocketed to 87%! Türkiye also jumped ahead to 17th on the list of top-submitting countries, which demonstrates how national-level support in OA can tremendously boost overall publishing output.

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Supporting Equity in Scholarly Publishing

By promoting open access and fostering a greater abundance of published output through read and publish agreements, institutions can play an active role in supporting the broader open science movement. These agreements encourage the sustainable transition towards a more equitable, inclusive scholarly publishing environment, where knowledge is widely and easily attainable for all.

More than 30% of our institutional customers have joined a read and publish agreement with ACS—find out if your institution currently participates and learn more about the benefits of choosing an ACS read and publish agreement below.

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