Historic partnership empowers researchers at select institutions in France to choose zero-embargo green open access when publishing in ACS Publications’ trusted hybrid journals, at no cost to them.

Parisian cityscape viewed between buildings, showcasing traditional French architecture with mansard roofs, balconies, and greenery in the distance under a clear sky.

ACS Publications is delighted to announce that a memorandum of understanding has been reached with Couperin, the French national consortium of higher education and research institutions, for a new agreement that will give researchers at participating institutions the ability to choose zero-embargo green open access. Under this agreement, corresponding authors from 35 participating institutions publishing in any ACS hybrid journal (titles which publish a mixture of open access and subscription content) will be able to deposit their accepted manuscript in the repository of their choice at the time of acceptance, with no wait time and at no fee to the authors.

We anticipate the agreement will commence sometime in July 2024, pending completion of French public market procedures. It will cover approximately 60% of French authors who publish with ACS annually.

Participating institutions include:

  • Aix-Marseille Université
  • BibCnrs Inc
  • BRGM – French Geological Survey
  • CEA Saclay
  • École des Ponts ParisTech
  • IFP Energies Nouvelles
  • Inist-Cnrs
  • INSA Rouen
  • Inserm
  • Institut Pasteur, Paris
  • Nantes Université
  • Toulouse INP
  • Université Angers
  • Université des Antilles
  • Université de Bordeaux
  • Université de Caen Normandie
  • Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1
  • Université d'Evry - Val-d'Essonne
  • Université Grenoble Alpes
  • Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Université le Havre Normandie
  • Université de Lille
  • Université de Montpellier
  • Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie
  • Université d'Orleans
  • Université de Paris-Est Créteil Val De Marne (UPEC)
  • Université Paris Cité
  • Université de Paris-Saclay
  • Université PSL – Mines Paris
  • Université de Strasbourg
  • Université de Technologie de Troyes
  • Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier
  • Université Rennes-I

Please note that this list is current at the time of this article's publication and may be subject to change without amendment to this article.

We’re calling it “read and green”

More than 1,500 institutions are covered by one of ACS Publications’ current read and publish agreements, which combine subscription access with gold open access publishing, but this arrangement with Couperin is different. ACS’ agreement in France is the first to incorporate zero-embargo green open access with an institutional subscription, which we’ve been referring to as “read and green.” As far as we can tell, this is also a first in publishing to truly combine subscription access with zero-embargo green OA publishing.

Institutional cost savings

ACS Publications is recognized for investing in systems and processes—developed in partnership with researchers and institutions—that make it as streamlined, easy, and seamless as possible to navigate the open access publishing process and to achieve OA goals while enabling authors to publish in their first choice of trusted journal.

Traditional ACS read and publish agreements allow institutions to apply their subscription fees to offset the fees for gold open access publishing. For institutions with high publishing output, gold open access publishing fees can far exceed the amount credited from subscription fees. ACS works with institutions interested in being 100% open access to help find ways to cover the difference, often negotiating long-term agreements based on estimated publishing rates.

For institutions who are unable to cover the fees needed to go completely gold open access, this new “read and green” option can offer substantial cost savings—as well as addressing an emerging need for zero-embargo green open access through self-archiving of accepted manuscripts.

Born out of zero-embargo green open access explorations

ACS aims to provide options for every researcher to publish in our journals. As such, we carefully consider what routes to publication our authors need, both now and in the future. This includes responding to increasing calls from research funders, institutions, and researchers themselves for zero-embargo green open access.

Open science policy in France has emphasized a self-archiving approach for some time, and as a result researchers affiliated with French institutions have been encouraged to find routes to publication that enable immediate self-archiving.

ACS is, to our knowledge, the first publisher to provide a dedicated route to zero-embargo green open access; many other publishers only provide authors with a choice of either immediate self-archiving upon publication of the version of record in an open access format, or deferred self-archiving support after an embargo period (which, under French law, is 6 months for any research which receives at least 50% of its funding from government sources). Our “read and green” offering is an extension of this dedicated zero-embargo green open access pathway.

More choices and a lower cost path of OA for French authors

The publishing experience in ACS journals is designed to empower authors to choose the type of access to their research that meets their needs, and the requirements of their research funder. This will be no different for authors in France at institutions participating in this new “read and green” agreement. At the time of acceptance authors will be alerted that they are able to immediately self-archive their accepted manuscript (zero-embargo green open access). They will also be presented with an option to publish the version of record as gold open access with a $2,500 discount on the applicable article publishing charges. This means authors will also have a reduced cost option for gold open access should they want to choose that path.

We anticipate that affiliated authors will be able to take advantage of this agreement from summer 2024. We encourage researchers to check the ACS Open Science site for further updates.

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