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Anneliese Taylor
Anneliese is the Head of Scholarly Communication. Contact Anneliese for help evaluating journals and publishers, assessing research impact, and for scholarly publishing resources.

Announcing a California-wide Open Access Agreement with the American Chemical Society (ACS)

Photo by Diane Serik on Unsplash

We are pleased to announce that the University of California, together with the California State University (CSU) and members of the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), have entered into a transformative open access agreement with the American Chemical Society (ACS), the first such California-wide agreement. ACS is the fourth largest publisher of scholarly journal articles by researchers in the UC system.

The three-year agreement provides readers and researchers at nearly 60 California research institutions – including all 10 UC campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – with access to subscription content while allowing authors at the participating institutions to publish open access in ACS’ portfolio of over 75 chemistry journals at a reduced cost.

The goal of the agreement is to enable authors from UC, CSU, and SCELC institutions to transition from the traditional ”read-only” subscription model to a transformative model that makes it easier and more affordable for authors to publish open access. As with UC’s other transformative agreements, the agreement supports UC’s mission as a public university and advances the global shift toward sustainable open access publishing by making more UC-authored research articles open to the world, while containing the university’s journal-related expenditures.

Agreement Basics for UC Authors

The agreement runs from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2025 and covers open access publishing in the American Chemical Society’s hybrid (subscription-based) and fully open access journals. It includes all ten UC campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  UC affiliated scholars and students will also have full reading access to all ACS publications.

Under the agreement, all UC corresponding authors who choose to publish open access in an ACS journal can do so by paying a single, discounted APC (article processing charge) of $3,000. APCs that are less than $3000 will be charged at the lower amount. Authors who do not have research funds available to pay the $3,000 APC can request full funding of the APC from the UC libraries, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish open access with ACS. For details, see Article Payment Process in the agreement details page.

UC has shifted its investment from paying to read ACS journals to paying based on UC authors publishing in ACS journals. Based on careful modeling of UC publication rates, baseline fees have been established, with these amounts paid in bulk by UC. The exact amounts paid will be determined by UC corresponding author choices to publish open access, and how many authors pay the discounted APC using their research funds.  

Cost controls have been put in place so that the total owed by UC in any year of the agreement is bounded, and APC rates will remain the same throughout the term of the agreement.

When Does the Agreement Go Into Effect?

The discounted open access publishing rate applies to articles accepted in an ACS journal starting January 1, 2022 and through December 31, 2025. The workflow for payment of the discounted $3000 rate will be implemented in ACS’s Journal Publishing Agreement System and the CCC RightsLink platform on July 1, 2022.

For articles accepted after January 1, 2022 but before the launch of this workflow on July 1, 2022, ACS will reach out to authors to ask them retrospectively about this choice, and the steps will follow as laid out in Article Payment Process.

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