Although known for its high quality subscription journals, the American Chemical Society (ACS) offers a number of open access (free-to-read) publishing options for its authors.
But first, why should researchers care about open access?
- Many studies show that open access articles are downloaded twice as much and on average cited 8-50% more than equivalent articles locked behind subscription “pay-walls.” This can translate to higher citation metrics for tenure and promotion.
- A U.S. Law passed in January 2014 mandates that virtually all federally funded research articles be openly available within 12 months of publication.
- The social good of reaching (and the extra readership by) scholars and educators associated with smaller institutions and those in poorer countries that cannot afford expensive journal subscriptions should not be underestimated.
Although it is true that federally funded research articles must now have a free-to-read version available after 12 months, there are advantages to eliminating that embargo period via immediate open access including getting timelier, enhanced worldwide exposure for your research accomplishments.
ACS provides four main avenues for open access publication:
1) The new ACS Central Science, a highly selective, peer-reviewed journal that is fully open access with no embargo.
2) ACS Author Choice permits authors to pay a one-time article processing charge (APC) to make their article openly available upon publication.
3) ACS Author Rewards, a fairly new program whereby the corresponding author of every ACS peer-reviewed article receives a credit of $1,500 that can be used in the subsequent year to pay the APC for any newly submitted or make any previously published subscription article open access.
4) ACS Editors’ Choice, a composite on-line journal created by ACS editors picking one article to be made permanently open access each day of the year from across all ACS journals.
Details of these programs as of April 2, 2015 were published in a Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters viewpoint article, “ACS is Open”. However, the parameters of these programs may change in the future so scholars are encouraged to visit the ACS Author & Reviewer Resource Center for the most up-to-date information.
In addition, all publishers, including the American Chemical Society, must allow authors to comply with the new funding agency open access policies rapidly being implemented over the next few years.