ACS transformative ‘read and publish’ agreement expands open access in Spain 

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2021 — Researchers affiliated with institutions of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (Crue) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) will now be able to publish their research articles open access with no additional costs, following a landmark transformative “read and publish” agreement with the Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

With this agreement, ACS continues to actively support the European academic market, having similar agreements with 328 other institutions in over 20 countries. Researchers in European markets increasingly find themselves required to publish open access. To meet this need, ACS is leading the way in developing transformative agreements that enable institutions to ensure their researchers can publish in the world’s premier chemistry journals and meet their funders’ terms.

“A transformative read and publish agreement is intended to help ease the transition away from a subscription model for scholarly publications and toward an open access model,” explained Sybille Geisenheyner, director, open science strategy and licensing at ACS. “Hundreds of researchers across the participating 49 institutions in Spain will be able to publish open access in 75 of ACS’ hybrid and open access journals without additional charge. At the same time, institutions’ libraries will maintain access to subscription content for thousands of users seeking high-quality chemistry content.”

“This agreement is special with respect to the rest of the transformative agreements that we have recently signed because it is the first that focuses on a single scientific discipline and the first that covers both hybrid titles and open access publications,” says Jesús Marco, Ph.D., vice president of scientific and technical research at CSIC. “We are convinced that the CSIC Chemical Sciences community will recognize the qualitative leap represented by this alliance. This agreement is part of our organization’s strategy to move away from the traditional licensing model, which is based on subscribing to content and paying for reading it, and toward a reading and publishing model. It is a commitment to open access as a lever for the promotion of open science.”

Across Europe, funders have recently begun implementing new requirements for the researchers to whom they provide funding. Many researchers must now publish only in fully “gold” journals –– journals that are 100% open access. However, for a transitional period, researchers at institutions with a transformative read and publish agreement can continue to publish in hybrid journals, including prestigious titles, such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

“With this transformative agreement, the fourth so far this year, Crue continues to fulfill the commitment made to its members at the General Assembly of February 2019, regarding the promotion of open science through open access publication of the results of the work carried out by researchers at their universities,” says Francisco Mora, Ph.D. Mora is vice president of Crue, president of the open science working group, and was rector of the Universitat Politècnica de València during the negotiation with ACS. Mora additionally says that this agreement would allow “both researchers and Spanish citizens as a whole to have more and new resources to approach science without limitations and to learn about the latest findings.”

“ACS welcomes this new partnership with CSIC and Crue to advance open access,” says Jim Baldini, vice president of global sales, business operations and analytics at ACS Publications. “This is a significant step forward in making essential research articles accessible throughout the world. We are proud to be supporting our community of Spanish researchers in sharing their important work with a wider global audience.”

A read and publish agreement is just one way that ACS serves its author community. Supporting authors is a priority for ACS, and in order to facilitate an easy transition to open access for its authors, CSIC and Crue’s researcher communities will benefit from ACS’ automated author workflows and its integration with RightsLink for Scientific Communications from Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). RightsLink is an advanced open access agreement management solution that simplifies affiliations and workflow and provides unique insight through data. The service drives collaboration, partnership and innovation in the evolving scholarly publishing ecosystem of publishers, authors, funders and institutions.

“We developed this workflow with CCC back in 2014 because we anticipated a growth in demand for read and publish agreements, and we’ve been committed to open access for many years,” says Baldini. “Our thorough expansion throughout Europe supports this assumption and investment.”

Recognizing that demand for completely open access journals is growing, both because of researchers’ changing attitudes toward open access and the nature of funder requirements, ACS has significantly and strategically expanded its portfolio of gold open access journals. “Last year we launched JACS Au, and in 2021 we launched the ACS Au portfolio, a portfolio of nine discipline-specific chemistry journals,” says Geisenheyner. “This demonstrates our solid commitment to open science and to authors who want or need to publish open access.”

In addition to meeting funder mandates, open access helps authors reach a wider audience. From 2018 to 2020, downloads of open access articles at ACS more than doubled. ACS’ existing open access journals, ACS Central Science and ACS Omega, were accessed over 20 million times last year, proving the importance of open access to researchers around the world. JACS Au and the ACS Au portfolio will help ACS serve an even larger audience of researchers, students and chemists around the world. 

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