Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

ACS jumps on the hybrid journal bandwagon

Sophie Rovner, ACS Offers Open-Access Option To AuthorsChemical & Engineering News, September 4, 2006.  Excerpt:

In October, American Chemical Society journal authors will have the option of paying to immediately provide free online access to their articles on the society's website. Authors will also be able to post electronic copies of their sponsored articles on personal websites and institutional repositories. Fees for the program will range from $1,000 to $3,000 per paper, depending on whether the author is an ACS member or is affiliated with an institution that subscribes to ACS journals.

The new ACS AuthorChoice option "underscores the society's willingness to experiment with innovative models to broaden access to highly valued, peer-reviewed research" while upholding editorial standards, says Brian D. Crawford, senior vice president responsible for the journal publishing program of ACS, which also publishes C&EN. "The fee was established in light of the society's actual costs incurred in the peer review and publication of an article." ...

Also see the ACS press release (dated August 14, 2006).


  1. If the press release was issued in August, then there were five, not four, hybrid journal programs launched in August and I apologize for missing this one. But because no blogs or news media covered the story before the ACS covered it in its own Chemical & Engineering News, I suspect it wasn't issued until this month.
  2. See my nine questions for hybrid journal programs, just published on Sunday.  Of the nine, the ACS announcements give good and welcome answers to two:  it will let authors deposit articles in repositories independent of ACS and it will not retreat on its green self-archiving policy.  It gives unwelcome answers to two more:  it will not let participating authors retain copyright and it does not promise to reduce its subscription prices in proportion to author uptake.  (Hence, it plans to use the "double charge" business model.)  It leaves us uncertain on the remainder:  Will it let participating authors use OA-friendly licenses?  Will it waive fees in cases of economic hardship?  Will it force authors to pay the fee if they want to comply with a prior funding contract mandating deposit in an OA repository?  Will it lay page charges on top of the new AuthorChoice fee?
  3. The ACS has been a bitter opponent of OA through PubChem and FRPAA.  But I don't believe it ever opposed the very idea of charging author-side fees to support the costs of a peer-reviewed journal, as some other hybrid journal publishers did before adopting the hybrid model.