Royal Society of Chemistry makes all its journals open access | News

Royal Society of Chemistry makes all its journals open access | News

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has: is committed to making all its journals open access within the next five years. It is the first chemistry publisher to commit to a 100% open access model and hopes to fund the move in a way that avoids individual authors having to pay article processing fees (APCs).

Traditionally, publishers of scientific journals depended on journal subscription fees to cover the costs of their activities. But in recent years there has been a growing urge to freely share scientific knowledge, regardless of readers’ ability to pay.

For example, the Plan S movement in Europe has campaigned for funders to ensure that the researchers they support publish their results in open access journals. This has led to the European Research Council and UKRIA requiring grantees to publish their work in open access journals. Meanwhile in the US, all government funded research will have to be published open access from 2026. These measures have resulted in a growing number of magazines move towards open access models.

Open access journals generally require authors to pay a one-time APC to publish their articles. This covers the costs associated with managing the peer review process and maintaining the scientific data, and means that anyone can read the journal content without having to pay a subscription.

But by announcing its commitment to a fully open access model, the RSC notes that it hopes to negotiate new “institutional or funder-level” agreements under which institutions pay a flat rate so that their researchers can work in RSC journals. publish without paying individual APCs. These agreements would take into account regional differences so that institutions in poorer countries would not be expected to pay the same rates as those in richer countries.

The RSC publishes 44 journals on the chemical sciences, most of which still use a subscription model.

Tackling barriers

‘Of course a transition to fully open access is great for making research as widely available as possible to everyone, without reading barriers. My main concern with such transitions is always that if the transition is done as an APC-based approach, it will just shift the barriers from reading to publishing,” says computational biochemist Lynn Kamerlin, who works at Uppsala University in Sweden. “So actually one of the best things about the announcement in my opinion was the fact that the RSC is very aware of this challenge and is committed to exploring new and different open access models to ensure this transition is not a barrier.” will be published.’

It is also worth noting that while the researchers most affected are indeed researchers from the countries where resources to even conduct research are extremely limited, even in nominally wealthy countries access to research funds varies widely, and APCs can be a major barrier to spread,’ she adds. “I fully support the RSC’s goal of ensuring the majority of the global author community is covered by deals at the institutional or funding level, and commend the RSC for taking this important step in a transition to full open access, involving equality issues are of such high importance. on the agenda.’

Floris Rutjesa synthetic organic chemist from Radboud University in the Netherlands and president of the European Chemical Society, says he is “pleasantly surprised” to hear of the RSC’s new commitment to open access publishing, describing it as “a big step forward.” in the pursuit of open science’.

‘A few years ago I was involved in the negotiations between the Dutch universities and the RSC about a new transformative deal at national level, which was quite complex with read and publish components for the different journals and lengthy negotiations,’ says Rutjes. ‘This situation will become a lot easier after the switch to a fully open access system. From the researcher’s point of view, I hope that agreements will be reached between the RSC and the university libraries so that the APCs are paid for by the libraries and not by the researchers themselves, as is often the case with publishing in open access journals.’

In a pronunciation, RSC publisher Emma Wilson notes that it is “essential” for the organization that all authors retain the same opportunity to publish, regardless of where they are based. ‘We are aiming for a future in which [open access] publication makes authors’ work accessible worldwide’, she says. “As we saw with Covid research, enabling that level of openness and international collaboration can be a catalyst for accelerating innovation and discovery, creating a better, more sustainable future for all.”

“This is an exciting step for the RSC and our growing portfolio of highly respected journals,” added the University of Strathclyde chemist. Duncan Graham, who chairs the RSC’s Publishers Council. “The transition to open access means that the RSC can ensure that everyone around the world has the same ability to read and build on all the important research published in RSC journals, while maintaining the high quality standards and reputation that our community relies on, to be preserved. .’

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