The University of California has inked a first-of-its kind deal with the American Chemical Society. Here’s what it means for you.

An array of American Chemical Society journal covers.
The University of California has announced a transformative open access deal with the American Chemical Society, whose portfolio includes more than 75 premier chemistry journals. (American Chemical Society)

Today, the University of California is announcing a transformative open access deal with the American Chemical Society, the fourth-largest publisher of scholarly journal articles by researchers in the UC system.

Through the agreement, UC authors will get support for publishing open access in ACS’ portfolio of more than 75 premier chemistry journals. The agreement — which includes the California State University system and a consortium representing two dozen private universities — is the first statewide transformative open access agreement in California.

Under the deal, which starts in 2022 and lasts through 2025, the institutions will redirect subscription expenditures to help cover open access publishing charges for their authors — making it possible for hundreds of researchers at nearly 60 institutions across the state to publish open access at a discounted rate in any ACS journal.

“Free and open access to academic research is critical to the acceleration of new discoveries,” said Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, university librarian and professor at UC Berkeley, and co-chair of UC’s publisher negotiation team. “This unique partnership will give Californians and people around the world unprecedented access to the knowledge created by our institutions as we seek to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental, health, and scientific problems.”

What does the agreement mean for UC authors?

All UC authors who choose to publish open access in an ACS journal can pay a single discounted article processing charge, also known as an APC. Authors who don’t have the research funds to cover the $3,000 charge can request full funding of the APC from the UC libraries — eliminating the financial barrier for any UC author who wants to publish open access with ACS.

The deal also provides UC-affiliated scholars and students with full reading access to all ACS publications.

ACS, a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress, is among the largest scientific societies in the world, and is a leading publisher of scientific information.

Collectively, the institutions involved in the deal publish more than 11 percent of the nation’s scholarly journal articles and deliver instruction to more than 1 million California students.

To learn more, read a news release and an overview (including frequently asked questions) about the deal on the UC Office of Scholarly Communication’s website.