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ACS Open Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Open Science

  • A: Open science is a broad movement designed to increase the accessibility and transparency of research, thereby demonstrating its beneficial impact on society. It encompasses how research is selected, funded, conducted and communicated, seeking to redefine and expand what is considered valid research practice and outputs.

    Open access (OA) is a subset of open science, focused on increasing the discoverability and accessibility of published research. Open access challenges the traditional business and access model of library-subscribed journals with an emerging set of alternatives, many that are still proving whether they are sustainable on a longer-term basis. An OA journal typically has no subscription fees, transferring the responsibility of the financial sustainability of peer reviewed publication to the sponsoring funder or author.
  • A: ACS is actively involved in developing and supporting a framework in which researchers can participate in open science and share data freely. Supporting information published in ACS journals, which typically includes experimental data, is freely available through various mechanisms including ACS’s relationship with Figshare.

    ACS seeks to provide cost effective solutions designed to stimulate participation in both open access and open science across our global community of authors and researchers, while maintaining high quality standards in peer review and digital publishing practices. Authors can easily publish open access in any ACS journal or can choose to publish in one of our 3 fully open access journals: ACS Omega, ACS Central Science, and in 2020, JACS Au.

    Preprints allow authors to share research with other scientists and colleagues prior to formal peer review. ACS is at the forefront of this effort, having led the development of ChemRxiv, a chemistry preprint server now supported by leading chemistry societies from around the world. Finally, the ACS Research Data Center provides authors and researchers with improved archiving and access to open data sets and other supporting information.
  • ACS makes it easy to publish open access in any one of our 60+ ACS journals. ACS has also taken a number of steps to provide incentives to encourage researchers to experiment with OA publication. These incentives include offering deeply discounted APCs (article publishing charge) to ACS authors and members, sponsoring ACS Central Science, a journal that has no APCs, publishing a journal that has low APCs, ACS Omega, and developing a robust Read + Publish program for subscribing institutions whereby they can bundle access to our journals with APC sponsorship for their authors “on” campus.

Open Access

  • A: ACS AuthorChoice is an open access license that facilitates access to the final published article (the version of record) for a one-time payment provided by the author, the author’s institution, or the author’s funding agency. For the majority of ACS journals, authors may choose to purchase open access for their ACS article upon acceptance of the article, or anytime thereafter. For ACS Omega and JACS Au, authors must purchase an immediate open access license in order to publish in the journals. For ACS Central Science, ACS provides a complementary immediate open access license to the author. For all other ACS journals, authors have the option of selecting an ACS AuthorChoice open access license after article acceptance.
  • A: Green open access is a type of open access whereby an author can self-archive a paper; in other words, an author can make the accepted manuscript available on an institutional repository or the author’s website. Under the terms of the ACS self-archiving policy, an author can deposit the accepted manuscript of their article 12 months after publication of the Final Published version. There is no publication charge associated with green open access.
  • A: Gold open access is a type of open access in which an author, institution, funder or other sponsor pays an article publishing charge (APC) or another fee to make the final published article freely available. All articles published in ACS Journals can be made gold open access. ACS offer two routes for gold open access: either immediate or available after a 12-month post-publication embargo. Articles that are sponsored open access via an ACS Read + Publish Agreement are also considered “gold.”
  • A: After an article is accepted for publication by ACS, the author can then choose to make the article open access. The author can then select one of two Creative Commons public use licenses (CC-BY or CC BY-NC-ND) to facilitate public access to the final published article (the version of record). Upon payment of a one-time fixed fee by the author or funder, authors may post copies of their final published article on personal websites, as well as funder and institutional repositories (see also ACS author posting policies)
  • A: ACS AuthorChoice+12 converts an article to open availability 12 months after the article’s original publication date, consistent with many funders’ or institutional open access guidelines. Note: Consistent with NIH and several other funders’ requirements, articles published under ACS AuthorChoice+12 will still be deposited into the funder’s repository at the time of publication when requested by the author. Authors electing to use the AuthorChoice+12 option will see sharply reduced APC (article publishing charge) fees.
  • A: Creative Commons offers a number of ”public use license” that creators and authors can attach to a digital object such as an online version of a journal article. The CC licenses provide guidance to users concerning how the article may be downloaded or otherwise used, and whether there are any limitations on this re-use. ACS offers two options for ACS AuthorChoice authors, including CC-BY and CC BY-NC-ND, which are the most commonly used public licenses for OA publishing.

    ACS Author Choice program options for the public use license include:
    Creative Commons CC BY public use license (Plan S compliant) Permits the broadest form of re-use including for commercial purposes, provided that author attribution and integrity are maintained (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

    Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND public use license Permits non-commercial access & re-use, provided that author attribution and integrity are maintained; but does not permit creation of adaptations or other derivative works (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

    Note that some funding agencies, and some institutional read and publish agreements, require the use of a particular public use license, such as one of the Creative Commons licenses (including CC BY as required by Plan S).


  • A: Articles with a CC BY-NC-ND public use license can be text and data mined for non-commercial purposes. In addition, articles published under the CCBY option can also be text and data mined for commercial purposes.

    Other articles can only be text and data-mined through a separate license with ACS. Organizations seeking to data mine ACS journal articles and related material for commercial purposes, or for commercial redistribution or metadata licensing, should contact ACS directly (info@acsopenscience.org).
  • A: The accepted manuscript is the post-peer review draft, accepted by the journal, prior to additional editing and production enhancement by ACS Publications. The final published article is the professionally edited, enhanced, and typeset version of the article, as it appears in publication in the journal, in either PDF or HTML format. The final published article is referred to as the Version of Record.
  • Open access is only offered once a manuscript is accepted to ensure complete separation between scientific editorial decision-making and economic considerations. Upon receipt of payment, ACS will make the article freely available from the ACS website, and all re-use provisions of the relevant license selected by the corresponding author shall apply to that author, all co-authors, and users of the content.
  • A: Depending on your institution or funder, you may be bound by requirements for publishing open access, submitting a data management plan or submitting work to a repository. Requirements can vary by funder and institution. Please consult your funder for specific details regarding the publication of your research.

    If you are at an institution that has signed an ACS Read + Publish Agreement, you may be qualified to publish open access with ACS for no additional article publishing charge (APC). Either check with your institution’s Open Access Administrator or go to this site’s funder page to learn more: https://pubs.acs.org/page/4authors/funder_options.html
  • A: Requirements for researchers to publish their research open access vary. As such, ACS offers a range of options that enable authors to tailor their choices to meet local requirements and to match their funding options. For information about specific discounts, see https://pubs.acs.org/page/4authors/authorchoice/index.html.

ACS’s Open Access Journals

  • A: Authors can publish open access in any of the 60+ hybrid ACS journals. ACS also publishes three fully-open access journals: ACS Central Science, ACS Omega, and JACS Au (launching in 2020).
  • A: No. There are no author charges for publishing open access in ACS Central Science. Authors who wish/are required to publish under the terms of a Creative Commons CC-BY license may elect to do so for a fee.
  • A: Yes, all ACS AuthorChoice articles display the ACS AuthorChoice mark and link to their terms of use (for articles published after 2014).
  • A: To ensure compliance with NIH’s Public Access Policy, ACS Publications provides authors with the following two options:

    • Purchase any ACS AuthorChoice open access option. ACS handles deposit to PubMed Central (PMC). ACS AuthorChoice provides open availability of the final published article (i.e. the Version of Record) on the ACS Publications website immediately or 12 months after publication. NIH policy allows authors to use grant or contract funds for payment of ACS AuthorChoice open access publishing fees.

    • Self-deposit the final accepted manuscript to PMC for open access 12 months after publication. No fee or additional license required. A PDF version of accepted manuscripts is readily available within ACS Paragon Plus for authors to submit with any supplemental information to the NIH's manuscript submission system.

  • A: To enable public availability of their work in compliance with the DOE’s Public Access Policy, ACS authors in receipt of DOE funding may:

    • Select from among the ACS AuthorChoice open access options, including options to enable the author to make the final published article (i.e. the Version of Record), openly available on the ACS Publications website immediately or 12 months after publication. DOE Authors may deposit a copy of their final published article in the DOE repository instead of the accepted manuscript.

    • Self-deposit the accepted manuscript version in the DOE repository for open access 12 months after publication, according to procedures administered by DOE. There is no fee or additional license required by ACS for this self-deposit option. Note that if the article is not ACS AuthorChoice OA, DOE’s PAGES will direct readers to the accepted manuscript version, made publicly available at 12 months after publication.

  • A: For articles based on research funded by select funding bodies (see list here), ACS will deposit the final article with PubMed Central (and a few other qualifying depositories) immediately post publication. Authors who are funded by NIH, Wellcome Trust, European Research Councils, or Austrian Science Fund, and who select any ACS AuthorChoice option, will have their articles deposited to PMC with no further actions required. Deposits are subject to PMC’s deposit criteria, i.e. PMC does not accept deposits in subject areas that it does not cover. Authors who do not wish to participate in ACS AuthorChoice may self-archive the accepted manuscript version of their article for access 12 months after first publication.
  • A: At this time, our policies and programs are focused on journal content and do not extend to book chapters.
  • A: One new peer-reviewed research article from any ACS journal is selected to be freely available every day; the selection of these articles is based on recommendations by the scientific editors of ACS journals from around the world. As a service to our global community of researchers, the articles remain open for all to access and read. To see the most recent articles highlighted, visit https://pubs.acs.org/editorschoice/.
  • A: ACS’s standard Journal Publishing Agreement covers all papers published by ACS journals. For authors choosing to publish OA (including in ACS Central Science), the public use license selected by the authors will continue to be applied.
  • A: Yes, when an author has selected an ACS AuthorChoice open access license and his/her article is selected for ACS Editors’ Choice, ACS rebates or credits any ACS AuthorChoice fee paid.
  • A: ACS Articles on Request helps authors share with colleagues their published research via their personal website at no additional charge (or on other sites as noted in the ACS Posting policy). With this ACS author benefit, corresponding authors receive an email with the ACS Articles on Request link, which provides for up to 50 free e-prints of the final published article during the first 12 months following publication. The link can be posted on the author’s website or sent via e-mail from the author to interested colleagues. The link provides access to both the full text HTML and PDF.
  • A: Please contact us at support@services.acs.org to get help.

Paying for Open Access/Read + Publish

  • A: Payments of ACS AuthorChoice fees are accepted from authors regardless of where those funds originate, e.g. funder or institutional grants. Institutions and funders may directly pay ACS AuthorChoice fees under separate arrangement with ACS. The most direct ways to manage institutional funded open access is with an ACS Read + Publish Agreement. Requests and questions should go to  ACS_Pubs_Assist@acs.org.
  • A: ACS Read + Publish is a paid, contractual agreement with a research institution or funder that allows qualifying authors from that body to publish with ACS under an ACS AuthorChoice open access license without a direct APC (article publishing cost) payment, while also providing full access to research published in ACS journals. ACS Read + Publish Agreements are a sustainable approach to helping institutions accelerate the pace of open access publishing by their researchers.
  • A: Work published under a CC-BY Creative Commons license can be adapted, reused, or republished by others without further remuneration to the author or publisher. The upgrade fee for a CC-BY license compensates the original publisher for loss of this future commercial value.

    Please note: there is no additional fee (beyond the standard APC ) for authors that elect to publish their work in ACS journals, with a CC-BY NC-ND license

Library/OA Administration

  • A: Please contact your regional library consortia, your ACS sales representative or  ACS_Pubs_Assist@acs.org 
  • A: ACS supports industry standard metrics, such as COUNTER, and has moved to the COUNTER 5 standard. COUNTER allows publishers and libraries to easily differentiate download requests made for articles published under open access models, such as ACS AuthorChoice, ACS Central Science, and ACS Editors’ Choice. Usage of ACS open access articles will be included in COUNTER reporting, and as per that standard, identified separately. OA usage is not be included in metrics used by ACS for pricing institutional subscriptions.

JACS Au/ACS Au Collection FAQs

  • A: The ACS Au Collection of journals will accept research from top scientists from around the world, the launch of this new portfolio of publications will support the scientists and researchers who are required by their funders to publish in open access journal, including those funders following the guidelines set out by Plan S. These authors are required by their funders to publish in completely open access journals. More on Plan S can be found here.



    Like all ACS traditional subscription journals, the ACS Au Collection will focus on a high standard of editorial rigour, peer review, and compelling and innovative research. Editors will be drawn globally from the top ranks of today’s practicing researchers.



    Additionally, ACS Publications understands that scientific content continues to outpace library budgets. ACS Read + Publish Agreements will therefore support publication in the new suite of ACS Au journals. ACS is actively collaborating with institutions interested in these agreements.

  • A: The ACS Au Collection is a family of subject-specific journals, covering a broad range of the most published topics within chemistry.



    JACS Au will publish multidisciplinary work, highlighting research from across a range of chemistry fields, with a focus on immediate impact. JACS Au will also follow in the JACS tradition of emphasizing work with a broad impact and relevance to the global chemistry community.



    ACS Central Science focuses on exceptional, interdisciplinary work, highlighting the role of chemistry in a wide range of other scientific disciplines.



    ACS Omega appeals to a broad audience but does not evaluate immediate impact. Its readership extends beyond the traditional academic sector, including industry, policy institutions, and the general public.

  • A: Like ACS Central Science and ACS Omega, JACS Au and the full ACS Au Collection are open access-native journals, with 100% of published content freely accessible. The default license for authors will be CC-BY-NC-ND, with the option to upgrade to CC-BY.



    The high standard of editorial rigour, peer review, and compelling and innovative research found in ACS journals remains the same.

  • A: Authors of accepted manuscripts will need to pay an Article Publishing Charge (APC) to publish their research in these new journals. Standard ACS APC rates will apply. More details can be found here.

  • A: No, these are separate journals that are editorially independent of other ACS Publications journals. JACS Au is a separate journal that is editorially independent of JACS.

  • A: Yes. These new journals will employ the highest standards of peer review, rapid times to decision and publication, and rigorous editorial processes as exemplified by the Society’s publishing program.

  • A: Each journal will maintain editorial independence from other ACS Publications journals, with an ACS Au Collection Editor-in-Chief and individual Deputy Editors for each subject-specific journal.



    There will be an open nomination process for the Editor-in-Chief of the ACS Au Collection, with a search committee convened in accordance with ACS Bylaws.

  • A: Authors publishing in these journals will retain copyright of their published research. The default license for authors will be CC-BY-NC-ND, with the option to upgrade to CC-BY, in compliance with Plan S requirements.

  • A: These are fully open access journals. There is therefore no charge to access, read, and download articles published in the journals.

  • A: ACS Publications has signed--and continues to build--a significant number of transformative Read + Publish Agreements with institutions and academic consortia worldwide. Researchers at those institutions will be able to use APC credits allocated by these agreements to publish in these journals. More information can be found here.



    Contact your librarian or purchasing manager for details regarding these agreements and to check eligibility.



    Contact ACSPubsSales@acs.org to request a call-back from your ACS representative.