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How to Publish Open Access with ACS

ACS Publications strongly supports the open access movement. Whether you simply believe in the tenets of open access or are required to meet certain publishing criteria mandated by your institutions or funders, we are committed to providing you with the means to publish your work under an OA license.

What are the Two Standard Types of Open Access?

As a researcher who is subject to policies and mandates of both funding bodies and institutions, you have more than one way to ensure your article published in an ACS journal is open and free to access by colleagues, researchers and scientists worldwide.

Gold Open Access

Under gold open access, the author or funder pays a fee to make the final published article freely and immediately available. You can either submit your research to one of our fully open access journals, or you can choose to make your accepted article published to any of our other 60+ hybrid open access journals.

Green Open Access

Under green open access, once an article is published in a journal, the author can self-archive the accepted manuscript on an institutional repository, funder repository, or personal website. The article is free to read, typically after an embargo period of 12 months.

How to Publish Open Access Under a Read + Publish Agreement

ACS Read + Publish Agreements assist authors and institutions with meeting their goals of widespread open access publication while ensuring researchers have full access to ACS journal content.

Find out if you are covered by an ACS’s Read + Publish Agreements

As a corresponding author eligible for sponsored open access under a Read + Publish Agreement, during submission, you need to:

  • Use an affiliated university email extension address and select its institution from the drop-down box.
  • Confirm that the institutional affiliation stated in the body of the manuscript is the corresponding author’s affiliation.

In addition to these requirements, a corresponding author of an article published under a Read + Publish Agreement should follow the following steps:

  • Once your article is accepted, you will receive an email requesting whether you require an open access option. To publish open access, select the “click here” link in the email. This link will take you to RightsLink,® which is a transactional service of Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) that allows authors to request APC funding from their respective institutions or funders. It is here that you can request funding through your institution. Select the “Seek Funding” option. CCC collects funding from your institution to pay open access and other article publishing charge(APCs) on behalf of ACS.
  • Next you will arrive at the “Pay Author Charges”, at which point you should select “Next” to start the 2-step process of accepting your publisher’s terms and conditions. You can then submit your order. Note: You will need to log in to Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) to complete the process. If you are not registered with CCC, you will need to create a new account and sign in again. Your registration form will then be pre-filled with metadata provided by ACS.
  • Select “Submit for Approval”. You will receive a response from your administrator with a request for approval for funding. Note: Some Read + Publish Agreements require that authors request funding within two weeks of receiving their acceptance email.
  • You will receive a confirmation email from CCC (no-reply@copyright.com) once your request is approved. At this stage, your steps to receive open access funding is complete. You will receive an email from ACS when your article is made open. The published article will indicate an ACS AuthorChoice license, letting readers know the article is open access.

How to Publish Open Access via an Author Funded Option (ACS AuthorChoice)

*For authors not covered under a Read + Publish Agreement or not funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or by the Austrian Science Foundation

  • Once your article is accepted for publication in an ACS journal, you will receive an email from ACS requesting whether you prefer or require an open access option. To publish open access, select the “click here” link in the email. The link will then take you to a “Pay Author Charges” screen.
  • Once you arrive at the “Pay Author Charges” screen, use the pull-down menu to select options for your ACS AuthorChoice open access. Select whether you would like the article to be published immediately or in 12 months. Select whether you would like to add a Creative Commons License. Choose either “Decline Option”, “CC-BY” (offered by ACS for free), or “CC-BY-NC-ND” (available at no extra cost upon request). Finally, select “Apply Discounts”.
  • If you are an ACS member, this is the step at which you can add your member discount. You may also add your institution here to see if you qualify for an affiliation discount based on your institution’s subscription to ACS Publications. Ask your institution’s administrator or librarian about your subscription type. Select “Apply Discounts” when finished.
  • Once you verify that payment is due, select “Payment Options” to log in to the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). Note: You will need to log in to Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) to complete the process. If you are not registered with CCC, you will need to create a new account and sign in again. Your registration form will then be pre-filled with metadata provided by ACS.
  • If you have a RightsLink account, log in with your RighstLink username and password. Note: The RightsLink login is different from your ACS member ID/account. If you do not have a RightsLink account, please click “Need to register?” in the upper right to create an account.
  • Verify the customer location and, if applicable, enter a VAT ID number. Select a payment method (credit card or invoice). Select “Next” to verify that the information contained in the order is correct. Click the “Place Order” button. You are done! You will receive an email confirmation once your order is placed. Once payment is received, your published article will automatically display the “ACS AuthorChoice” label so that readers know it is open access and free to read.

How Can I Make an Existing ACS Article Open Access?

Purchase Open Access via ACS AuthorChoice

ACS Publishes 3 Fully Open Access Journals and 60+ Hybrid Journals

While the majority of ACS’s 60+ journals are hybrid—subscription journals that also facilitate the publication of open access articles via an article publishing charge—ACS publishes 3 fully open access journals.
Explore ACS's Full Portfolio of 60+ Journals