Open Access Pricing for Authors

The power of choice

A growing number of authors choose to publish open access. ACS offers a variety of journals, open access license types, and routes to open access publication to meet individuals' unique needs.

Overview of ACS open access journal categories

Funders, authors, and research institutions all have unique needs. ACS offers five different types of open access journals to help meet these needs and enable open publishing for all regions, institutions, and individuals.

  • ACS Central Science: Edited by Nobel Laureate Carolyn Bertozzi, publication in this highly selective and prestigious journal is fully sponsored by ACS–there is no cost to the author or reader.
  • ACS Omega: Designed to facilitate rapid publication sound content across a broad range of topic area, ACS Omega selects content based on scientific merit rather than novelty, making for a rapid and affordable route to open publication.
  • ACS Au journals: Named after the periodic table symbol for gold, this suite of journals is fully open access yet retains the same rigorous peer review and selectivity of ACS’ wider portfolio.
  • ACS open access partnering publications: ACS works with global organizations to co-publish and also support the cost of publication. These journals attract and support the work of global scientists while offering a reduction in cost.
  • ACS hybrid / transformative journals: These are the traditional ACS journals that evolved prior to the open access transformation. They publish a blend of open access content and articles which require a subscription to read.


Most authors enjoy reduced- or no-cost open access publishing

A large number of our authors qualify for financial support from their research funder or representative institution through an ACS read and publish agreement. A generous additional range of discounts and promotions help make open publishing more accessible to authors who don’t qualify for institutional or funder support.

Use our journal finder tool to find the best ACS journal for your unique circumstances. Step-by-step instructions for publishing open access using grant or personal funding are also available.

APCs for fully open access journals

Journal / CollectionCC BY 4.0 license (USD)CC BY‑NC‑ND 4.0 license (USD)
ACS Central Science$0N/A
ACS Omega*$1,935$1,935
ACS Au Journals**$3,500 ($2,500*)$3,000 ($2,000*)
Other fully open access journals***$3,500**$3,000**
* ACS Premium Package members will receive a $250 discount when publishing in ACS Omega and the ACS Au journals. See ACS member discounts below for more information.

** Open access publication in ACS Au journals is currently available at this special rate for articles accepted for publication prior to 12/31/23. See ACS Au discounts below for details.

*** Sponsored or waived APC's are currently available, see below for details.

APCs for hybrid / transformative journals

Pricing typeCC BY 4.0 license (USD)CC BY‑NC‑ND 4.0 license (USD)CC BY after 12 months (USD)CC BY‑NC‑ND after 12 months (USD)
Standard Pricing$4,500$4,000$2,500$2,000
Member Pricing$4,250$3,750$2,250$1,750
Subscribing Institution Pricing$4,250$3,750$2,250$1,750
Member at Subscribing Institution Pricing$4,000$3,500$2,000$1,500
OA Pricing

Article development charge (ADC) for zero-embargo green open access

This option expands the choices beyond the free 12-month embargo route for those authors who do not already benefit from a read and publish agreement to comply with zero-embargo green open access mandates by posting their accepted manuscript to a repository without delay from acceptance.

The article development charge (ADC) is a flat fee of $2,500 USD and is payable once the manuscript is sent for peer review. The ADC covers the cost of ACS’ pre-acceptance publishing services, from initial submission through to the final editorial decision.

To continue enhancing opportunities for researchers and students from under-resourced regions, ADC waivers or discounts will be automatically applied to papers from corresponding authors from all countries that currently receive special country pricing for article publishing charges (APCs).

The ADC only applies if authors include their funder-recommended language regarding zero-embargo green open access in their manuscript, if the article has been submitted to an ACS hybrid / transformative journal, and the final version of record is not expected to publish as immediate open access (e.g. through a read and publish agreement).

For more information about this option, please see our zero-embargo green open access page.

Special discounts and promotions

Articles accepted for publication in ACS Au journals between April 17, 2023 and December 31, 2023 will receive a substantial discount on the regular price for article publishing charges.  See the pricing table above.

This discount will be automatically applied upon acceptance in any of the following ACS journals:

ACS Premium Package members are eligible for a $250 discount on listed prices for open access publication in ACS Au, ACS Omega, and ACS hybrid / transformative journals.

Discounted APCs for hybrid / transformative journals are shown in the table above.

ACS offers full waivers or significantly discounted article publishing charges for papers in our fully open access journals whose submitting corresponding authors are based in countries classified by the World Bank as low-income economies as of July 2022.

Submitting corresponding authors from World Bank Group A countries will receive a full waiver of article publishing charges.

Submitting corresponding authors from World Bank Group B countries are eligible for significantly discounted article publishing charges.

Article publishing charges for eligible authors will be automatically discounted or waived upon acceptance. Find out more here.

* Important: Authors who are eligible for special country pricing are not able to claim an additional ACS Member Discount.

Authors based at institutions which subscribe to ACS All Publications Package are eligible for a discount of $250 on listed prices. This discount is only applicable toward open access publishing in hybrid / transformative journals.

Discounted APCs for hybrid / transformative journals are shown in the table above.

Your librarian will be able to confirm your institution’s subscription status. This does not apply to ACS Au journals or when country discount is applied.

The following ACS open access partnering publications are offering special introductory sponsored open access publishing. Special thanks to the institutions partnering with ACS, who make it possible to offer introductory no-fee open access publication.

ACS Publications is accepting applications for APC waivers for the following journal:

  • Environment & Health: Authors who submit their manuscripts by April 30, 2024 may apply for an APC waiver if their paper is accepted after peer review

Authors publishing in any of ACS’ hybrid / transformative journals may opt for a 12 month embargo and receive a $2,000 discount. Discounted APCs for hybrid / transformative journals are shown in the table above.

This embargo period allows the article to be offered under subscription access for 12 months prior to becoming available via green open access (e.g. self-archiving the accepted manuscript in an institutional repository). Publishing open access under a Creative Commons license also allows authors to retain copyright.

Automatic PubMed Central deposit

Any article that an author chooses to make open access with ACS will automatically be sent to PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC for deposit after issue and license completion. For authors who choose a 12 month embargo discount, the article will be sent to PMC after the embargo period. Authors are also free to deposit the article in their institutional and/or research funder’s designated open access repository.

Creative Commons licenses

All research articles published in ACS Central Science always receive a CC BY license. JACS Au, ACS Omega, the ACS Au family of journals, Precision Chemistry, Chemical & Biomedical Imaging, Environment & Health, and our 60+ hybrid / transformative journals offer authors a choice of CC BY or CC BY-NC-ND licenses:

License type Description
Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 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. Note that if you are funded by a signatory of Plan S, you may be required to publish under a CC BY license.
Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 public use license
Permits non-commercial access & reuse, provided that author attribution and integrity are maintained, but does not permit creation of adaptations or other derivative works.

Please note that your institution or funder may require you to apply a particular Creative Commons license when publishing your work. If you’re not sure which license type to apply to your work, check your funding agreement and use our Journal Finder tool.

We made it easier for readers of ACS content to identify open access articles and quickly see what permissions are afforded.  Learn more here.

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