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ACS Open Access and Permissions

Use of ACS AuthorChoice content by Third party Non-ACS Authors

The number of articles being published in ACS journals using an AuthorChoice Open Access option is increasing steadily. As a general rule, the terms of use (and any restrictions) will be set out in the online license that will be attached to the online version of the article (the “public use license”). In thinking about re-using this published content, you should review and consider the terms of the licenses noted below.

Most ACS AuthorChoice Open Access content will use one of the following public use licenses:

  • 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. Read more about this license on the Creative Commons website.
  • Creative Commons CC BY public use license – Permits the broadest form of re-use including for commercial purposes, provided that author attribution and integrity are maintained. Read more about this license on the Creative Commons website.

When considering your anticipated use and the terms of the public use licenses noted above, you might want to consider discussing those terms with a legal representative or experienced colleague. Note that ACS AuthorChoice licensed content does not require permission processing through RightsLink or the ACS.

The most important requirements or restrictions for both of these public use licenses will be attribution— which will generally involve identifying the author(s) of the quoted article (and possibly the article title and journal). The other requirement is to maintain the integrity of the quoted work—in other words not to use the content in such a way as to imply an endorsement or conclusion that would be inconsistent with the original work.

The CC BY-NC-ND public use license has two other elements—the non-commercial requirement and derivative use prohibition. The non-commercial element is understood to mean re-use that does not involve a commercial advantage or monetary compensation. With respect to the derivate use, this is generally understood as something like an adaptation of the original piece (think of a movie adaptation of a novel) or a translation.

There are previous ACS journal articles published using a public use license different from the two Creative Commons licenses noted above, the ACS AuthorChoice bespoke public use license. However, using such content would be similar to the issues described above for the CC BY-NC-ND license, except that the AuthorChoice license also permits the creation of non-commercial derivative works.