The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) announced today that it aims to make all fully RSC-owned journals Open Access within five years, making it the first chemistry publisher and one of the first society publishers to commit to a fully Open Access future.
Open Access is at the core of the RSC’s mission to help the chemical sciences make the world a better place. Free, unrestricted global access to all of the cutting-edge research published in Royal Society of Chemistry journals is a key component of this, aligning with the RSC’s organisational strategy, which highlights the crucial role of collaboration and the open sharing of scientific knowledge in addressing global challenges, from disease to climate change. Nations in the “Global South”, which will be the worst affected by these issues, are often those with the least access to such crucial information; Open Access ensures that everyone, everywhere has the same potential to access and contribute to the latest discoveries, leading to a better future for all of us.
Equally important is the RSC’s commitment to Inclusion and Diversity – partnering with institutions around the world to develop new Open Access models that work for them, and that do not rely solely on authors paying processing or publication charges. These can present a barrier to researchers, especially in the least developed countries where funds, even to conduct research, are limited.
The Royal Society of Chemistry’s goal is for the majority of its global author community to be covered by institutional or funder level deals. This will only be possible with the involvement and collaboration of its international partners, including institutions, corporations and funders. The Royal Society of Chemistry is making the commitment to engage with these partners and communities to evolve the open access landscape towards a model where the author does not pay article processing charges.
The RSC is committed to working closely with partners and the community throughout 2023 to understand their priorities, requirements and goals for Open Access. As an important first step towards this fully Open Access future, the RSC will shortly submit its portfolio of hybrid journals to the Transformative Journal Programme of cOAlitionS, a global grouping of research funders.
Dr Emma Wilson, Director of Publishing at the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “RSC authors come from all over the world, so it’s essential that, in our transition to Open Access, all authors retain the same ability to publish in our journals.
“We are aiming for a future in which OA publication makes authors’ work accessible on a global scale. As we saw with COVID research, enabling that level of openness and international collaboration can be a catalyst for accelerating innovation and discovery, creating a better, more sustainable, future for all.”
Professor Duncan Graham, Chair of the RSC Publishing Board said: “This is an exciting step for the Royal Society of Chemistry and our growing portfolio of highly respected journals. The transition to Open Access will mean the RSC can ensure that everyone across the globe has the same ability to read and build upon all of the important research published in RSC journals while continuing to maintain the high-quality standards and reputation our community relies on.”
Assuming sufficient support and participation from partners, the Royal Society of Chemistry aims to publish all of its current portfolio of 44 fully-RSC-owned journals Open Access within five years.