ACS and Jisc partner to enable open access publishing for researchers across the UK

The Publications division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Jisc consortium have reached a transitional agreement which will serve researchers in the UK across all fields of chemistry.

The three-year agreement, which will last through 2024, provides the ability for all scientific articles published by researchers at UK universities and research institutes in ACS journals to be open access (OA) at no cost to the researcher.


ACS Publications commits its entire hybrid journal portfolio to become transformative journals – American Chemical Society

The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has committed its full portfolio of more than 60 hybrid journals, which offers both open access and subscription-only content, to become Plan S-aligned transformative journals. This development represents a major step in ACS’ long-standing commitment to open science, signaling a future in which all publications are open access (OA), and ensures that more authors can continue to publish in their chosen journal.

Coalition for Responsible Sharing: Statement – Coalition for Responsible Sharing

“Two members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, ACS and Elsevier, have decided to appeal the ruling of the Regional Court in Munich in their case against ResearchGate (31 January, 2022).

Dr. James Milne, Chair of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing and President, ACS Publications, said: “We welcome the Regional Court in Munich’s verdict. It ruled in our favor on the main part of the claim: ResearchGate is responsible for content that is made available illegally on its site in contravention of agreements between publishers and authors, which it does for its own commercial gain. ResearchGate has been ordered by the court to refrain from doing this in the future.

On the secondary element of the claim, the court denied granting damages on separate grounds. The court confirmed that the agreements between publishers and authors, including electronic agreements, are legally valid. However, we disagree with the court’s opinion that we did not sufficiently prove the consent of all authors. The specifics of academic publishing should be taken into account: research is inherently both global and collaborative, often involving a range of authors from myriad backgrounds, locations and stages of their career. Against this background, ACS and Elsevier have decided to appeal.”

Collaborating and exchanging research articles is a critical element of how researchers make progress that benefits society. Members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing actively enable copyright compliant sharing in many ways. We are pleased the courts have now made it clear that ResearchGate needs to do this in a legally compliant, sustainable way.”

ResearchGate must take down Elsevier articles, court rules – Research Professional News

“Munich chamber decides that online networking platform is responsible

for content uploaded by users

A chamber of the Munich Regional Court has ruled that the research
networking sitResearchGate
has to take down articles uploaded without consent from their original

A case was brought forward in 2017 by the Coalition for Responsible
Sharing, a group of publishers that includes Elsevier and the American
Chemical Society. Members of the coalition had sent more than 500,000
takedown notices to ResearchGate in order to remove articles from
paid-for journals that had been uploaded and made available for free
by users of the platform, according to a statement….”

Researchgate unterliegt im Rechtsstreit mit Elsevier

From Google’s English:  “The Munich I District Court has sentenced the Researchgate network of researchers to refrain from making scientific journal articles from publications by Elsevier Verlag and the American Chemical Society (ACS) accessible in the future. The articles in question were shared on the platform without the consent of the publisher….

According to a press release from the Munich I Regional Court , numerous specialist articles that are the intellectual property of publishers have been made available on the platform. Several scientific publishers have sued against this practice and have applied for a ban on publication on the platform. While the court prohibited the distribution of the publisher’s publications through Researchgate, it denied the publishers a claim for damages.

Behind the lawsuit is the “Coalition for Responsible Sharing” (CfRS), which was founded by several scientific publishers in 2017 and to which the plaintiffs Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) belong, according to a CfRS statement . The initiative, founded by a total of five publishers (in addition to Elsevier and ACS, these are Brill, Wiley and Wolters Kluwer), pursues the common goal of preventing what they consider to be inadmissible distribution of articles from the publishers’ trade journals. A total of 13 scientific publishers, including specialist societies and non-profit companies, now belong to the CfRS. The primary goal of the CfRS is the researcher network Researchgate, which the Coalition estimates makes more than four million articles illegally available on its platform.

In parallel with the legal process, Elsevier and the ACS have taken further steps to hold Researchgate accountable. In October , the platform received a request to remove around 200,000 articles from the two publishers from the website . Researchgate has received multiple takedown requests since the Coalition was formed….

With its judgment, the court recognized the publishers’ claims for injunctive relief , but rejected the claim for damages on the grounds that in this case, according to Section 10 of the Copyright Act (UrhG), there are higher requirements for proof of ownership….”

Statement on litigation in German court with publishers Elsevier and American Chemical Society

“In a judgment Monday, the Regional Court of Munich I dismissed the damages claims filed by the scientific publishers Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) against ResearchGate in 2017. Remarkably, the court found, based on numerous expert opinions, that the publishers’ standard copyright licensing agreements disclosed in the suit–typically signed by only one of multiple authors–were insufficient to demonstrate their acquisition of rights. In the words of the court, this “should not be difficult for a publisher, whose business basis is the legal acquisition of rights of use of the authors published by it”.* This ruling has potentially far-reaching implications for the plaintiffs’ ability to assert their copyright ownership in the future….

Ijad Madisch, ResearchGate co-founder and CEO: “We built ResearchGate to support researchers. This litigation with Elsevier and ACS–now almost five years old–dates back to a different era when most publishers did not put the interests of the research community front and center. While we now have strong partnerships with many leading publishers, this ruling is a reminder of how resistant to change some actors in the scholarly communications ecosystem remain. Our work is as necessary today as it was when we started ResearchGate.” …”


Coalition for Responsible Sharing: Statement – Coalition for Responsible Sharing

“On 31 January 2022, the Regional Court in Munich confirmed that ResearchGate is responsible for content that is made available illegally on its site in contravention of agreements between publishers and authors. ResearchGate has been ordered by the court to refrain from doing this in the future.

Dr. James Milne, Chair of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing and President, ACS Publications, said: “We welcome the court´s decision confirming that it is illegal for ResearchGate to make content available on its site without permission from publishers, which it does for its own commercial gain. ResearchGate’s insistence that publishers should send takedown notices for this content is not in line with the law, and it is highly disruptive to the research community.

Collaborating and exchanging research articles is a critical element of how researchers make progress that benefits society. Members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing actively enable copyright compliant sharing in many ways. We are pleased the courts have now made it clear that ResearchGate needs to do this in a legally compliant, sustainable way.”

ACS and Elsevier will now review the decision of the court in detail….”

ScienceDirect pilot aims to improve research discovery and access

“Now, the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Taylor & Francis and Wiley will collaborate with ScienceDirect on a six-month pilot project to better understand how we can address these challenges.

During the pilot, researchers will be able to search and browse more than 70,000 articles in 35 journals from these participating publishers, alongside Elsevier’s content on ScienceDirect. The journals are all Organic Chemistry and Transportation titles, including most of the top journals in these fields. …”

Elsevier’s ScienceDirect as Content Supercontinent?  – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Earlier today Elsevier announced a pilot project in which the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley will syndicate selected content to the ScienceDirect platform. The articles will appear in search and browse listings….

For purposes of the pilot, the display and access to full text will vary from the Elsevier content. Abstracts of the pilot content will be viewable on ScienceDirect. When the pilot content is open access, the text will be available on ScienceDirect; however, the user will be linked to the original publisher’s website for the formatted PDF. If the content is only available by subscription, users will be linked to the original publisher’s website with no display of full text on ScienceDirect. Users who are entitled to the subscription content, as determined on ScienceDirect through GetFTR functionality, will be linked directly to the full text on the original publisher’s website. …

In essence, this pilot reminds us that ScienceDirect is already a freely available discovery tool and a user of ScienceDirect gets all of the benefits of a subscription database, whether they are only able to access the open access publications on the platform or if their entitlements enable access to subscription Elsevier – and now other publisher – content as well. …”

2 ACS Publications Journals Announce Transparent Peer Review Pilot – ACS Axial

“ACS Publications is excited to announce a transparent peer review pilot in two of our journals, ACS Central Science and The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.  This pilot program will provide increased transparency around the peer-review process,

What is Transparent Peer Review?

Transparent peer review allows the reader to see the exchange between authors and reviewers.

If the author chooses to participate in transparent peer review, the anonymous review comments and the author’s response to the reviewers’ comments will be published as supporting information and will be freely available alongside the article at online publication.

Transparent peer review maintains the anonymity of the reviewer unless otherwise requested by the reviewer….”

International Open Access Week and JACS Au | JACS Au

“As JACS Au publishes its 10th issue of its inaugural year during International Open Access Week—October 25–31, 2021—we can reflect on the role of the journal in the broader open access (OA) publishing landscape.

The role of JACS Au within the ACS Publications Gold OA portfolio is to provide a highly selective venue that covers the full breadth of topics encompassed by the array of 75+ ACS journals. In further defining our targeted portion of this broad scope, we seek to publish manuscripts representing the top 5–10% of publications appearing in ACS specialty journals. (1) Building on three core elements of all ACS publications—speed, rigor, and impact—we have created a unique, high impact OA journal. Whereas the time from paper submission to publication on the web often stretches to 20–30 weeks in high impact OA journals at other publishers, JACS Au offers the characteristic speed and efficiency of ACS Publications. (1) The combination of rapid peer review and publication with OA ensures JACS Au authors benefit from maximum accessibility and availability.

As we seek to become a leading OA journal in the chemical sciences, we embrace this year’s theme for Open Access Week: “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity”. This theme articulates the importance of equity in pursuing a future for scholarship of all types that is open by default, including scientific publishing. OA publishing allows for equitable participation for all producers and consumers of knowledge and helps ensure equal access among researchers from developed and developing countries….”

University of Iowa is latest institution to expand open access through innovative ‘read and publish’ agreement – American Chemical Society

“Researchers at the University of Iowa (UI) will soon be able to reach new audiences around the world, thanks to a transformative “read and publish” agreement with the Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Under a read and publish agreement, authors are eligible to receive financial support to publish under an open access license in any of ACS’ 12 “gold” open access journals, or in any of its over 65 premier hybrid journals. At the same time, their university maintains access to the complete suite of ACS Publications journals for researchers and students….”

Delhi HC Might Have Killed Intellectual Liberty

“In what may be a landmark case related to copyright law, Delhi HC ordered online article and book repositories Sci-Hub and Libgen to stop uploading material from thousands of journals controlled by Elsevier, Wiley India and American Chemical Society….”

ACS and Syracuse University sign transformative ‘read and publish’ agreement – American Chemical Society

“The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Syracuse University (SU) are proud to announce that they are embarking on a transformative “read and publish” agreement, expanding the visibility of the university’s researchers’ scientific contributions. This commitment is a deepening of ACS’ commitment to open access publishing, a movement that it has pioneered through the launch of open access journals, open science initiatives, and the signing of read and publish agreements with hundreds of institutions in over 20 countries….”

A Tale of Two Societies


There are significant shifts in national patterns that can be associated with changes in funder policy and with the offerings of RSC and ACS
RSC took a significant lead in early open access provision for chemistry, particularly in the UK but has fallen back
National averages don’t tell the full picture. Specific institutions show very different and quite specific patterns. There are differential policy effects
Recent changes are strongly driven by read and publish agreements with substantial shifts in publisher choice corresponding to introduction of deals.
There is evidence of concentration of publishing in chemistry with two large publishers taking up an increasing percentage. Should we be concerned about diversity?”