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RSC launches 1 million Gold for Gold initiative as Open Access transition begins


18 July 2012

The Royal Society of Chemistry has announced a groundbreaking 1 million initiative to support British researchers as they begin the transition to Gold Open Access (OA).

'Gold for Gold' is an innovative experiment to support the funder led evolution to Gold OA, by recognising institutes that subscribe to RSC Gold, a premium collection of 37 international journals, databases and magazines offering online access to all published material.

UK institutes who are RSC Gold customers will shortly receive credit equal to the subscription paid, enabling their researchers, who are being asked to publish Open Access but often do not yet have funding to pay for it directly, to make their paper available via Open Science, the RSC's Gold OA option. 

Dr James Milne, RSC Managing Director, Publishing, said: "The RSC is delighted to announce this innovative experiment to help researchers make their articles Open Access during a period when funding to support this model is still relatively unclear." 

The number of UK institutes subscribing to RSC Gold is now approaching 50, having doubled in the last two months. Dr Milne commented: "We anticipate this initiative will equate to the RSC donating more than 1 million pounds worth of Gold Open Access article processing fees to the UK research community by the end of the year".

Earlier this week the Government confirmed its support for migrating towards Gold Open Access by making publicly funded scientific research available for anyone to read for free, accepting recommendations in a report on OA by Dame Janet Finch.

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) also published their revised policy on Open Access, requiring researchers to publish in OA compliant journals. 'Gold for Gold' seeks to support researchers until the block grants from RCUK are distributed next April, which, once established are intended to fund Gold OA.

Since 2007 all RSC journals have carried the option to make articles Open Access through Open Science - the Gold OA model.  

Lesley Gray, Journals Co-ordinator Scheme Manager from the University of Cambridge, said: "This initiative by the RSC is welcomed, and will serve to promote Open Access publishing to researchers."

Lorraine Estelle, Chief Executive of JISC congratulated the RSC on launching 'Gold for Gold' which "demonstrates the Society's engagement with the chemical science community and recent Open Access developments". 

Notes for editors:

  • The 'Gold for Gold' scheme is currently a pilot for the UK only. Should it prove beneficial to the community, the Royal Society of Chemistry will consider rolling out the initiative to the rest of the world. Any international customers interested in 'Gold for Gold' can use the contact details below.

  • The number of vouchers each institution receives will be based on the subscription paid to the RSC, divided by 1,600 (the APC for a full paper in RSC journals). Each voucher will enable OA publication in any RSC journal via Open Science (all articles, whether communications, full papers, or reviews, will use one voucher). Vouchers are valid until the end of 2013 and the corresponding author on the paper must be based in the institute holding the voucher; 

  • Subject to positive feedback, additional 'vouchers' will be distributed to the UK's RSC Gold customers as part of the 2013 subscription renewal process.    

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