From January 2017 our largest journal, RSC Advances, will become fully gold open access.
Our Deputy Chief Executive, Dr Helen Pain, announced the news at the Chinese Chemical Society Congress in Dalian on 1 July, 2016.
By changing the largest chemical sciences journal in the world to open access, we want to shape the future of open access publishing and maximise the visibility of research in the chemical sciences and related areas.
Many funding bodies and institutions also require authors to publish in an open access journal, and the change will give authors an affordable option for doing so.
Gold open access means articles are made freely available to all online, permanently and immediately after publication. Costs are covered by an article processing charge (APC), a one-off payment by the author at the point of publication.
We want to make sure that high impact research from emerging centres of chemistry gets the international visibility it deserves. With this in mind we have set our APCs to make it affordable for authors. This is a major step forward in our strategy to shape the future of open access publishing in the chemical sciences, so that new research is available to all those who need it.
Our journals aim to disseminate the best quality research to the largest audience possible, to the benefit of the global scientific community, and this means that open access publishing needs to be available to everyone, regardless of their economic background. That’s why we’re setting the APC at a competitive level of £750 to ensure it is affordable to all authors. We are also offering all authors a discounted APC of £500 for the first two years.
In line with a programme called Research4Life, we will offer a full waiver to the APC to more than 40 countries in the developing world, with a partial discount to £250 being made available to eight further countries including India, Egypt and Pakistan. Research4Life is a public–private partnership of international organisations, academic institutions, and scientific publishers. Its aim is to provide low- and middle-income countries with affordable access to scientific research.
Our APCs show that open access publishing can be both affordable to authors and sustainable for publishers.
I believe that making RSC Advances – with its diverse, international authorship – gold open access will have a substantial impact on the chemistry community. Our article processing charge is highly competitive and affordable to all, helping to ensure that the journal continues to attract high quality contributions in all areas of the chemical sciences.
RSC Advances publishes high-quality scientific research on 133 subjects, covering the entirety of the chemical sciences, from quantum chemistry to food safety, including multidisciplinary and emerging areas. Since its launch, we have published over 26,000 articles, with submissions from authors in 91 countries.
Maintaining the standards of the journal is hugely important – we have a rejection rate of just over 60% and a five-year impact factor of 3.5.* RSC Advances will maintain its strict acceptance criteria as we make the transition to open access, into 2017 and beyond.
Recently we changed the way we peer review articles for RSC Advances, to enhance our direct engagement with the chemical sciences community. Papers are now processed by a team of over 200 international associate editors across all areas of the chemical sciences, who handle papers in their area of specialism. They work hand in hand with a dedicated reviewer panel made up of specially selected expert reviewers from across all fields of the chemical sciences.
The journal has been at the forefront of innovation since its launch in 2011. The strength of support for RSC Advances from the community has been unprecedented in chemistry publishing, and last year we built on and increased this engagement by introducing an innovative peer-review model. The new open access model is the next step forward in the continued evolution of the journal.
We’ve also led other ways of making research more accessible and the publication process more streamlined.
Our topic-modelling technology automatically categorises articles into one or more of the 12 main subject categories and over 100 further sub categories, improving discoverability. Researchers can also subscribe to subject-specific e-alerts from the journal, sending the latest developments in their area of research straight to their inbox.
In 2014 we introduced Proof Central, online proofing software that allows authors to make their proof corrections in situ, speeding up the publishing process and improving authors’ experience. In addition authors receive their page numbers as soon as their articles are published, so their articles can be fully cited straight away.
We’re also looking to collaborate with leading companies, foundations, government agencies and individuals who wish to support the development of open access publishing in the chemical sciences, and we are particularly interested in establishing partnerships to assist scientists in publishing their work.
Through this latest change, the excellent research published in RSC Advances will reach an even wider global audience, tackling economic barriers and bringing together a world-wide chemistry community.
*Data based on 2015 Journal Citation Reports ® (Thomson Reuters, June 2016).