RSC Advances goes open access – the story so far
How the world’s largest chemistry journal became gold open access
Last year, we announced that from January 2017 our largest chemistry journal, RSC Advances, would be converted from a subscription journal to a gold open access (OA) journal. Here’s the story so far.
Context for the change
As a learned society and the UK’s professional body for those working in the chemical sciences, everything we do is focused on our mission – to advance excellence in the chemical sciences. Our publishing programme, which started in 1841, has a core role in this mission. By promoting and supporting world-class research, our aim is to make the best chemical science knowledge accessible to all who need it, enabling the exchange of ideas and supporting collaboration.
RSC Advances launched in 2011 to provide a high quality publishing option for all sections of our community, including emerging scientific areas and markets. It supports early-career researchers and researchers from nations which are developing their research base.
Since its launch, the journal has become a home for high quality research that advances the development of the field. With a broad scope and focus on interdisciplinary research, it is now the largest chemical science journal in the world in terms of number of articles published. Since 2011we have published over 26,000 articles covering 133 subjects.
The way scientists communicate their research has naturally evolved in the last five years, with the demand for OA publishing on the increase. Many funding bodies and institutions also now require authors to publish their research open access.
By converting RSC Advances to a gold OA journal, we are able to evolve alongside the demand, and disseminate quality research to the largest possible audience, maximising the visibility of research. It has also allowed us to help shape the future of open access publishing and support our community in the transition to OA.
A time of transition
From 3 October 2016, authors were required to pay article processing charges (APCs) to publish in RSC Advances and the journal was removed from 2017 subscription packages. Between 3 October 2016 and 30 January 2017, we accepted 1,308 articles for publication. The first OA issue of RSC Advances was published on 6 January 2017.
We expect the journal to publish in the region of 7,000 articles in 2017. While this is a decrease compared with the number of articles published in 2016, the journal will, at this size, maintain its position as the largest chemical science journal.
Keeping APCs affordable
We are committed to ensuring RSC Advances continues to support early career researchers and researchers working in emerging markets. We have set our article processing charge (APC) at a competitive level of £750. We are also offering all authors a discounted APC of £500 for the first two years (2017 and 2018).
In line with a programme called Research4Life, we also 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.