Chemistry Central publishing in partnership with societies

Case study: Society journals and open access. See the article published in Learned Publishing 23:2.

It has often been argued that open access is perfectly aligned with the mission of societies to further knowledge creation and dissemination in their fields. Now that the viability of the open access model has been proven, both the number of newly launched open access journals and the number of previously subscription-based journals converting to open access have seen a steady increase. An important driver of this development is the growing number of funding agencies and universities that support open access, not only by mandating it through self-archiving but also by making funds available to pay article-processing charges (APCs). As the scientific community increasingly embraces open access publishing to aid the swift and efficient communication of research, Chemistry Central is the ideal publishing partner with whom to launch a new journal or collaborate with on an existing title.

Flexibility and scalability

For societies who partner with us to launch new titles, open access offers a highly flexible, scalable and low-risk model. The APC, levied at publication, covers the cost of publishing, and the number and length of research articles are unrestricted by space constraints. In accepting and inviting articles, editors can therefore strictly adhere to their journal’s agreed quality criteria right from the start, with no requirement to reject and delay high-quality articles because of non-editorial requirements such as page budget limitations. With APCs as the main revenue source, the growth of journals over time provides additional income, thus adding economic scalability to maximum editorial flexibility.

Making it work financially

Societies publishing journals with Chemistry Central can receive a share of revenue generated by the journal through APCs and advertising. Other societies have opted to cover the APCs payable for all articles published in the journal (at discounted rates) or for articles published by the society’s members.

It is also possible for societies to cover a share of APCs on behalf of their members publishing in the journal, thus offering a membership benefit. If this model is combined with a society surcharge to Chemistry Central standard charge, it not only creates a revenue stream for the society but also an incentive for researchers to join the society, thereby driving society revenue through membership dues. Whatever the model chosen by a society, it can be adjusted over time to reflect the development of the journal and the society.

It is important to note that Chemistry Central operates a waiver policy to ensure that APCs are not an obstacle for authors without sufficient funding. For authors from close to 100 countries with low per-capita income the charges are waived automatically. Authors from other countries can request reductions and full waivers during the submission process, with decisions being made on a case-by-case basis, separate from and independent of the editorial process.

"Very helpful to us in the third world because free access has liberated us who cannot afford paying subscriptions to journals."

Emil Namakuka Kikwilu, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam

Services for societies

At Chemistry Central we are aware that scientific societies require cooperation and services additional to the top-quality services already provided for Editors, authors, reviewers, and readers of all our journals and articles. We offer societies a range of additional services and options, including the following:

  • Society revenue through a share of APCs charges and income from advertising and sponsored supplements
  • Possibility to arrange discounts for society members via a pre-pay arrangement
  • Free article feed to society website to run a mirror site of the journal
  • Option of Open Repository for the society’s digital assets
  • Detailed reporting on submissions, workflow, turnaround times, etc
  • Marketing opportunities (such as conference promotions and marketing exchanges)
  • A forum to publish meeting reports and supplements

Journal society memberships

Journal-specific memberships provide a mechanism that allows APCs to be covered, either for all articles published in the journal or on behalf of society members and other authorized authors. Charges are debited to the society’s membership account when submissions are accepted and published. Several options are available:

A Prepay Membership offers Member organizations a discounted APC in return for an upfront payment into the account. Upon publication, the APC for the journal, minus the discount that applies, will be deducted from the account. The higher the amount paid in advance, the greater the discount given.

Postpay Membership customers are invoiced quarterly for the APCs incurred for authorized papers that have been published in the society’s journal over the preceding three months.

Shared Support Membership allows the author and intuition to share the APC. It is based on a deposit of funds that cover fifty percent of the APC for articles submitted and accepted from your researchers. The other fifty percent is covered by the authors and their grants.

Membership arrangements are flexible and separate from the publishing agreement between Chemistry Central and a society or other organization. This means, for instance, that societies have the option of initially covering the charges for all articles published in their journal but at a later stage switching to an arrangement where they cover the costs only on behalf of society members.

Chemistry Central also offers its Member institutions a cost-free SWORD-based delivery of articles published by staff affiliated with the institution: as soon as the official final version of an article is published in a Chemistry Central journal, we will automatically populate the author’s institutional repository with the published article. For a society with a Chemistry Central Membership arrangement this means that we offer to deposit all articles published in the society’s journal in a repository run by the society.

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