taking down the walls

Free the Science is The Electrochemical Society's initiative to move toward a future that embraces open science to further advance research in our fields. This is a long-term vision for transformative change in the traditional models of communicating scholarly research.

ECS, founded in 1902, is a trusted member-based nonprofit led by researchers for researchers. ECS advances electrochemistry and solid state science by publishing peer-reviewed scholarly journals, convening scientific meetings, and supporting emerging scientists in our fields.

The Society believes that openness democratizes access to the scientific process. To that end, ECS is committed to playing a crucial role in implementing the necessary changes. More openness in our sciences means faster progress and solutions to global challenges in human health and the sustainability of the planet.

ECS publishes over a third of its journal articles as open access. Other ECS programs that advance the shift to open science include ECSarXiv, a preprint service offered through a partnership with the Center for Open Science, enhanced research dissemination with Research4Life, ECS OpenCon, and expanding our publications to include more research in data sciences.

Watch the video: Why Should We #FreetheScience?


Why not go fully open access right away?

ECS ultimately aims to achieve full open access across its peer-reviewed journals, but we have not yet determined the most appropriate business model. As a nonprofit society, we need to consider many elements of the way we work, and how publishing fully-OA journals will change those. While we do further research and further modelling, we realize we need to be offering authors the option of making their articles open access right away. Author Choice Open Access satisfies the immediate needs of authors.

How will people know if an article is freely available?

Open access articles will be flagged as freely available at the Table of Contents level (and in TOC alerts) and at the abstract level in our digital library. The usage license under which they are made OA will also be visible. Readers can then follow the link to the full text if they wish to, and will be able to download it regardless of their subscriber status.

Does ECS have a Green OA policy for its journals?

Yes. Authors may deposit the pre-print and/or published versions of their articles in their institutional repository, with no embargo, provided that the files prepared by and/or formatted by ECS (and its vendors) are not used for that purpose. Any posting made or updated after the acceptance of the article for publication should include a link to the online abstract in the ECS publication of origin or to the entry page of that publication.

If authors choose to make their articles OA through Author Choice Open Access, the Version of Record (VoR) will be freely available in our digital library. Authors may also deposit the published PDF of these OA articles in their institutional repositories, if they wish to.

Why are you levying article processing charges while still keeping subscriptions? Are you “double–dipping”?

ECS is committed to not double dipping, and our motives for moving toward OA have nothing to do with creating new revenue.

Ultimately, our plan is to move away from the traditional subscriptions model altogether. However, we are not yet in a position to do so.

In 2014 and 2015, ECS piloted a model where authors affiliated with subscribing institutions were offered unlimited article credits. This was very popular with authors, and the number of authors that took us up on that offer was significant. During that time more than 99% of the open access papers that we published were published using article credits (in other words, the authors did not pay).

Alongside our OA activities, we have also made a commitment to our libraries to hold our current subscription pricing for as long as possible through this initiative; and that commitment has been in place since 2013.

However, we do need to continue to cover our costs, and offering all authors from all subscribing institutions article credits without increasing our subscription prices has proved unsustainable. Because we – and our authors -- like the model, we are happy to continue subsidizing it, albeit with some changes. In 2016, we created a new product, ECS Plus, which is a subscription to all of our content PLUS unlimited article credits for authors from ECS Plus institutions. The difference between the price of the digital library and the price for ECS Plus is, in many cases, one to three) of our moderately priced APCs – and for that, all authors from your institution can publish an unlimited number of open access articles with ECS during the subscription year.

In some cases, institutions will recoup the entire cost of their ECS Plus subscription through APC savings.