January 25, 2022

Report: MIT and Royal Society of Chemistry Sign First North American “Read and Publish” Agreement for Scholarly Articles

From MIT Libraries:

2018-06-14_15-34-02The MIT Libraries and the Royal Society of Chemistry have signed a groundbreaking license agreement that incorporates elements of a traditional subscription purchase and open access to scholarly articles. The experimental two-year agreement is seen as an important step on the path toward making more research freely and openly available to the world.

The new agreement combines traditional subscription-based access to Royal Society of Chemistry articles for the MIT community with immediate open access to MIT-authored articles, making them freely available to all audiences at the time of publication. It is the first of its kind among North American institutions.

“This is an important move toward the kind of transformation we want to see in the scholarly communication landscape,” says Chris Bourg, director of the MIT Libraries and co-chair of the Institute’s Task Force on Open Access to MIT Research. “Working with a partner like the Royal Society of Chemistry, which shares many of our values, helps us evolve toward new business models that better align with our mission.”

The agreement, known as “read and publish,” will run through 2019. Through the agreement, articles published in Royal Society of Chemistry journals by MIT corresponding authors during this period will be made openly available at the time of publication at no cost to the author. The aim of the offsetting agreement is that, over time, as more universities adopt this type of contract, the proportion of paywalled articles will decline and funding will shift to supporting open access to research.


In order to encourage this overall transition to open access, MIT and the Royal Society of Chemistry collaborated on significant new language in the agreement, signaling the Royal Society of Chemistry ’s commitment to a fully open access publishing model in the future. The agreement affirms that the current read and publish model is a “transitional business model whose aim is to provide a mechanism to shift over time to full open access.” Making this successful transition to full open access will require collaborations across universities.

Read the Complete Announcement


About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.