Ask Us Anything!

r/scienceECS Technical Editor Dr. Gerald Frankel, accompanied by ECS’s Executive Director Roque Calvo, hosted our first ever “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Reddit’s r/science. The event gathered over 2,000 upvotes and more than 100 comments. We did this in honor of Open Access Week 2016 (Oct. 24-30), as a means of having an open dialogue regarding Free the Science, ECS’s effort to keep money in scientific research rather than in the publishing industry.

For about an hour Frankel and Calvo fielded questions on topics ranging from Open Access and the staggering cost of APCs, to failed Youtube experiments and electric car batteries.

You can read the whole thing on Reddit, or check out an archived version on The Winnower.

And don’t forget, the 132,000 articles and abstracts in the ECS Digital Library will be available free of charge Oct. 24-30.

Have a question that wasn’t answered? Feel free to reach out to us at

ECS shows its vision for the future of academic publishing

Open AccessECS is celebrating Open Access Week this year by giving the world a preview of what complete open access will look like. From October 24th through October 30th, we are taking down the paywall to the ECS Digital Library, making over 132,000 scientific articles and abstracts free and accessible to anyone.

Eliminating the paywall during Open Access Week is a preview of ECS’s Free the Science initiative; a business-model changing plan with the goal of making the entire ECS Digital Library open access by 2024. ECS believes that the opening and democratizing of this information will lead to rapid advances in discoveries ranging from renewable energy to clean water and sanitation.

“ECS has one core goal: to disseminate this scientific research to the broadest possible audience without barriers,” says Mary Yess, ECS Deputy Executive Director and Chief Content Officer. “The research of our authors has the ability to address some of the most critical issues across the globe, and we believe paywalls should not impede progress.”


Open Access Week is fast upon us, and this year’s theme is “Open in Action.” ECS’s participation in Open Access Week is a preview of our vision to Free the Science, a future where authors can publish with us for free and readers can access our Digital Library without paywalls (find out more about what we’re doing to celebrate).

In the spirit of this year’s theme, ECS has created a list  of “action items” to help you make the most of the week:


Celebrating Open Access Week

Open AccessThe last week of October is International Open Access Week. As ECS did last year, we are celebrating by giving the world a preview of what complete open access will look like when we have completed our Free the Science campaign. From October 24th through October 30th we are taking down the paywall to the ECS Digital Library. Over 132,000 articles will be freely available to anyone who wants to read them.

We had great success with this last year. During Open Access Week the Journal of The Electrochemical Society saw a 51% increase in usage.

Please spread the word. From October 24th through the 30th anyone will be able to read any of the content in our digital library for free.  We hope to make this the “norm” in the future through our Free the Science initiative.

Special Offer for Open Access

Open AccessAt ECS, we offer your institution a subscription to ECS Plus, which gives your researchers access to a wealth of high-ranking, highly-cited research in electrochemistry and solid state science.

With ECS Plus, authors can publish an unlimited number of articles in our high-ranking journals (Journal of The Electrochemical Society and ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology) as Open Access, at no additional cost to them or your institution.

Please don’t hesitate to email Anna Olsen, Senior Content Associate and Library Liaison, with any questions you may have, or with your order!

home_coverScholarly publishing news has been buzzing about 1science’s recently published large-scale study on the impact of Open Access. This study analyzed more than 3 million papers and found that Open Access papers have a 50% greater citation advantage than papers in subscription-based journals.

Meanwhile, ECS has also been performing its own (much smaller-scale) research to confirm this hypothesis. In May 2015, ECS launched a study, led by Daniela Solomon, a librarian at Case Western Reserve University, to examine the citation advantage for Open Access articles published in Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES).

The study looks at both downloads and citations of articles published in a single volume of JES. This brief note outlines the results at the end of one year; however, we consider these results preliminary as we will continue to run the study for another year.

We will publish our findings again when the study closes: in the meantime we’d be interested in hearing your comments and thoughts on our findings so far.


Education is the Key to SuccessChildren struggle to learn when they don’t have science labs and libraries. Learning becomes difficult in classrooms that are falling apart, or where children are expected to sit on the floor because they have neither desks nor chairs.

A lack of infrastructure is just one contributor to South Africa’s entrenched and ongoing educational inequality. There is another, less frequently discussed issue that is deepening this inequality: access to quality peer-reviewed information.

Such information should be available to all South Africans whether they are school children, university students, researchers or citizen scientists. This will encourage lifelong self-learning. It will spur continued research and innovation. Access to information can bolster education, training, empowerment and human development.

International Open Access Week offers a good opportunity to explore how South Africa can improve its citizens’ access to information.

Opening up access

It has been more than 21 years since apartheid ended, but a distinction remains between South Africa’s “rich” and “poor” universities. One of the reasons for this distinction is the richer institutions’ ability to invest in research resources. They can afford expensive subscriptions to databases which contain a wealth of research – ironically funded by taxpayers’ money.

The historically disadvantaged and predominantly black universities can’t afford such subscriptions. Their academics also can’t contribute to such resources, because authors are expected to pay a fee for the “privilege” of being published.

As university budgets are slashed, even wealthier institutions are beginning to struggle with subscription and publication fee costs.


Reminder: Submit Your OA Story Today!

Essay ContestThere’s only one week left to enter ECS’s Open Access Week Competition! Don’t forget to submit your brief 200-400 word essay for a chance to win one of two cash prizes and additional funding for your ECS Student Chapter.


1st prize: $250 to the individual, $500 to the affiliated ECS Student Chapter*

2nd prize: $100 to the individual, $250 to the affiliated ECS Student Chapter*

*In the event that there is no affiliated ECS Student Chapter, this prize money will be donated to the ECS Free the Science Fund. If a report is written by more than one individual, any prize money will be shared equally between those individuals.

Submissions Open: August 8, 2016

Submissions Close: September 15, 2016 (DEADLINE EXTENDED!)

Download our poster promoting the competition to distribute on your campus.

Not interested in participating, but want to get involved? Check out the Open Access Week website for information or inspiration:



Open AccessNASA recently announced that all research funded by the space agency will be accessible to anyone looking to access the data at absolutely no cost.

The new public web portal, called PubSpace, was established in response to NASA’s new policy, which requires that all research funded by NASA and published in peer-reviewed journals must be open to the public within one year of its initial publication.

“At NASA, we are celebrating this opportunity to extend access to our extensive portfolio and scientific and technical publications,” NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman said in a press release. “Through open access and innovation we invite the global community to join us in exploring Earth, air, and space.”

However, the entire body of NASA-funded research will not be accessible in PubSpace. Materials and patents governed by personal privacy, proprietary, or security laws will not be housed in the new database.

NASA’s new policy and PubSpace is a direct response to a request from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for federal funding agencies to make papers and data more easily accessible to other researchers and the public.


Open AccessA large-scale study on the impact of open access has recently been released, finding that OA papers have a 50 percent greater citation advantage than papers published in subscription-based journals.

The analysis of more than three million papers determined that a journal’s move toward open access publishing is necessary to retain relevance in the field. Additionally, further results point to the face that traditional subscription-based journals will lose their relevance for researchers and governments if they continue to block access to research via paywalls.

(READ: “For-science of For-profit?“)

This from Digital Journal:

The new research also shows that the widely held belief that open access papers have a greater impact due to them being available earlier than their commercially published versions is not consistent with the large-scale data collected by 1science. In fact, based on a tie series comprising more than 17.4 million papers published between 2000 and 2015, it is clear that open access still suffers from the effect of embargoes enforced by traditional publishers who maintain that they require that delay to keep the subscription model alive.


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