digital_library_hiresPlease let your librarians know that our subscription prices for 2017 are up on our website.

As part of our commitment to Free the Science…

  • The Digital Library has not increased in price since 2013!
  • ECS members continue to be eligible for one OA Article Credit per year.

If you would like your institution to subscribe to ECS Plus (which allows authors affiliated with a subscribing institution unlimited article credits for publishing OA), please let your librarian know that you would value it.

ccc-transparentAs part of our continued commitment to Open Access publishing, ECS is in the process of ensuring an increasingly robust management of article credits, APCs, and APC discounts. ECS is pleased to announce we are partnering with CCC RightsLink, which is a sophisticated self-service system that allows authors to pay the appropriate fee or select the article credit for their articles. CCC RightsLink will help ECS to future-proof its Open Access activities in a sustainable way.

As of May 12, 2016 CCC RightsLink will be fully integrated with our article submission process. Authors will be able to pay color charges, supplemental material fees, and claim Open Access article credits through RightsLink’s self-service portal. (more…)

Open Access: Cost vs. Value

openaccessroundWhether you’re looking at the transformation of scholarly publications or the overall conversation across the globe, it’s clear to see that open access is picking up steam nearly everywhere. In a recent article from Thomson Reuters, the firm takes a deeper look at the move toward open access and its implications.

Cost of open access

Like any publishing model, open access is not without its costs and values. In a traditional open access model, the burden of the cost falls back, in part, on the researcher. Because publishers are not earning subscription fees and individuals no longer have to purchase articles, the author takes on some of the cost of publishing and copy editing.

However, Reuters points out that it is pretty common for publications that are truly dedicated to open access to make affordable those costs to people who may typically not be able to afford it (i.e. waiving fess or article processing credits).

Academic and societal value

In contrast to the cost, the value of open access publications is felt on both an academic and societal level.

For researchers, open access allows scientists to get their findings published faster. By getting the data disseminated faster, researchers can get more citations and begin to connect the dots between the science and our everyday lives.


Work, Finish, Publish, Promote

share your workMichael Faraday may have suggested that the formula for scientific success is “work, finish, publish,” but Faraday said that back in the 19th century. In 2016, there are plenty of compelling reasons to tack another item onto the end of the list. Millions of scientific articles are published each year, making your work just a drop in the ocean (and we have authors who do a lot of work). In order to ensure that your work is read, cited, and has impact, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to add a little self-promotion to your workflow.

To help you get started we have a few suggestions – here are ECS’s top 5 tips to maximize impact and promote your published research.


Open access continues to gain momentum globally

openaccessroundGlobally, open access can help create a world where everyone from the student in Atlanta to a researcher in Haiti can freely read the scientific papers they need to make a discovery; where scientific breakthroughs in energy conversion, sensors, or nanotechnology are unimpeded by fees to access or publish research.

The global open access effort aims to break down barriers and make online scholarly information free to everyone, promote the global exchange of scientific discoveries, and open the door to the faster development of practical applications that could address some of the world’s most pressing issues.

(READ: “Robert Savinell on Preserving Scientific Research“)

Accelerating discovery in Africa

Recently, Senegal started building this framework for African countries that often lack access to scientific and education information. During April’s Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, representatives from the west-African country decided to begin the process to ensure the establishment of a national open access policy, making them the first African country to establish such a policy.

Leaders hope this new policy will encourage the creation of open platforms free and accessible for all researchers, innovators, teachers, students, media professionals, and the public and will encourage collaboration, production, dissemination, and knowledge economies.


Open Access vs. Illegal Access

openaccessroundIt’s always questionable to blog about something that is gaining attention because it’s illegal, but that’s the case with the latest crop of articles about open access in popular media.  While the scientific community has been debating the merits of open access for a while now, the business behind scientific publishing is getting a lot more attention lately because of Alexandra Elbakyan, a graduate student from Kazakhstan who has hacked into hundreds of scholarly journals.

Elbakayn leaked millions of documents, opening a (albeit illegal) door for the public to freely access just about every scientific paper ever published.

To some, Elbakyan is a hero – taking a stand for the public’s right to know. To others, she is a criminal.

“Realistically only scientists at really big, well-funded universities in the developed world have full access to published research,” said Michael Eisen, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a longtime champion of open access. “The current system slows science by slowing communication of work, slows it by limiting the number of people who can access information and quashes the ability to do the kind of data analysis” that is possible when articles aren’t “sitting on various siloed databases.”

This from The New York Times:

Journal publishers collectively earned $10 billion last year, much of it from research libraries, which pay annual subscription fees ranging from $2,000 to $35,000 per title if they don’t buy subscriptions of bundled titles, which cost millions. The largest companies, like Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, Springer and Wiley, typically have profit margins of over 30 percent.


Ways to Get ECS Article Credits

In 2015 ECS published just over 700 Open Access papers. This was fantastic news for ECS’s mission to Free the Science, and even better news for our authors as 96% of those papers were published as OA at no charge.Open Access Logo

Why were we giving away so many article credits? When ECS first launched our Author Choice Open Access program in February 2014, we wanted to explore the feasibility – both financially and practically – of supporting OA as far as we could in our publications.

It quickly became obvious how eager our community was to assist in ECS’s commitment to disseminate our research as widely as possible. In another commitment to our libraries, though, we had promised not to increase subscription prices, and have stuck by that commitment since 2013.

Moving into 2016, we wanted to continue to offer Article Credits to as many authors as possible, but also needed to ensure that our publications are self-sustaining. In order to accomplish this, we launched a new product called: ECS Plus. This offers libraries a subscription to all of our content PLUS unlimited Article Credits for authors affiliated with their institutions.

I wanted to use this blog post as an opportunity to remind authors interested in publishing Open Access to take advantage of the many ways you can publish OA with ECS for free, or at a very reduced cost:

  • Our new product, ECS Plus, is exceptionally competitively priced and includes a complete subscription to ECS’s Digital Library, as well as unlimited article credits for affiliated authors. Please encourage your librarians if this is something that you or your colleagues value!
  • ECS Members receive 1 free article credit per year – if you’re not yet a member, it might be time to consider joining us. Find out about becoming an ECS member, and other benefits of joining, by checking out our new membership page!
  • Once an ECS Member’s article credit has been used, any subsequent OA publications receive a 75% discount – that’s $600 off our already low APCs.

If you have any questions about changes to our Author Choice Open Access program, you can find out more on our information pages about OA, ECS Plus, and on our subscription information pages – or you can get in touch with us directly at

ECS’s goal is to make Open Access publishing free for all our authors. To help make this a reality please give to the Free the Science Fund.


Robert Savinell, editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Since 1902, ECS’s flagship journal—the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) originally published as Transactions of The Electrochemical Society—has published some of the best and most innovative research in the field of electrochemical science and technology.

With a historical tradition of scientific excellence and commitment to the pursuit and open exchange of scientific knowledge, JES has accumulated papers through the years that have long-lasting merit. In an effort to preserve the voices of distinguished scientists and engineers who have helped shape our world, the Society implemented the ECS Digital Library Leadership Collection.

Robert Savinell, professor at Case Western Reserve University, is one of the newest faces to conserve this highly significant research. Through a generous gift to the ECS Digital Library, The Robert F. Savinell Collection has been established and the Society has taken yet another step toward its commitment to open access publishing.

Preserving the science of the past

“Most of the papers that get published in the ECS journals have long-lasting value,” says Savinell, editor of JES. “They’re more than just recent news blurbs that introduce a new idea that in a few years will fade away.”

Through a strong editorial and peer-review process, the papers published in JES are not only topically relevant when they are published, but also carry a fundamental insight that applies more broadly than their specific application.

“I think there’s a lot of value in that kind of information that’s being archived forever,” Savinell says.

Beyond the preservation of these timeless voices, Savinell’s gift to the leadership collection supports ECS’s commitment to open access publishing—something Savinell sees as the ultimate future of scholarly publications.


How Has ECS Open Access Made a Difference?

ECS Digital LibraryWe are collecting stories from you about how having our peer-reviewed content from the ECS Digital Library has made a difference in your work.

Did you find content in our digital library that you would not have otherwise had access to that shaped your thinking and your research?

In 2014 ECS Digital Library started offering a portion of our published articles as open access. It was the start of our bold commitment to what we are calling — Free the Science. Through this mission-driven initiative, we are striving to open access to the entire ECS Digital Library–making all content from ECS journals freely available to all readers, while remaining free to publish for authors.

We caught a glimpse of the Free the Science ultimate vision during Open Access Week in October 2015: We made 100% of the content in the ECS Digital Library completely free to access for seven straight days and saw a 51% increase in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society usage compared to the same week in 2014.

We want to tell your story. Or maybe you know someone who our open access research has helped. Please contact me at

Inspired by nature, Shelley Minteer and her research group at the University of Utah are looking for a way to merge electrochemistry and biology. With a little inspiration, Minteer aims to bring to life innovative devices that can be applied to anything from fuel cells to electrosynthesis.

“We’re looking at biological inspiration,” says Minteer. “As electrochemists, we’re looking at things in terms of the molecular biology of living cells and seeing how we can make a better electrochemical cell from that.”

Inspiration from Biology

The sciences of biology and electrochemistry tend to have many fundamental concepts in common. On the biological side, one can look at how humans eat and metabolize food in a comparative way to the functions of a fuel cell. Additionally, plants and electrosynthesis work similarly in the way they take in CO2 and produce fuel.

“As a group, we’re looking to see if we could use biology as our inspiration to do electrochemistry, and that has taken us into a lot of different applications,” says Minteer.