Royal Society of Chemistry offers vouchers to publish open access articles

Vouchers for 2015 articles are still available and waive standard publishing fees

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is continuing its experimental program that provides vouchers to authors, allowing them to publish their RSC articles open access without paying the standard article publication fee.  The program will continue through 2016.

The program, called “Gold for Gold,” is offered at universities, like MIT, whose libraries subscribe to “RSC Gold,” the entire package of RSC journals and databases.

All MIT authors publishing in RSC journals are eligible. A limited number of vouchers (based on the cost to the MIT Libraries for the RSC Gold subscription) are distributed by the Libraries on a first-come, first-served basis. Vouchers can be applied to articles that have been accepted for publication, and can be applied retrospectively to articles already published, as long as the voucher is applied within the same calendar year.

To request a voucher, send an email request to, including:

  • Your name
  • The title of your article
  • The RSC journal the article has been accepted by

If vouchers are still available, a voucher number will be sent back to you by the Libraries via email.

To use a voucher, it should be entered into the Gold for Gold online acceptance form after the author receives notification that the article has been accepted. (The author will be asked to sign a different publication agreement at this stage.)

Benefits of vouchers
Upon publication, the article will be accessible to all readers, worldwide, regardless of whether they or their institutions subscribe to RSC journals. The Gold for Gold open access articles will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution license, maximizing the potential for openness and reuse.

RSC explains they envisioned the program as “a mechanism to ease some of the economic burden on our authors who either needed to comply with open access mandates or simply wanted their articles published open access for other reasons.” Choosing the RSC open access option is one way to fulfill the requirements of the NIH Public Access Policy, with no action required by the author other than indicating the article is NIH funded.

Another option for open access
There is another open access option through the RSC. The RSC’s flagship journal, Chemical Science, switched to open access as of 2015. There will be no author fees at least through 2016. To take advantage of this free open access option, submit your manuscript to Chemical Science in 2015 or 2016.

For more information see the Gold for Gold FAQ. To provide feedback on the program, contact Erja Kajosalo, the Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Librarian.

This news is being offered in celebration of International Open Access Week.

Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright & Licensing, MIT Libraries