Orbis Cascade Alliance Board of Directors Statement on American Chemical Society Article Development Charges

Adopted 21 February 2024 by Alliance Board

The Orbis Cascade Alliance (“The Alliance”) is joining the international opposition to the American Chemical Society (ACS)’s Article Development Charges (ADCs), already articulated in Fall 2023 by our colleagues at the Council of Australian University Librarians and Open Access Australia (statement); the Ivy Plus Libraries Federation (statement); and the Japan Consortium for Open Access Repositories (statement). 

Given that ACS already receives much of its content for publication without author compensation, the additional charge is an unfair infringement on authors’ ability to share their work. It is likely to have a chilling effect on the dissemination of scholarship through the “green open access” means of depositing manuscript copies of articles in open repositories. Many scholars, especially at less well-resourced institutions, depend on this method of sharing research to comply with funder mandates. 

For a consortium like the Alliance, which continues to pay rising fees for ACS journal subscriptions, the ADC potentially imposes a burdensome and unnecessary fee on authors at our member institutions. Furthermore, it appears structured to motivate consortial participation in a transformative agreement to avoid having authors pay the extra fee. 

The growing resistance to the ADC model underscores the widely perceived harm that such a model imposes on the scholarly publishing ecosystem generally and open access efforts in particular. In practice, it increases the burden on already strained budgets without providing additional value. 

Along with an international chorus of academic organizations, the Orbis Cascade Alliance strongly believes that the ADC model should be abandoned and that authors should explicitly retain their rights to share and deposit pre-publication versions of their own articles without additional cost.