For the market-leading RightsLink for Scientific Communications platform, 2021 was a momentous—and busy—year serving publishers and their institutional customers.

RightsLink for Scientific Communications (RLSC) is the market-leading workflow solution that simplifies Open Access (OA) funding management for publishers, funders, institutions and authors. Designed to drive innovation, efficiency and collaboration across the scholarly ecosystem, RLSC is trusted by more than 30 leading publishers representing 2,600 journals. At the end of 2021, CCC announced that it had reached a major milestone: RLSC is now helping publishers manage OA agreements with more than 1,000 institutions and funders in 60 countries. We are beyond proud of this accomplishment, but we have many co-collaborators within the OA community who have contributed greatly to make this achievement possible.

A Community-Built Solution for Industry Challenges

RLSC was created nearly a decade ago at the request of a forward-thinking publisher that was seeking an author-friendly way to manage Article Processing Charges (APCs) and was already familiar with various CCC publisher support services. Since then, CCC has continuously collaborated with publishers, authors, funders and institutions—a group we informally refer to as the “RightsLink for Scientific Communications Community”—to continue to expand RLSC and prioritize enhancements to support their collective needs. Each new feature and capability that we add to the RLSC platform is a direct reflection of the innovative ideas of this community seeking common solutions to industry challenges.

Our January release focused on updates that helped authors better understand their potential OA funding options at submission. Authors are now able to preview funding options within the RightsLink agreement management module at submission, whether with a single institution, a consortium, or a single funder.

In June, CCC introduced comprehensive eligibility settings which help publishers better support authors whose manuscripts match to more than one funding source. Authors are presented with their optimal funding source automatically, making the funding request process seamless and improving the author experience. In addition, RLSC now features three user-friendly resource centers that live within the application to help provide easy-to-use tools and resources for all stakeholders using the platform.

RLSC continued to enhance its market-leading advanced agreement management options by rolling out new features in October  2021 that give publishers flexibility in meeting centralized and decentralized funding mandates and better support the administrative needs across member institutions and consortia administrators. The October release directly supported consortia members who can now control funding requests and reporting at the institutional level, while still drawing from a shared, consortia-level bank of APC tokens (waivers) or prepaid funds.

Bringing the Most Current Conversations and Content to the Scientific Community

For years, CCC has brought together key OA stakeholders from the author, publisher, institution, funding and vendor communities through roundtables, panel events and webinars, and despite the ongoing pandemic, 2021 was no different than previous years.

Our Virtual Town Hall in October brought together the global community of publishers, authors, funders and institutions to explore the new UKRI Open Access policy. For the Frankfurt Book Fair, CCC presented a Masterclass, “Partnering for Innovative Business Models for Open Access Publishing.” In November, we hosted a RLSC Virtual Roundtable with strategic leaders of the platform’s publishing clients. The interactive event focused on the changing open scholarly ecosystem and how RLSC can best support the needs of publishers and their stakeholders. At the Charleston Conference in November, we led a panel discussion examining the transformative agreement recently signed by Elsevier and the University of California, as an example for future implementations of OA publishing agreements.

We have more great events, content and exciting new RLSC features and capabilities planned for 2022, so please stay tuned.

Thank you for your continued support, and cheers to a happy, healthy and productive 2022.


Author: Jamie Carmichael

Jamie Carmichael brings 20 years’ experience in publishing to her current role as Senior Director, Information & Content Solutions, at CCC. In this position, she leads go-to-market strategy for CCC’s open access portfolio, including RightsLink for Scientific Communications and OA Agreement Intelligence.
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