Highlights from the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications

The open session of the ACS Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications (JBCCP) is usually scheduled on Friday afternoon before each National Meeting and is open to any society members. The President of the ACS Publications Division, Brian Crawford, provides an update on the activities of the Division over the past 6 months to the Committee and the ACS membership. Highlights from the New Orleans presentation are posted here. The following summary was provided by Leah McEwen, Committee Member and CINF Secretary. Questions regarding the Committee may be directed to the Committee Chair, Stephanie L. Brock, email: sbrock@chem.wayne.edu.

Highlights from the ACS Publications Division operations included the following:

  • Two new journals, ACS Macro Letters and ACS Synthetic Biology, published full schedules in 2012. Forthcoming titles in 2013-2014 include ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering and ACS Photonics and Optoelectronics. New Editors-in-Chief were announced for Chemical Research in Toxicology and Inorganic Chemistry.
  • The ACS Member Benefit Program offers to members a variety of access options to the full publication suite, including a pre-determined number of complementary downloads. 20% of members have utilized the service since it launched in late 2011. More information is here.
  • The ACS Style Guide, 3rd Edition is now available as PDF with XML metadata files on the Publications platform (http://pubs.acs.org/isbn/9780841239999). The guide is accessible to institutional subscribers, users with ACS passwords, and through the new ChemWorx management tool.
  • C&EN enjoyed several new enhancements to the website, mobile platform, syndicated content delivery, blog-space and other social media. In addition to providing for information venues to members, these avenues have encouraged connections with other journalists and news outlets. The C&EN Mobile app won an award from the American Association of Publishers and is now available through Apple’s Newsstand.
  • Several process and infrastructure enhancements significantly increased the quality of graphics, reduced publication time, and increased peer-review and editorial staff efficiency. The ACS Publications and CAS editorial production systems are now on a common platform. New platform features include: enhanced reference and author linking, digitization of legacy supplementary information, and soon PDF annotation.
  • The international presence of the Publications Division continues to increase through editorial visits, participation in scientific meetings, the ACS On Campus program, and institutional subscriptions and usage.
  • ChemWorx was launched in early 2013. It is a research management tool designed for researchers in the chemical and related sciences that combines reference discovery and management, professional networking, group and task management, and manuscript preparation in a single interface. The initial version is free to anyone with an ACS login ID. For more information, see https://pc.acschemworx.acs.org.

Continuing from 2012, the Publications Division is focusing on more library outreach, including the launch of several online resources: the online version of the ACS Style Guide, post-cancellation access to PDF and HTML formats instead of CDs, enhancements to ACS Mobile, new episodes of the Publishing 101 series, the launch of the new information management system ChemWorx and expansion of the ACS On Campus program. A Summit Program is underway to further engage in dialogue to understand library priorities and concerns and demonstrate commitment to the library community.  2014 pricing will be value-based and focus on electronic subscriptions.

Crawford discussed the Open Access publishing strategy for the Publications Division. He characterized a competitive landscape, including various hybrid strategies being pursued by the nearest competitors, as well as successful journals “born” OA such as PLOS ONE and new potentially “disruptive” models emerging such as PeerJ and eLife. He said that in 2011, 9% of the papers indexed in Journal Citation Reports were available via open access, with the balance of 91% available through subscriptions. Pressure for openly accessible federally funded research output is increasing through the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), and the recent memo from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in response to the “We the People” petition, directing federal agencies with more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to support increased public access to the results of federally-funded research. The OSTP memo states that each agency “shall use a twelve-month post-publication embargo period as a guideline for making research papers publicly available; however, an agency may tailor its plan as necessary to address the objectives articulated in this memorandum, as well as the challenges and public interests that are unique to each field and mission combination.”

Meanwhile, the Research Councils in the UK (RCUK) have issued a new policy on OA publishing based on the previous Finch report and new funding mechanisms to cover article publishing charges (revisions, 4/8/2013). The European Union is considering this issue as part of their Horizon 2020 research program. Asia has not yet emerged on the OA stage, but represents a significant and growing portion of authors, revenue, and usage of the ACS Publications suite.

The ACS Publications Division policy currently supports both mandated Green OA and Gold OA through the AuthorChoice Program, which includes discounts for members. Looking forward, the Publications Division will foster dialogue with editors and authors, push support for incentive programs for AuthorChoice, and consider interoperability. On the data access front, discussion is continuing with editors as reported at the last open meeting.

Comments from the floor: Thanks for the online availability to the ACS Style Guide.

Crawford: Considerations for more interactive features are underway.

Leah McEwen, Member, Joint Board Council Committee on Publications


The ACS Division of Chemical Information offers a series of free webinars.
The next webinar will be held on June 27, 2013, 11 am US EST
Using Wikipedia as a Source of Chemical Information
Martin A. Walker, SUNY Potsdam
Meeting Access: http://acspubs2.adobeconnect.com/cinfwebinar-jun2013
For more information (abstract, speaker bio) visit http://www.acscinf.org/content/webinars