Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications

The open session of the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications (JBCCP) was held on March 14, 2014 in Dallas, TX. The President of the ACS Publications Division, Brian Crawford, provided an overview and highlights of 2013 accomplishments of the Division. His presentation slides and the following summary were kindly provided by Debra Davis, ACS Staff Secretary of the Committee.

Advanced the Society’s mission with the publication of new journals

During 2013, the Division completed the successful first full calendar year of publication of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering and embarked upon the early editorial and marketing introduction of two new journals prior to their scheduled commercial availability in 2014: ACS Photonics and Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

Strengthened key journals through editorial succession

Five leading scientists were selected by separate Editor Search committees convened in accordance of the bylaws, appointed by the Board of Directors and contracted by ACS Publications management, commencing respective editorial tenures effective January 2014:

  • Dr. Jillian Buriak (University of Alberta) Chemistry of Materials
  • Dr. Cynthia J. Burrows (University of Utah) Accounts of Chemical Research
  • Dr. Kenneth M. Merz, Jr. (Michigan State University) Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling
  • Dr. Vincent M. Rotello (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) Bioconjugate Chemistry
  • Dr. Phillip E. Savage (University of Michigan) Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research

Sustained editorial excellence across the ACS journals portfolio

The 2012 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports (JCR) demonstrated strong performance for the ACS peer-reviewed journals portfolio, with ACS journals receiving more than 2.2 million total citations and posting a #1 ranking in either Impact Factor and/or Total Citations across 15 subject categories. A total of 22 ACS journals increased their Impact Factors and 18 had an Impact Factor of 5 or greater. (See for details.) Notable individual journal achievements include:

  • The Journal of the American Chemical Society increased its Impact Factor to 10.677, a new record for the journal, and continued to be the most cited ACS journal with more than 430,000 citations.
  • Chemical Reviews increased its Impact Factor to 41.298, a new record for the journal, and remains the ACS journal with the highest Impact Factor.
  • Nano Letters had the highest non-review journal Impact Factor among all ACS journals at 13.025.

Innovated with evolving technologies in the development of ACS ChemWorx

In March of 2013, ACS Publications introduced ACS ChemWorx as a novel, new, free service for research management that combines reference discovery and management, professional networking, group and task management, and manuscript preparation in a single interface, accessible from anywhere. The collaboration software is powered by ACS Publications’ development partner, colwiz, Ltd. ACS ChemWorx includes a Publishing Center developed and hosted by ACS, and is integrated with the ACS Web Editions Platform for journal content delivery, by virtue of a new document viewer,  ACS ActiveView PDF, that has proven to be very popular with end users. The ActiveView PDF display format for ACS articles provides a means for interacting with Reference Quick View, for annotation of the article, and for storage in a user’s ACS ChemWorx library. 

Two iterative releases built upon the original software were made in Q3 and Q4.  These releases provided additional apps for users in the Publishing Center, including the ability to track the geographic distribution of readers of ACS articles, author/reviewer appreciation certificates for download, and a user guide. Beginning in December, all authors returning galley proofs of articles were directed to the ACS ChemWorx Publishing Center, which is anticipated to drive further uptake and usage. Developed as a new author service under the ACS ChemWorx umbrella, this application replaces the previous author galley site provided through our journal delivery platform, Literatum. A notable feature of the new site is a prompt to sign into ACS ChemWorx as part of the proof review process, positioning ACS to offer expanded author services.


Continued to enhance efficiencies of editorial operations

ACS Editorial Office Operations oversaw the addition of 69 new editors, including 3 Editors-in-Chief, for ACS journals, for a net increase of 38 editors under contract, through December 2013. These editor appointments are reflective of the global nature of the chemical research enterprise, with 33% of the new appointees residing outside North America. The addition of these editorial decision-making resources expands the division’s capacity to oversee the peer review of the now more than 100,000 manuscript submissions received annually, reflecting growth of nearly 8% in author demand year over year. 

Extended efficiencies of journal production and expanded web usage

Journal Production and Manufacturing Operations (JPMO) in Columbus published a total of 39,151 articles in issues across the ACS journals portfolio, exceeding the annual published output of 2012 by 2.5%. Total web-based article requests were up 3.0% versus prior year, and exceeded 83 million article downloads in 2013, for an all-time high.

Continued collaborations with CAS on product enhancements and workflows

Collaboration between CAS Editorial Operations and ACS Publications successfully implemented three projects: 

  • Tagging of patent citations: improved the XML tagging for patent citations in the ACS Publications journals during the production process for ingestion into the CAS editorial workflow.  This production enhancement reduced the amount of manual intervention required by CAS editorial staff.
  • Improved author affiliation tagging: more granular XML tagging of the institutional information for which an author is affiliated beyond just the institution in the ACS Publications journals during the production process, e.g., department, division, city, etc. This production enhancement reduced the amount of manual intervention required by the CAS editorial staff.
  • Author’s original document: capture the original content files submitted by the ACS journal authors and make the content available to CAS Editorial Operations for analysis. Completion of this project enabled CAS to obtain and store highly-enriched electronic information supplied by authors early in the ACS Publications journal production process.

Announced a major new commitment to support Open Access

In November, ACS Publications announced a multi-pronged strategy to position ACS as an open access publisher. The program consists of four components: 1) ACS Central Science, a new journal that will be free to both readers and authors; 2) ACS Editors’ Choice, designed to provide free public access to new research of importance to the global research community; 3) ACS Author Rewards, a loyalty program intended to encourage ACS authors to choose open access, via $60 million in open access publishing credits redeemable over the period 2015-2016; and 4) ACS AuthorChoice, expanded in 2014 to include new and affordable licensing options to help authors meet open access requirements. The “ACS is Open” initiative is being promoted widely during 2013-2014; details are available at a dedicated website (

Celebrated C&EN 90th anniversary throughout 2013

In 2013, Chemical & Engineering News celebrated 90 years of continuous publication since 1923. C&EN used the opportunity of the anniversary to promote the content of C&EN Archives. Each week C&EN posted riveting images and memorable quotations from C&EN Archives in a Tumblr blog called The Watch Glass. This feature was a finalist, along with Glamour and Entertainment Weekly, in the 2013 Folio Awards for Best Use of Social Media, Tumblr Category. Each month C&EN devoted one editor’s page to a reexamination of past coverage, as gleaned from C&EN Archives. The special issue, published on Sept. 9, highlighted nine ways that chemistry changed the world. The nine topics were chemical bonding, plastics, antibiotics, nanotechnology, catalysis, molecular biology, analytical instrumentation, computational chemistry, and environmental awareness. A bonus poster accompanying the special issue illustrated highlights of nine decades of chemistry discoveries. Celebrations reached a climax with two live events at the ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis. One was a webinar on the topic of food fraud. The other was a sold-out performance by celebrity chef and award-winning author Alton Brown, which was followed by a highly-attended and especially festive reception.

Expanded ACS on Campus globally

During 2013, ACS Publications led and participated in 30 ACS on Campus events held both in the US and around the globe. These cross-divisional events, coordinated with Membership and Scientific Advancement, CAS, Education, and Petroleum Research Fund, provide important venues to showcase the Society’s diverse offerings of programs and services, and serve as an important outreach method in strengthening our relationships with librarians, chemistry faculty and students, and in building ties with current and prospective authors and ACS members. A list of the 2013 ACS on Campus events is appended herewith for reference.





March 12

University of Oxford

Oxford, UK

March 13

The University of Manchester

Manchester, UK

April 12

Seoul National University

Seoul, Korea

April 15


Daejeon, South Korea

April 15-16

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY

April 18

The University of Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

April 19

National Institute for Materials Science

Tsukuba, Japan

April 19-20

Binghamton, University

Binghamton, NY

April 22

Kyoto University

Kyoto, Japan

July 5

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Durban, South Africa

July 8

Wits University

Johannesburg, South Africa

Sept. 8

SciFinder Future Leaders in Chemistry program

Indianapolis, IN

Sept. 23-24

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY

Sept 25-26

RWTH Aachen

Aachen, Germany

Oct. 4-5

Missouri State University

Springfield, MO

Oct. 4

University of Utrecht

Utrecht, Netherlands

Oct. 7

LMU Munich

Munich, Germany

Oct. 17

ACS MWRM - Midwest Regional Meeting

Springfield, MO

Oct. 16

National Tsing Hua University

Hsinchu, Taiwan

Oct. 17

National Taiwan University

Taipei, Taiwan

Oct. 21

Nanjing University

Nanjing, China

Oct. 22-23

Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona


Zhejiang University

Hangzhou, China

Oct. 24-25

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Oct. 29-30

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI

Nov. 4

University of Maryland College Park

College Park, MD

Nov. 7

Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA

Nov. 20

Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris 6

Paris, France

Nov. 25

IIT Kharagpur

Kharagpur, India

Nov. 27

IIT Madras

Madras, India

Nov. 29


Thiruvananthapuram, India

Debra Davis, Staff Secretary, Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications