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ACS News

October 4, 2010
Volume 88, Number 40
p. 45
Article Appeared Online October 1, 2010

ACS Unveils New Publishing Agreement

Agreement expands how ACS journal authors can use their manuscripts

Amanda Yarnell

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In an effort to improve the publishing experience for American Chemical Society journal authors, the society’s Publications Division plans to introduce a new journal publishing agreement later this month. The agreement expands the ways in which authors can use their manuscripts and clarifies author responsibilities.

The new agreement will replace the long-standing ACS Copyright Status Form, says John P. Ochs, ACS Publications’ vice president of strategic planning and analysis. Its terms will extend to all manuscripts an author previously published in ACS journals.

The new agreement outlines how ACS journal authors may use their manuscripts or portions thereof, such as including them in theses, incorporating them into teaching, sharing them with colleagues, or posting them to repository websites. For example, under the agreement authors can reproduce their submitted, accepted, or published work for instructional use, so long as proper credit is given and electronic access to such materials is restricted only to currently enrolled students.

Although authors must still transfer to ACS exclusive copyright to their manuscripts, the new agreement allows them to retain copyright to copyrightable material in the Supporting Information section. This means, for example, that authors may use or authorize the use of tables, graphs, or other illustrations they created for the Supporting Information for any purpose and in any format, Ochs says.

In addition, the new agreement explicitly lays out what is expected of ACS journal authors. Most of these responsibilities are common sense, Ochs says, and are an extension of ACS’s existing ethical publishing guidelines. For example, authors must guarantee that their submitted work is original and not previously published or under review elsewhere.

The new agreement was put together with input from ACS journal authors and editors, as well as librarians and society governance. A user guide is available online at pubs.acs.org/userimages/ContentEditor/1285231362937/jpa_user_guide.pdf.

“The new agreement is part of our ongoing efforts to try to provide the best possible publishing experience for authors,” says Susan King, senior vice president of the ACS Publications Division. These ongoing efforts also include improvements in ACS Publications’ Paragon Plus manuscript submission and peer review system; more rapid publication times; extension to additional journals of the Just Accepted initiative, which provides online access to peer-reviewed manuscripts as soon as they have been accepted for publication; and enhancement of journal websites, she says. These efforts, along with the new publishing agreement, are aimed at “making ACS the most attractive place to publish groundbreaking research in chemistry and allied fields,” she adds.

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