|A. Preprint Servers
1. A preprint is defined as an unreviewed manuscripts that has been publicly distributed or posted on servers that are generally available on the Web. These servers may be associated with sites of an organization, commercial publishers, university, or group.
2. The use of preprint servers will vary from discipline to discipline and is highly dependent upon the culture and traditions of individual disciplines. Chemisty has strong tradition or rigorous, formal peer review.
3. The advantages of preprint servers are rapid, broad and generally inexpensive distribution and worldwide access.
4. The disadvantages of preprint servers include: the potential for flooding the literature with trivial and repetitious publications, thus making extraction of reliable and valuable information more difficult; absence of peer review; possible premature disclosure with inadequate experimental details or supporting data; premature claims of priority; potential lack of proper references and credit to prior work; abuse of multiple revisions or updated; possible lack of duration and long term archiving.
B. ACS Editors Policy on Papers on Preprint Server
1. A preprint will be considered as an electronic publication and, according to positions taken by most editors of ACS journals, will not be considered for publication. If a submitted paper is later found to have been posted on a preprint server, it will be withdrawn from consideration by the journal.
2. If a preprint is referenced in a paper submitted for publication or is quoted in a review of a manuscript, it will be treated as any other unreviewed material (private communication, report). Decisions about the validity of the reference will be up to the reviewers and, ultimately, the editor.
C. Conclusions and General Statement
1. ACS will continue to publish peer-reviewed papers in both print and electronic format and will maintain the high quality of research reports that has characterized ACS journals.
2. In the interest of accelerating the availability to the chemical community of peer reviewed research results in manuscripts acceptable for publication in ACS journals, ACS will monitor and adopt developments in the technology of electronic publication that will serve the rapid dissemination of new research results throughout the chemical community, consistent with maintaining the accuracy and high quality of the research reported by ACS.
The ACS offers rapid publication on the Web of accepted manuscripts through Articles ASAP and is currently extending the option of electronic manuscripts submission and review to all journals. The ACS is also considering mechanisms for publication of manuscripts prior to Articles ASAP, following peer review and acceptance by an Editor, but before formatting and copyediting.
3. ACS will continue to promote and investigate methods for further enhancements of the usefulness of its Web Editions (through links, added functionality, availability of the backlist, discussion pages. etc.).