American Chemical Society broadens access to its articles

March 09, 2005

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is broadening access to research articles published in its 33 scholarly journals. The Society is introducing two new experimental policies that define how readers can view free digital versions of ACS articles beginning one year after publication.

First, in response to public access guidelines recently released by the NIH1, the ACS will post, for public accessibility 12 months after publication, the peer-reviewed version of authors' manuscripts on the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central during 2005. The NIH policy encourages authors whose work it funds to submit their peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central, the agency's free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

Commenting on this new service, ACS Publications Senior Vice President Brian Crawford said, "We understand that NIH-funded authors will wish to comply voluntarily with the NIH's policy request. By introducing this service, the ACS will take on the administrative burden of compliance and at the same time will ensure the integrity of the scientific literature by depositing the appropriate author version of the manuscript after peer-review."

Second, as a value-added service to ACS authors and a method of further opening access to its content, the full-text version of all research articles published in ACS journals will be made available at no charge via an author-directed Web link 12 months after final publication. Allowing unrestricted access to articles 12 months after publication is an expansion of the Society's current practice of permitting 50 downloads of authors' articles free of charge during the first year of publication. This initiative will go into effect during 2005.

"We are very pleased to expand access in this way to research published in ACS journals," said Crawford. "It is fundamental to the ACS mission to support and promote the research enterprise and to foster communication among its scientists. Providing unrestricted access via author-directed links 12 months after publication - in addition to the 50 free e-prints currently allowed during the first year of publication - reinforces that mission."

Robert Bovenschulte, president of the ACS Publications Division, said "These experimental policies balance the important goal of expanding dissemination of research with the need to preserve the integrity of the scientific record as well as the viability of our journals program." The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. 1(Notice Number NOT-OD-05-022/

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