Category: Professional Advice

ACS Author University

November 13, 2018

Finding Your Scientific Story: What Do Your Results Actually Say?

By Yousif Memon

A research paper is rarely easy to write. Scientists are required to assemble facts, figures, details, and data into a compelling paper. But how do we make how paper effective? Professor George Schatz, Ph.D., Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor at the Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University and Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Physical […]

Lab Hazard Risk Assessment

July 24, 2018

Get Resources for Performing a Lab Hazard Risk Assessment

By Jesse Stanchak

Lab safety doesn’t just happen. It takes a concerted team effort to identify hazards in the lab, assess risks, and then take steps to eliminate dangers and reduce the odds of accident or injury. It can be easy to fall into complacency when it comes to lab safety, but as this video explains, regularly performing […]

June 18, 2018

Beating the Ph.D. Blues

By Nicola Bell

Earning a Ph.D. isn’t easy, nor should it be. The challenges of running a project, making discoveries, and convincing the world how important our work is can force us to develop new, valuable skills. Everyone faces a few bruises and false starts when heading out on their own, but failure during a Ph.D. can be […]

June 14, 2018

Getting a Ph.D. with a Chance of Heavy Winds and Rain

By Juan C. Aponte-Santini

Graduate studies involve a hurricane of emotions.  Currently, I am a graduate student of the University of Puerto Rico at the Río Piedras Campus (UPRRP) and pursuing a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and Chemistry Education in Dr. Ingrid Montes’ Research Lab.  My Ph.D. process has involved challenges that go far beyond synthesizing compounds in the […]

great scientific talk

June 4, 2018

3 Elements of a Great Scientific Talk

By Jesse Stanchak

Structure is critical to a great scientific talk. Your talk needs the proper organization if you’re going to grab your audience’s attention and hold it all the way through to the end of your presentation. But what does the organization of a memorable scientific talk look like? Georgia Tech Professor Will Ratcliff suggests using a […]

10 Keys to an Engaging Scientific Presentation

May 31, 2018

10 Keys to an Engaging Scientific Presentation

By Jesse Stanchak

What makes an engaging scientific presentation? Georgia Tech Professor Will Ratcliff uses a method based on the style of nature documentary presenter David Attenborough. Ratcliff’s approach looks to capture an audience’s natural curiosity by using engaging visuals and simple storytelling techniques. Here are his 10 keys to an engaging scientific presentation: 1) Be an Entertainer First: […]

searching for a scientific dream job

March 28, 2018

5 Assumptions You Need to Drop Before a Job Search

By Marc Reid

Over the past several years, I’ve had the genuine pleasure of speaking with students and researchers about their careers. They look for advice and inspiration for about carving out their career path. These students and researchers carry an infectious enthusiasm, a real passion for what they do. But there is a problem. The more students […]

how to take a great headshot

March 15, 2018

How to Get an Incredible Professional Headshot

By Jesse Stanchak

Like it or not, presentation matters. It’s important to your career to look your best in person and in digital and print materials related to your work. That’s why you need a high-resolution, professional headshot on hand that you can send out as needed. A headshot is a posed photograph that focuses on a person’s […]

International Women Scientists

January 22, 2018

International Women Scientists: A Conversation with Chemists from Asia

By Chi Wang

Worldwide, women scientists are underrepresented in their fields. The next generation of young girls and women will be more likely to pursue a career in an area like chemistry if they see women scientists in these roles. Five established chemists from Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and India shared their perspective on what it’s like for […]

  • women in science
How to Review for an ACS Journal

January 9, 2018

How to Review for an ACS Journal

By Stephanie Monasky

What does an early career researcher have to do to start reviewing for a particular journal? Peer review is a critical part of science and the scholarly publishing landscape. Researchers often ask “how can I review for an ACS journal?” While there’s no one defined path to becoming a reviewer, there are several things you […]

Science Communication Chemistry Journalist

January 3, 2018

Secrets of Science Communication for Research Chemists

By Bryan McBournie

The worlds of science and journalism don’t always have the same priorities. The work of a chemist is slow and careful, and the work of a journalist is immediate and designed to grab attention. Those differences can create difficulties for chemists looking to draw attention to their research. That’s why science communication is so important. […]

attending an international conference for chemists

December 27, 2017

7 Tips for Attending an International Conference for Chemists

By Chi Wang

If you’re a chemist looking to network with peers, expand your knowledge of your field, and be an active member of the chemistry community, there’s no better place to be than an international conference. Attending a variety of educational sessions and exploring the array of offerings from vendors in the exhibit hall can provide a […]


November 14, 2017

Exploring the Impact of Leadership Skills on Research

By Magaret Sivapragasam

In August 2017, I was privileged to be one of 22 participants in the SciFinder® Future Leaders program from CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society (ACS). In disbelief, I made my way from Malaysia to Columbus, Ohio, then to Washington, D.C., for the 254th ACS National Meeting & Exposition. This program has been a […]

  • SciFinder

October 20, 2017

What Chemists Do: Frontier Scientific Inc.’s Mark Nelson

By Jesse Stanchak

What are chemists doing to make sure that other chemists have funding to do the important work they need to do? Mark Nelson, Vice President of Business and Scientific Development at Frontier Scientific, Inc., works with clients to keep chemists working, and to provide new compounds that move various industries forward. The What Chemists Do […]

how to be an amazing podcast guest

October 17, 2017

How to Be an Amazing Podcast Guest

By Maya Pottiger

So you were asked to be a podcast guest. What now? You want to make sure you’re adequately prepared for the interview so that it goes smoothly and you get your point across as effectively as possible. However, chances are this won’t be a long interview, and you’re going to have to be very concise […]

alternative chemistry careers

October 3, 2017

Alternative Chemistry Careers: By the Numbers

By Jesse Stanchak

When you think of a successful chemist, you might think of a professor conducting research at a university. But there are so many other opportunities available to pursue alternative chemistry careers! Chemists are doing important work by perusing in industry, government, education, and more. Check out this infographic on some of the other ways your […]

September 11, 2017

How to Write a Letter to the Editor for Non-Scientific Publications

By Stephanie Monasky

It’s not always easy to communicate your research to the general public. Many researchers present their work at scholarly conferences or give TED-style talks, but few think to reach out directly to news organizations or magazine publications. Yet science communication is important. It raises the profile of your research, it helps the public stay informed, […]

September 8, 2017

Writing the Research Plan for Your Academic Job Application

By Lexi Romano

Want to get that academic faculty job you’ve been dreaming about? Are you stressed about writing a lengthy research plan as part of the application process? Do not fear. ACS can provide you with guidance on writing a remarkable research plan needed for your academic job application so that you can stand out among other […]

Science communication discussion

September 7, 2017

What Researchers Should Know About Science Communication

By Maya Pottiger

What is science communication and why does it matter? During the 254th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Washington D.C., seven speakers came together at Busboys & Poets to discuss effective ways of communicating science to the public. The speakers included Jordan Axelson, Ph.D., Mass Media Fellow, AAAS; Lecturer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Matt […]

ACS Reviewer Lab

August 29, 2017

Take the ACS Reviewer Lab Challenge

By Stephanie Monasky

If you’ve ever reviewed a paper for ACS, you know the review process is as demanding as it is essential. That’s why we’re proud to offer ACS Reviewer Lab, a free, 4-hour online course developed to educate researchers on the principles of quality peer-review. The course features interactive modules covering the basics of peer review […]

  • ACS Reviewer Lab

August 15, 2017

Announcing ACS Reviewer Lab: Free Training for Peer Reviewers

By Stephanie Monasky

Peer review is the backbone of scientific publishing. That’s why ACS Publications is pround to announce the debut of ACS Reviewer Lab, an online course created to help educate researchers on the fundamentals of scholarly peer review. The course offers scientists practical instruction and challenging exercises designed to hone their peer reviewing skills. It was […]

authorship ethics

July 31, 2017

10 Tips for Ethical Authorship

By Stephanie Monasky and Katherine Stevens

Navigating the seas of scientific publication isn’t always easy. Publishing your research in a peer-reviewed journal is a challenge in and of itself, but it is also vital that researchers publish their science in an ethical manner. Observance of high ethical standards is vital to the scientific community at large and can help maximize benefits […]

global lab safety

June 29, 2017

Understanding Lab Safety Around the Globe

By Maya Pottiger

The conversation around global lab safety started with C&EN’s April cover story, “Improving Prospects for Chemists in Cuba.” Readers wrote in to express their concerns with the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the accompanying photograph of a lab in Cuba. C&EN explained it was fully aware that the lab workers in the photo […]

  • Lab Safety

June 20, 2017

How to Create a Stronger Data Management Plan

By Bryan McBournie

More and more, funders are requiring that researchers include data management plans in their proposals. Data management plans are critical components to such requests, as they describe how data are collected, organized and stored for a study, and how to access the data when the study is complete. We have put together some tips on […]

June 6, 2017

No Safety Without Sharing

By Carmen Nitsche, Business Development Consultant, Pistoia Alliance

Even with every safety precaution, accidents can still happen in the lab. Dangerous reactions sometimes occur in the course of doing pioneering research. We can never totally eliminate that risk, but we can ensure we don’t repeat the same mistakes others have made. Right now chemists have an opportunity to improve the safety of their […]

  • safety

April 24, 2017

4 Keys to Writing a Highly-Read Chemistry Research Paper

By Stephanie Monasky

You spent a lot of time on your research, and now it is time to describe those findings to the scientific community. You know your work is important, but how do you make it stand out? To help answer this question, we asked ACS Editors, staff, and 2016’s most-read author to share their thoughts on […]

  • promoting research
  • Publishing Tips

April 14, 2017

Researchers Recognizing Transformative Librarians

By Michael Qiu

In celebration of National Library Week, ACS Publications invited researchers nominate a transformative librarian that has supported them throughout their career. We received nominations from researchers across the globe and are excited to share our winner: Sue Cardinal, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Librarian University of Rochester Sue received two nominations from the University of Rochester, […]

April 12, 2017

The Transformative Power of Librarians

By Katherine Stevens

As we celebrate National Library Week, an American Library Association initiative highlighting the transformative power of libraries, we would like to take a look at how librarianship has transformed in recent years. Librarians have always played an essential role in research and information services, providing scientists with key information and helping students find what they […]

cover letter

February 9, 2017

Mastering the Art of the Cover Letter

By John R. Yates III

This editorial originally appeared in The Journal of Proteome Research. Publishing is the principal means by which scientific findings are communicated and confirmed to the broader community. As I half-jokingly remind my lab, “If it isn’t published, it doesn’t exist.” Among the many steps in the path to publication, if you are like most authors, […]

  • cover letters
ACS Career Fair

February 3, 2017

Why Your Organization Should Recruit at the ACS Career Fair

By Ebony Shamberger

It’s getting harder for employers to find the top talent in their field. This is especially true in the chemical sciences, as more and more chemists are being trained worldwide and new specializations emerge. At the same time, recruiting has become a more complex process and even the most talented individuals may struggle to get […]

December 7, 2016

Editors Answer: Researchers’ Questions About Publishing in India

By Selenah Njoloma

On March 24, 2016, ACS Publications held a webinar on publishing tips for researchers in India, hosted by Associate Editor of The Journal of Physical Chemistry Kankan Bhattacharyya and inaugural Editor-in-Chief of ACS Energy Letters Prashant Kamat. After the session, Bhattacharyya and Kamat answered hundreds of questions from webinar listeners. Here are a few of […]

  • Growing Globally
ACS Publications ACS member benefits

December 1, 2016

Members Get More with ACS Publications

By Katherine Stevens

Members are the cornerstone—the heart and soul—of the American Chemical Society. Our mission is to “advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people”, which ACS Publications supports by providing essential resources to advance science and its practitioners. As such we are proud to offer a variety of […]

  • ACS member benefits
Productive Scientists

November 29, 2016

Discover the 7 Habits of Productive Scientists

By Chi Wang

Do you often find yourself busy but not very productive? Do you struggle with deadlines or fumble your way through projects? Maybe you have a lot of great ideas but don’t have time to execute them. If that’s the case, maybe you need to adopt some of the productivity secrets of ACS Publications Editors-in-Chief. George […]

November 28, 2016

Increase the Discoverability of Your Research with ORCID

By Stephanie Monasky

Of the more than 6 million authors registered in major journal citations, it is estimated that roughly two-thirds of authors have the same first initial and last name as another, according to the Australian National Data Service. Think about Jack Smith and Jill Smith. Sometimes Jack’s name appears as “Jack Smith”; sometimes Jill’s name appears […]

  • discoverability
  • Getting published

November 14, 2016

A Newbie’s Guide to Using an Electronic Lab Notebook Part 2: Options

By Stephanie Monasky and Clinton Parks

Now that the basic lab notebook has been defined as a ubiquitous, primary source of documentation for an experiment (see Part 1), it’s time to look at the electronic laboratory notebooks, or ELNs. With mobile devices becoming increasingly popular — from smartphones to laptops and tablets — it’s not surprising that some researchers may prefer, […]

  • Electronic Lab Notebook

November 3, 2016

Understanding Why Mentorship Matters

By Liesa Ross

The mentor/mentee relationship between Dr. Katherine Jungjohann and Professor C. Barry Carter, a consultant for the Center of Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT), was arranged by others but evolved organically. Carter was a natural choice for Jungjohann, who wanted guidance after finishing her postdoc and beginning a staff scientist position at CINT. Carter never saw himself as […]

  • Early Career Advisory Board
  • Leadership
  • mentorship

October 31, 2016

What a Time to Be a Scientist!

By Vincent Blay Roger

This summer, I participated in the SciFinder Future Leaders program and it has been a life-changing experience. When I think about the experience, I feel a whirlpool of emotions, but one of my important take-homes is positivism about the future. During the program, we went deep into a company that is the information solution provider […]

  • SciFinder

October 3, 2016

Quotable Lessons in Science Leadership

By Marc Reid

Career building requires questioning. Where will my career go? What job type will I choose? What sort of scientist will it make me? Is there a correct decision? Will I love the choice? Will I regret it forever? For every decision, we create a fork in the road. We reflect on the paths already taken […]

  • Leadership
virtual networking

September 15, 2016

Join ACS Members for Virtual Networking

By Jesse Stanchak

No matter where you are in your career, professional networking is essential. Chance connections at events can help you find advice, insights, and opportunities you may never have discovered otherwise. Still, it can be difficult to fit a networking event into your already-packed schedule. That’s why ACS is making it easier to form those crucial […]

  • networking

August 18, 2016

Free Resources for Creating Chemistry Figures for Journal Publication

By Stephanie Monasky

We recently polled authors on what their preferred program for creating chemistry figures for research publication via our @ACS4Authors account. Unfortunately, Twitter polls only allow for 4 answer choices, so we hoped to capture votes for other popular programs for creating chemistry figures by asking you to tweet at us. And tweet you did. 5,892 […]

  • Chemistry Figures
  • Getting published