ACS supports the open science movement, in which research, data, and methodologies are made freely available under terms that allow for reuse, redistribution, and reproduction. Open science is a movement to make research, including elements of research, freely available to the community to accelerate the advancement of discovery. It is sometimes used as an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of other initiatives, including open data, open methods, open access, and more.
The definitions of some of these terms have changed over time, and the field is still evolving, though the heart has always been to increase access to scientific information beyond what the traditional peer-reviewed publishing format
allows. ACS remains invested in helping to usher in a new era in scientific publishing.
The term “open access” is commonly used interchangeably with “open science.” However, there are important distinctions between the two, as open access relates exclusively to research that follows the traditional publishing process, including peer review.
Open science seeks to change the nature of discovery by making data available to a larger audience and not exclusively within the peer-review process. ACS supports both movements in different ways. ACS has long supported open-access author options, launching three fully open-access journals—ACS Central Science, ACS Omega, and JACS Au—while making all other publications hybrid journals that publish open-access papers. These efforts make it easy for librarians and authors to satisfy country- or institution-specific open-access mandates.
Open data is a growing part of the open science movement. ACS recently launched the ACS Research Data Center, a data-packaging tool that assists authors in zipping their FID files, acquisition data, and processing parameters, along with other appropriate FAIR metadata for submission. This free tool, currently available for The Journal of Organic Chemistry and Organic Letters, will help authors comply with data management plans and funder requirements that data be made publicly available.
Another area where ACS is leading the way is in preprints. Two years ago, ACS co-created the premier chemical sciences preprint server, ChemRxiv, which allows researchers to upload research and data prior to the peer-review process and lets others analyze datasets. ChemRxiv preprints experienced 3.2 million combined views and downloads in 2019 and 4.2 million since launch.
Uploading Work to Chemrxiv Offers A Number of Benefits to Researchers
- Visibility and Discoverability: Each preprint uploaded to ChemRxiv is indexed by major research search engines.
The issuing of a DOI when a preprint is uploaded translates to immediate discoverability of the author’s work.
- Speed: Posting preprints accelerates research in a field, a central principle of open science.
- Reproducibility: By making data quickly available to a larger audience, the researcher helps improve reproducibility in science.
- Ease of Use: ChemRxiv has a Direct Journal Transfer feature that enables researchers to easily transmit a posted preprint to a journal for review and possible publication. This easy-to-use feature ensures that the author need not start from scratch in the submission process and can receive an answer from the editorial review quicker.
- Protection: By creating a DOI immediately and establishing a paper trail, researchers can show how early they created their work and protect themselves from plagiarism or being scooped by a competitor.ACS is committing to open science at every stage of the research life cycle. ACS is playing an active role in creating and supporting tools to help researchers and other members of the community advance science.