What's the difference between an ACS eBook and a research article? How do you figure out which titles are right for your institution? Get answers to these questions and more in this exclusive interview.

a collection of ACS eBooks

Did you know that ACS Publications publishes an online book series? ACS eBooks contain peer-reviewed chapters that provide a deeper look into a topic. They cover research on a wealth of topics relating to technical disciplines, public policy, and chemistry education. ACS eBooks have been in publication since 1949, providing over 37,000 chapters across more than 1,700 books. These eBooks contain essential content by the world’s leading scientists, including the work of 42 Nobel Laureates.

A Conversation with Beth Campbell, ACS eBooks Acquisition Editor

A headshot of Beth Campbell
Beth Campbell

We caught up with Beth to learn more about ACS eBooks, how they are produced, and their importance for a variety of institutions. Read the full interview below.

What is your role with ACS eBooks?

Beth: As acquisitions editor for ACS eBooks, I am responsible for acquiring new 30 titles each year for the ACS eBooks Collection, which is sold to institutional libraries. I solicit eBook proposals from experts on topics of current interest and evaluate unsolicited proposals submitted from prospective editors from research institutions around the world.

How long have the ACS eBooks series been in publication?

Beth: The ACS eBooks are made up of three different series:

• The Advances in Chemistry peer-reviewed book series was published from 1949–1998 to provide the research community with an avenue to publish content and special topics that were beyond the scope of the existing ACS journals.

• The ACS Symposium Series which is celebrating 50 years of continuous publication in 2024! This enduring Series is well known for publishing deep dive reviews of emerging and established research in chemistry and adjacent disciplines. The ACS Symposium Series eBooks are developed and published more rapidly than traditional books, making them a first line of reference for scientists in academia and industry.

Medicinal Chemistry Reviews is the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry’s annual publication that provides succinct overviews on a variety of topics of current interest to medicinal chemists, both within therapeutic areas and of broad applicability across drug discovery. Medicinal Chemistry Reviews is best known for providing an annual summary of drugs that have been approved by the FDA as well as a list of drugs in the last stage of FDA approval.

Are all new ACS eBooks created from conference symposia?

Beth: Not any longer! While the ACS Symposium Series books began as a conference proceeding, it has evolved into a more diverse product. Meeting organizers are still invited to develop eBooks based on the topics of their symposia, but we also actively solicit eBook proposals on non-symposium-related topics and receive many unsolicited proposals.

How do you find editors and authors for ACS eBooks?

Beth: I have been an acquisitions editor for several decades and have acquired chemistry content for 5+ years. The best way to identify relevant topics and editors for future publications is to develop a network of experts and stay in constant contact with them! We also conduct research on emerging trends by browsing journal tables of content, conference programs and sites such as Science Daily to keep up with the latest discoveries from leading institutions. I look for the questions, or pain points, that are frustrating researchers and slowing progress in their work, then develop eBooks that provide solutions or extend current knowledge on challenging problems.

What is one of the most important ways that institutions can utilize ACS eBooks?

Beth: ACS eBooks are an excellent bridge between journals and traditional references. They enable readers to stay current on a vast number of important topics with a minimal investment of time searching and reading. Each annual collection contains a diverse assortment of themes and issues which span scientific disciplines adjacent to chemistry.

In addition to providing an authoritative overview of a broad range of technical topics, ACS eBooks are also an excellent resource for educators looking to keep abreast of the latest teaching methods in chemistry.

How can institutions figure out what ACS eBook titles to acquire?

Beth: The ACS Evidence-Based Acquisition (EBA) approach allows institutions to ensure they are best meeting their patrons’ information needs. Usage data highlights the content most accessed over the previous year and the flexibility of EBA enables institutions at every budget level to confidently purchase titles their constituents have actually used.

What is the difference between research in ACS eBooks and research in ACS Journals?

Beth: ACS eBooks fully illuminate topics in more detail than a journal article can typically offer. Available on the same user-friendly platform as ACS journals, these titles are backed by substantial original research, and each chapter is written by authors who are experts in their field. Research-intensive eBook chapters are as in-depth and comprehensive as a journal article, and a single such chapter may be backed up by more than 80 references.

Researchers can turn to ACS eBooks to find original research that provides a more in-depth look into topics spanning the full spectrum of chemical science.

Like the content featured in ACS Journals, the material published in ACS eBooks is subject to peer-review and undergoes rigorous evaluation prior to acceptance.

Find the Perfect ACS eBooks Package to Meet Your Institution's Needs

ACS eBooks are available in a variety of collections to suit institutions' unique needs. Purchase- and subscription-based options are both available and pricing is typically tiered based on an institution’s size or degree offerings.

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