Get to know more about the different pillars of open science and how to put them into practice in your research.

Laboratory setting with a microscope and test tubes containing blue solutions.

Most researchers are at least somewhat familiar with the concept of open access, but that's just one aspect of the broader open science movement. At its core, open science is focused on making science more transparent and equitable—increasing trust in the work that researchers do and broadening access to the complete research journey.

Open science is also core to many of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, as its practices enable equity of access to high-quality information and allow freer exchange of knowledge and participation in the scientific enterprise.

The components of open science

There are several established pillars of open science, including:

  • Open methodology: open, transparent, and publicly-accessible reporting of methods used in research. Uploading a preprint to a free server like ChemRxiv can be one way of increasing transparency and enabling others to feed back on your approaches prior to the publication of the final article.
  • Open data means ensuring that the data underpinning your work Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable (FAIR) where ethically and legally feasible. All ACS Publications journals require authors to follow our Research Data Policy, which adheres to the FAIR principles.
  • Open access refers to the process of making research articles openly and freely available for anyone who wants to access them. ACS is proud to offer open access options in all of our leading chemistry journals. ACS also began publishing fully open access journals in 2014 with the launch of ACS Central Science, and the program has since grown to include more than 15 fully OA journals. You can find out more about our open access journals here.
  • Open peer review gives authors the option of making peer review correspondence between authors, reviewers, and editors—information which has historically been treated as confidential—publicly available alongside the final article. ACS has been running a transparent peer review pilot since 2021, which not only allows readers and emerging researchers to gain a better understanding of an article’s journey through the peer review process but also upholds research integrity by instilling a higher level of accountability for authors, reviewers, and editors.
  • Using next-generation metrics means moving away from broad bibliometrics in assessing the significance and impact of research. ACS Publications is a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration of Research Assessment (DORA) and provides altmetrics for each published article across our full portfolio of journals.

Taking your next steps in open science

If you’re curious about adopting more open science practices in your work but not sure where to start, our Open Science website provides a useful tool that provides more information on how you can continue your journey.

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