Our belief in and commitment to open science is reflected in many ways, including the various tools and services we offer to meet the needs of our diverse researcher community. Learn more about the open science resources that are helping drive transparency and equity in scientific publishing.
Open science describes a broad, collective movement with a goal of increasing transparency and access across all components of the research process beyond the traditional article—including open peer review, data repositories, scholarly communication, and much more. Open science champions a globally inclusive landscape built on collaboration across academic fields and among researchers around the world.
Open science is a vital part of building trust in the scientific enterprise, and ACS Publications is committed to remaining at the forefront of initiatives, products, and services supporting the open science landscape. Read on to learn more about the various open science resources available for our community.
Open access (OA) is the term most researchers are familiar with when they think of open science, though it is just one piece of the puzzle. It refers to the process of making research articles openly and freely available for anyone who wants to access them.
ACS Publications offers an array of open access options to meet the diverse publishing needs of our researcher community. From fully OA publications—such as our ACS Au family—to OA options in hybrid journals, our processes and guidance make it easier than ever for authors to find the perfect home for their research within our growing portfolio of more than 80 journals.
Additionally, our institutional read and publish agreements directly support OA equity by allowing researchers at participating institutions to publish their work freely and openly without the financial burden of article processing charges (APCs) or other publication costs.
Preprints are another important aspect of open science. They allow researchers to seek early feedback on their work and—because they can be issued with a DOI—they can be cited before the publication process has been initiated. The rise of preprint servers in recent years has helped democratize information dissemination, foster collaboration, and progress scientific discovery faster than ever before.
ACS, in conjunction with several other national chemical societies, operates ChemRxiv, the preprint server for the chemistry community. ChemRxiv, which is completely free for authors to use, posted its 20,000th preprint in 2023 and continues to foster a greater sense of community among researchers.
We encourage you to check out ChemRxiv below and consider submitting your next work as a preprint.
Transparent Peer Review
Peer review is an essential step in the publishing process, but it has traditionally existed as a confidential exchange between authors and reviewers. However, transparent peer review is a newer choice for authors that continues to rise in popularity across many scientific journals. It allows the option of making peer review correspondence between authors, reviewers, and editors publicly available alongside the final article.
Transparent peer review not only allows readers and emerging researchers to gain a better understanding of an article’s journey through the peer review process, but it also upholds research integrity by instilling a higher level of accountability for authors, reviewers, and editors.
To support our commitment to Open Science objectives, ACS Publications launched a transparent peer review pilot in ACS Central Science and The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters in 2021, providing authors with the option to make their peer review correspondence publicly available (while still maintaining reviewer anonymity). To date, the transparent peer review pilot has resulted in more than 650 published papers with publicly available peer review correspondence.
Open data is an increasingly hot topic within open science, particularly due to the policy guidance for US federal funding agencies issued in the OSTP ‘Nelson Memo’ of August 2022 (for more information, register for our webinar on Friday Oct 27):
In 2021, ACS Publications announced a new Research Data Policy aimed at establishing open data sharing as the eventual norm across all journals. At the initial Level 1 of this four-level policy, authors are strongly encouraged to make the data associated with their research openly available for ease of analysis, comparison, and even reproducibility by others in the field.
In 2022, ACS Publications launched a new Data Availability Statement pilot for The Journal of Organic Chemistry, Organic Letters, and ACS Organic & Inorganic Au. These journals now fall under Level 2 of the Research Data Policy, which requires authors to submit a statement describing the availability status of all supporting data associated with the article’s results. This pilot presents great potential to lead more journals into further supporting Open Science through the public visibility and sharing of research data.
Begin Your Own Path to Open Science
To learn more about Open Science and how ACS Publications supports authors at every stage of their publishing journey within this landscape, visit the resources below.