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ACS Survey Shows Changing Attitudes Towards Open Access Publishing

Each year, ACS conducts a survey of its authors, readers, and reviewers to gauge their attitudes towards open access (OA), and to gather feedback on their experiences. In 2021, this survey ran between July and August and gathered over 1,400 responses from around the world, with subsequent focus groups at the 2022 ACS Spring Meeting providing additional context for many of the points raised in the survey.

Recent years have seen a steady growth of researchers publishing their work in open access journals. This is driven by a mix of factors including the desire for greater visibility, a personal agreement with the principles behind the OA movement, and institutional and/or research funder requirements. In many cases, these expectations are backed up by initiatives such as Read + Publish Agreements, and survey respondents feel that this kind of institutional support will be instrumental in continuing the growth of OA in the chemical sciences.

The survey also showed that more than two-thirds of respondents believe that publishing open access will be important within the next five years, with a preference for publishing in journals that include a mix of subscription-based and open access content in order to reach the best audience for their work. These ‘hybrid’ titles include ACS’ portfolio of more than 60 transformative journals, with their commitment to publishing an increasing proportion of open access content with the goal of eventually transitioning to 100% open access.

A free report is available discussing some of the survey’s findings in greater detail – visit the ACS Open Science website for more information.


Special Issue: “Oxidative Water Treatment: The Track Ahead” – Environmental Science & Technology welcoming submissions

Microbiological and chemical water quality are critical to human and environmental health. To this end, chemical oxidants have been employed for inactivation of pathogenic microorganisms and the abatement of inorganic and organic micropollutants in water and wastewater treatment.

Unfortunately, the reactions of oxidants with water matrix components, such as the dissolved organic matter (DOM) and halide ions, can result in the production of potentially toxic byproducts.  Oxidants also can affect water quality by increasing the biodegradability of organic matter.

In honor of Urs von Gunten as the recipient of the 2022 ACS Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology Award, this Special Issue in Environmental Science & Technology is seeking novel contributions on oxidation processes in water treatment with an emphasis on micropollutant abatement and byproduct formation.

Relevant Topics:

  1. Studies on the use of (advanced) oxidation processes in water and wastewater 
  2. Kinetic and mechanistic studies of oxidant fate, disinfection and disinfection byproduct formation
  3. Computational studies on oxidation reactions in water and wastewater treatment systems
  4. Investigations of byproducts formed from oxidation of water matrix components
  5. Analysis and fate of transformation products formed from oxidative treatment of micropollutants
  6. (Eco)toxicological assessment of transformation products, oxidation and disinfection byproducts

Guest Editors

  • Professor David Sedlak, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Professor Yunho Lee, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju, South Korea
  • Professor Urs von Gunten, Eawag – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland


Author Instructions:

To submit your manuscript, please visit the Environmental Science & Technology website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the Special Issue of “Oxidative Water Treatment: The Track Ahead.” All manuscripts will undergo rigorous peer review. For additional submission instructions, please see the Environmental Science & Technology Author Guidelines.

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2023.

Submit your manuscript

Submit your manuscript

Blockchain: A Solution for Information Overload in the Fight Against COVID-19

GISAID, a public-private partnership database, collects genome sequences related to influenza and most recently COVID-19.1 As of June 1, 2022, more than 11 million genome sequences have been submitted to It by more than 200 countries, proving that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has become a worldwide effort.

Having all this information freely available has allowed for the production of innovative vaccines and viral drugs, but could all this information be too much? Pietro Cozzini and Federica Agosta, professors at the University of Parma, think it might be. “While it is a great idea to collect all the data related to COVID-19 in a unique repository, the problem is that with such huge amounts of data, we are not able to check its quality,” says Cozzini.


Federica Agosta Molecular Modelling Lab, Food & Drug Department, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze, 17/A, 43124 Parma, Italy


Pietro Cozzini Molecular Modelling Lab, Food & Drug Department, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze, 17/A, 43124 Parma, Italy

The key to fighting viral infections is identifying their DNA and using it to outsmart new variants. The mRNA vaccines that have become essential in the fight against COVID-19 can be easily modified. When the DNA for a new variant is identified, the mRNA can be re-engineered to respond to it. “The problem is that the quality of data is not the same from all nations,” says Cozzini. For example, not all the sequences uploaded for the same virus are the same length, some range in size from under 100 amino acids to more than 50,000. This has led to issues down the line in identifying mutations.

Cozzini and Agosta suggest that Blockchain might be a solution to this problem.2 Blockchain, an electronic database of information that is transparent and unchangeable, uses a set of rules that allow a computer to check data quality. Most frequently associated with financial databases, Blockchain has also found utility in the pharmaceutical3 and agricultural fields,4 tracking food and chemicals through the supply chain.

Blockchain screens for data quality based on a set of parameters, and if the data pass, they become permanently available for viewing. So how is this different from the GISAID database as it is currently used? The answer is in the rules that would be set and that must be adhered to add to the database. All national health organizations would have to input their data in the same way and in the same format. “If the data isn’t the same, then it is difficult to do a decent analysis of the distribution of the variants,” says Agosta. Currently, Cozzini and Agosta are working with scientists from health organizations around the world to help draft the rules that would create a COVID-19 Blockchain.

Blockchain technology is here to stay and its adoption across industries, from the pharmaceutical industry and agriculture to artwork and video games, means constant improvement. In the fight to stay ahead of COVID-19 mutations, Blockchain may soon be one more weapon in the arsenal.


(1) GISAID – Initiative. (accessed 2022-06-02).

(2) Cozzini, P.; Agosta, F.; Dolcetti, G.; Righi, G. How a Blockchain Approach Can Improve Data Reliability in the COVID-19 Pandemic. ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2022, 13 (4), 517–519.

(3) How to Use Blockchain in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Intellectsoft Blog, 2021.

(4) Bank, M.S.; Duarte, C.M.; Sonne, C. Intergovernmental Panel on Blue Foods in Support of Sustainable Development and Nutritional Security. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2022, 56 (9), 5302–5305. 

Protecting eggs (and heads): A new use for hydrogel?

This article is based on this recent paper published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, “How a Gel Can Protect an Egg: A Flexible Hydrogel with Embedded Starch Particles Shields Fragile Objects Against Impact”.

Read the full paper here

Hydrogels are networks of polymer chains that are swollen in water. In recent years, research has focused on making hydrogels that are flexible and bendable. Could this pave the way for an inexpensive, biodegradable packaging material? New research published by ACS explores the possibilities.

Food waste and excess, unsustainable packaging are major environmental issues, and there is a move towards creating novel solutions that could overcome them. In the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Maryland, Ganesh and colleagues have contributed to the field of hydrogels by creating gels via either physical or chemical cross-linking, and with the addition of various particulates. A hydrogel is a three-dimensional polymer network that can absorb and retain water. Collagen and gelatin are examples of hydrogels found in nature, and they are already used in many medical settings, but new research is focussed on creating hydrogels with more diverse applications.

The aim of this study was to develop a flexible gel that could be wrapped around brittle or fragile objects to protect against impact. Their report published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces explains that none of the bare gels were protective, and the addition of nanoparticles such as iron oxide or silica made no difference. However, the addition of starch granules to a gelatin hydrogel enhanced the protective abilities – with a 25% reduction in peak impact force compared to the same gel without the starch.1 In the study, fragile items such as eggs and blueberries stayed intact when wrapped in a gel infused with starch, even when landing on a hard surface, or if something was dropped on them from above. Overall, gels made with 10% gelatin and 10–20% starch were ideal in terms of their flexibility and impact absorption.

Alongside this impact reduction, the coefficient of restitution – the ratio of the final to initial relative speed between two objects after they collide – was also lowered by the presence of starch. In practical terms, this means that a ball would bounce less on a starch-bearing gel than on a bare gel or a hard surface.

This research may prove instrumental in designing protective coatings for fragile objects –particularly when looking for inexpensive, biodegradable alternatives to traditional bubble wrap and packaging peanuts. There may also be future applications across diverse sectors such as sports and defense, where protecting eggs from impact could be scaled up to protecting heads.

Watch the video around this research created by the ACS Press Team:

Read the full press release on

Read the original article from ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Further reading on this topic

Article icon

Increased Hydrogel Swelling Induced by Absorption of Small Molecules
Changwoo Nam, Tawanda J. Zimudzi, Geoffrey M. Geise, and Michael A. Hickner
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b02069

Article icon

Super Tough, Ultrastretchable Hydrogel with Multistimuli Responsiveness
Meng-Meng Song, Ya-Min Wang, Bing Wang, Xiang-Yong Liang, Zhi-Yi Chang, Bang-Jing Li, and Sheng Zhang

Article icon

Impact of Elastin-like Protein Temperature Transition on PEG-ELP Hybrid Hydrogel Properties
Edi Meco and Kyle J. Lampe
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.9b00113

Introducing Dr. Elena Galoppini, Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Optical Materials

Elena Galoppini graduated with a Laurea in Chimica (MSc) from the Università di Pisa, Italy, in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1994, with Professor Philip E. Eaton. Following a two-year Postdoctoral Associate appointment at the University of Texas Austin with Professor Marye Anne Fox, in 1996 she began her independent research career at Rutgers University-Newark, where she is currently Distinguished Professor.

Dr. Elena Galoppini

At Rutgers, Prof. Galoppini has served as the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Department of Chemistry from 2016-2019, and over the years she has been Visiting Professor at several institutions including the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in Sweden and the University of Padova in Italy. In 2019 she was the recipient of a Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research.

Prof. Galoppini has served on the Advisory Editorial Board of Langmuir from 2007-2010 and is the author of 100 peer-reviewed articles in fundamental and applied research areas, with a primary focus on synthesis of functional bridging units for binding organic chromophores to inorganic semiconductors.

I recently spoke with Dr. Galoppini to learn more about her plans for ACS Applied Optical Materials.

Welcome to the ACS Publications Team, Dr. Galoppini, and congratulations on your new role as the Founding Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Optical Materials. Can you tell us a bit about what drew you to accepting a leadership position with this new journal?

Thank you. Firstly, I want to say that I am honored to be entrusted with this responsibility, and that I am absolutely excited to be the Founding Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Optical Materials, one of the two new journals added in 2022 to the ACS Applied Materials portfolio.

I was drawn to accepting this position because it is an opportunity to contribute in a creative way to the field of optical materials, and in a manner that is entirely new to me. After many years in academic research, the editorial role is a new direction and poses a fresh challenge.  In fact, I feel the same energy and sense of possibilities as when I was a new Assistant Professor, and entered my empty laboratory space for the first time. 

What are you most excited about as the journal opens for submissions?

It is exciting to be part of a perfectly timed initiative by ACS that meets the growing interest in optical materials. In the past five years, publications in this area have sharply increased. ACS Applied Optical Materials, with a focus on applications, will complement other ACS publications that are covering more fundamental aspects of the interactions between light and matter.  

Second, the journal is part of the ACS Applied Materials portfolio, a family of journals encompassing the areas of interfaces, energy, nanoscience, biomaterials, polymers and electronics, and that this year has been expanded to include engineering and optical materials. There is great collegiality between this group of Deputy Editors, and for this reason I anticipate excellent opportunities for future collaborations on Special Issues, Editorials, and other initiatives that are interdisciplinary and cross-cutting the areas of interest among the ACS Applied Materials journals.  

What kind of research reports are of particular interest to you? Are there specific challenges you hope articles in this journal can seek to address?

The field of optical materials is broad, and we welcome high quality, interdisciplinary manuscripts reporting research on emerging applications, and that provide mechanistic insight on optical devices functions.  From a personal perspective, I find fascinating the role of interfaces and how they can influence and control the properties and functions of optical materials and devices.  

A specific challenge that I hope the journal can address will be to identify emerging areas of interest in the multifaceted discipline of optical materials, and then highlight them in the journal.  To this end, it will be essential the input of the Associate Editors and of the Advisory Editorial Board members.  Since they come from different scientific backgrounds, offer complementary expertise, and represent different geographical regions, they will be able to address this challenge from a variety of perspectives.

Do you have any advice for authors seeking to publish their papers with you?

My first suggestion to an author is to look at the journal scope and, as issues will be published following the launch, read the articles and become familiar with the type of research published in ACS Applied Optical Materials. This will ensure that the work that you seek to publish in ACS Applied Optical Materials fits within the scope of the journal.

Secondly, I recommend making a clear connection to how the research presented in your manuscript can advance applications, demonstrate new functions, or be integrated in a device. ACS Applied Optical Materials, as the rest of the ACS Applied Materials portfolio, focuses on high quality research of an applied nature. It is not necessary to directly demonstrate an application, but you should emphasize this connection and put your work in this kind of context.

What opportunities in your field excite you the most?

One of the most exciting opportunities has been collaborating with colleagues who come from completely different scientific backgrounds from mine, and are outside my field. I am at core an organic chemist, and the most rewarding collaborations have been with physicists, physical chemists, and theoreticians.  Everybody learns something new, and together we expand and develop new ideas in a manner that would never have been possible.

What do you think are the non-scientific challenges facing your field?

In my experience, science is generally poorly communicated to the public, and conveying the positive impact of chemistry on society is an enduring challenge.  For instance, undergraduate students taking their first organic chemistry course tend to consider it an obstacle, and anticipate chemistry to be a dry and abstract subject. Fortunately, in academia we have the opportunity to change this perception. We can help students realize that chemistry studies stimulate new ways of thinking, illustrate how chemistry can benefit society, and involve undergraduates in research.

A second challenge is that pursuing a research active academic career has become more complex and stressful.  Applying for funding has turned into an increasingly time consuming and bureaucratic process, and faculty can become overwhelmed with other tasks that have little to do with science. This trend may discourage some talented graduate students and postdocs from pursuing an academic career. 

Apart from materials chemistry, what are you passionate about?

My enthusiasm for working with graduate, undergraduate students and postdocs, and mentoring them in a research setting has never diminished. Seeing young researchers grow scientifically and personally over the years, and then start their own independent career is one of the greatest satisfactions of working in academia.  In my opinion, this one of the greatest contributions a scientist can make. Not to mention that working with young people keeps you young … well, at least young at heart!

About the Journal

ACS Applied Optical Materials is an international and interdisciplinary forum to publish original experimental and theoretical, including simulation and modeling, research in optical materials, complementing the ACS Applied Materials portfolio. With a focus on innovative applications, ACS Applied Optical Materials also complements and expands the scope of existing ACS publications that focus on fundamental aspects of the interaction between light and matter in materials science including ACS Photonics, Macromolecules, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, ACS Nano and Nano Letters.

Visit the journal website to learn more about the scope, to view the author guidelines or to submit your manuscript. Sign up to receive journal e-alerts to receive the first Issue straight to your inbox.

View selected publications from Dr. Galoppini



Library Life: Interview with Carnegie Mellon University Librarian Neelam Bharti

Neelam Bharti is Senior Librarian, Science and Engineering and Associate Dean for Liaison Services at Carnegie Mellon University.

Tell me about your current role:

I am the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Librarian at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, and have an additional responsibility to serve as Associate Dean for Liaison Services. I oversee the liaison services and mentor library faculty. In addition, I work with other colleagues to help the CMU faculty members, students, and staff on our Pittsburgh and international campuses (CMU-Qatar, CMU-Australia, and CMU-South Africa). I teach graduate-level seminars and guest lectures in many undergraduate and graduate-level classes to provide students with context-specific information that they may need to do their coursework and independent research. I also manage our open access agreements with publishers and provide open access and copyright consultations.

Neelam Bharti

I am responsible for developing chemical sciences and engineering collections at CMU with other engineering librarians, planning improvements and enhancements to the library services, and providing reference assistance to anyone having difficulty finding chemistry and engineering-related information. In addition, I work closely with the Office of Vice President of Research and coordinate a campus-wide RCR training program, and serve as a consultant on research ethics questions. Finally, I serve on university and library-wide committees and task forces, as my expertise is required.

What is your background?

I came from an interior village in India, where it wasn’t easy for girls to attend school. I always wanted to read and learn about the world, but there was no library in my school or village. My first library interaction was in high school. I still remember that sight of seeing so many books altogether for the first time that opened a whole new world for me. I chose to study science and soon realized it was a daily struggle to study science as a girl, but that experience motivated me to work harder. I was awarded a Junior Research Fellowship and later a Senior Research Fellowship from the Government of India while finishing my Ph.D. in chemistry. 

I became the first person from my village to complete a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in science. As a postdoctoral scientist, I was invited to join Dr. Bergeron’s drug development group on an NIH-sponsored grant to develop iron chelators at the University of Florida. During my postdoc studies, libraries were my primary place of learning before lab bench work. While interacting with the librarians, I realized how awesome they were; they were intrepid explorers and information wizards who never shied away from embarking on a journey pursuing a question with unknown answers. 

Although I had a passion for research, personal health issues made it difficult to engage in benchwork. So, I started to look for opportunities where I could still be involved in research and use my subject background and research experience to help others. I joined Marston Science Library as a Chemical Sciences and Engineering Librarian at the University of Florida. Five years later, I joined CMU as the senior librarian in Science and Engineering and now serve in an additional role as Associate Dean for Liaison Services.

How do you help address challenges faced by your institution’s students and faculty?

CMU is a technology-focused research university, so the faculty and students turn to me when they have information resources or related questions. I help with the questions I can quickly answer, but for others where I’m not sure, I actively seek out guidance from my colleagues and professional peers. I regularly consult the graduate and undergraduate students on how to find information and use it for class and research work. 

One of the most challenging courses is the BXA course, where students work at the interface of science/engineering and art/design on unique projects; I consult with students in those courses and collaborate with other library experts when needed. In addition, I help by getting involved in teaching various emerging topics workshops such as 3D modeling and printing, Open Access, and Copyright.

What are some trends that you are observing in the library world right now?

As the teaching and learning technologies evolve, libraries are also changing. Libraries and librarians are being creative and diversifying their services. When I joined the library in 2013, my responsibilities included providing reference services, collection development and management, and teaching how to search for chemical information. In the past nine years, it evolved into providing more interdisciplinary research, open access, research ethics and data management, and citation management consultations. As the scholarly landscape changes, universities are finding creative ways to support scholarly communication by signing Read and Publish and Transformative agreements, supporting open access publications, and actively exploring and promoting the inclusion of open source resources such as the Open Science Framework and openly available educational and research resources. At our institution, we especially focus on emerging trends such as open access, sustainable global development goals, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiative to provide timely services and lead the pathways.

What areas of interest are you focused on right now?

I have more than one area of focus at this point. As a liaison, I focus on staying informed of emerging resources and changes to the major databases and search tools in chemical sciences and engineering disciplines. We frequently communicate with vendors providing feedback on tools and resources and suggestions that could be helpful in future development, including emerging areas like text and data mining. As an engineering librarian, I work closely with students to provide artificial intelligence and machine learning tools.

Research impact measurement is another area of interest for me. Every year, we hear from students and faculty looking for ways to increase the impact of research in supporting tenure packets, immigration visa applications, and grant applications. We subscribe to several research metrics tools, but it does not help until we know what these tools can do for us and how to use them for our benefit. My goal is to enhance our user’s knowledge and skills of these tools and teach them strategies to use those tools effectively.

In recent years I got engaged in scholarly publication and spent a lot of time on open access, copyright, and responsible conduct of research. I coordinate the CMU OA agreements with publishers and focus on improving the author’s workflow and providing feedback to the publishers to improve the process, increasing awareness, and promoting open access publications among our researchers.

You are involved with the ACS’s Chemical Information (CINF) division. What is that like?

I attended my first CINF meeting in 2015 and have enjoyed being a part of CINF since then. I have met some great chemical information professionals and learn something new every time we meet. CINF members have been great and helped me grow as a chemistry librarian; I found some great mentors there. I read journal articles and used a lot of data in my research life but didn’t appreciate its complexity until I joined CINF and learned how complex data curation is. 

As a result, I joined the CINF career committee and served as a committee chair. The career committee works to increase awareness among members of the American Chemical Society, the profession, and the public on careers available in scientific information fields and provide information on career pathways and professional advancement opportunities in scientific information fields. CINF is like a Chemical information family bringing expertise from a broad background where people are eager to help. 

An essential question: Who is your favorite scientist?

I am fortunate enough to work with some great scientists; one of my mentors is Prof. Raymond Bergeron at the University of Florida. But I would give the credit for my scientific curiosities to Dr. Asima Chatterjee. Dr. Chatterjee was an organic chemist, and she was the first woman to receive a Doctorate of Sciences from an Indian university. She pioneered modern medicinal chemistry in India and worked on phytochemicals. Her research included vinca alkaloids and was involved in developing anti-epileptic and anti-malarial drugs. She was my inspiration going into my Ph.D. program, where I studied plant-based medicine and phytochemicals for anti-amoebic treatment.   

What is a fun fact about Carnegie Mellon University? 

Carnegie Mellon University is a happening place; our motto is “My heart is in the work.” CMU is home to a fascinating intersection of innovations in science, technology and the performing arts. One of the first independent research institutes focusing on chemical and industrial research, Mellon Institute, is a part of CMU. For the past century, Mellon Institute has been a place of invention of many products we use today, including the first gas mask and many others. Home of the chemistry library (Mellon Institute Library), the institute became a National Historic Chemical Landmark for its contribution in promoting applied research for industry and educating scientific researchers for the benefit of society.

CMU is at the technology forefront and leads the higher education institute in Tony and Emmy awards recipients. CMU alumni are leading the way by winning 52 Tony awards and 142 Emmy awards. CMU is also a popular location for filmmakers. Many movies, such as Batman: The Dark Knight Rises and Dogma, were filmed in or around Mellon Institute.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics in Water Environments

ACS ES&T Water welcomes submissions for the upcoming Special Issue “Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics in Water Environments”

The past few years have witnessed the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data analytics in a wide range of applications, such as speech and image recognition, consumer behavior prediction, and self-driving cars. These applications are primarily driven by the tremendous growth in data collection and storage capabilities as well as in computing power.

These powerful tools have also been increasingly applied in the environmental field to assess contaminant toxicity and environmental risks, evaluate the health of water and wastewater infrastructure, examine the fate and transformation of contaminants in different environments, optimize treatment technologies, identify and characterize pollution sources, model water/wastewater treatment processes, predict contaminant activity in treatment systems and the environment, and perform life cycle analysis, to name a few.

This Special Issue Call for Papers from ACS ES&T Water seeks rigorous research articles, reviews, and perspectives on the current progress, research, opportunities and challenges in applying AI/ML and data analytics to solving environmental problems related to water, and to identify research priorities our community should focus on in the near future.

Examples of topics to be covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Big data-informed water/wastewater infrastructure management
  • Characterize sources of pollution and model emissions of various contaminants in different water-involved environments
  • Data mining from various environmental and biological “omics” data to improve data interpretation and facilitate new discoveries
  • Develop quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) for biotic/abiotic reactivity, adsorption, uptake, treatment, and toxicity of organic and inorganic compounds
  • Model and predict contaminant levels and conduct risk assessment in natural and engineered water systems
  • Monitor and predict nutrients and contaminants levels in different environmental compartments
  • Predict and optimize treatment efficiencies in various treatment and remediation processes, such as in drinking water, wastewater, and groundwater treatment and site remediation

Submit your manuscript for inclusion

Submit your manuscript for inclusion now

Guest Editors

Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson, Head of the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, USA

Carla Ng, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, USA

Xu Wang, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China. Editorial Advisory Board of ACS ES&T Water

Associate and Topic Editors

Ching-Hua Huang, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Huichun (Judy) Zhang, Case Western Reserve University, USA

Author Instructions:

To submit your manuscript, please visit the ACS ES&T Water website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the special issue of “Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics in Water Environments.” All manuscripts will undergo rigorous peer review. For additional submission instructions, please see the ACS ES&T Water Author Guidelines.

The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2023.

Submit your manuscript now

New ACS Transformative Agreement marks two important firsts

Academic and research institutions across the state of California are among the nation’s highest-publishing organizations, producing hundreds of world class research articles in chemistry every year – and under the newly-announced Read + Publish Agreement, many of these researchers are now able to publish in ACS’ full range of open access and hybrid journals with additional support for publishing costs.

This agreement marks two ‘firsts’: not only is it the first ever California-wide transformative agreement with any publisher, but also the first ACS Read + Publish Agreement which includes multiple consortia. In total, the new agreement covers almost 60 institutions and thousands of researchers, granting both full reading access and affordable open access publishing across the full portfolio of 75+ ACS journals.

The three consortia included in the agreement – California State University system, the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortia (SCELC), and the University of California system – collaborated with ACS to represent the interests of their diverse community of researchers, to make even more of their research and scholarship available to the world, and to find an approach that guarantees an affordable and sustainable route to open access.

This new type of Read + Publish Agreement is unique, in that it engages funder support for open access in alignment with the partnership between the institutes and publisher. As the scholarly publishing industry transitions toward an open access future, innovations like this partnership will be crucial to ensuring that all educational institutions and their researchers can participate in the full benefits of open access publication.

“ACS is very excited about this new agreement, as it takes the workflows behind read and publish deals to the next level,” says Sybille Geisenheyner, Director of Open Science Strategy and Licensing at ACS. “As we embark upon this partnership, we invite funders to engage in this collaboration to support this transformation.”

The agreement is rolling out in two phases. Until early July 2022, affiliated authors will benefit from discounted open access publishing charges, making publication in all ACS journals even more affordable. The second phase, running through the end of 2025, will introduce a new workflow which will help authors make better use of the opportunities provided by their research funder. Authors will also have the option of publishing under a Read + Publish Agreement with their institution if no other funds are available.

ACS is a firm supporter of open science and has invested in programs and technology to make open access as widely available as possible. This includes a wide range of Read + Publish Agreements, which now cover more than 540 institutions in over 25 countries, including institutions which produce the most highly cited chemical research. These are intended to be transformative agreements: a sustainable way for researchers to publish in journals that are the best fit for their research, while increasing the proportion of global research that is freely available to readers with no barriers to access. Institutions and consortia maintain reading access to key parts of the literature, while also providing their authors with full article publishing charge support. Additionally, ACS also publishes more than 60 Transformative Journals: titles which include both subscription access and open access articles, which have made a long-term commitment to becoming fully open access.

“At ACS, we are committed to expanding our partnerships and innovating new ways to advance open access publication in chemistry,” says James Milne, Ph.D., President, ACS Publications Division. “I am confident that institutions around the world will see this collaboration as a prime example of creative thinking supporting the advancement of open science, for the benefit of chemistry and the world.”

More information on this announcement is available in the ACS News Room, and further details about ACS Read + Publish Agreements are available on the ACS Open Science website.

ACS article PDFs now include recommended articles

ACS Publications has introduced an enhancement to the PDF version of ACS journal articles that will assist with your browsing and research discovery. We now feature recommended articles at the end of journal article PDFs that will provide you a link to related research. This serves as a complement to the recommended article list that has appeared on the HTML version of our research articles.

The recommended articles will be located at the end of the PDF as shown here. Read on to find out more:

How many recommended articles will be on a PDF?
Each article can have four recommendations, where space allows. 

How are the article recommendations generated?
Article recommendations are powered by AI, based on a combination of content analysis and viewing patterns. These recommendations will change over time, based on changing viewing patterns of that article and any related ones.

Which journal article PDFs have this enhancement?
ACS journal research articles, rapid communications, and review articles published from December 2021 to the present are eligible for recommendations.  Recommendations will be placed only if there is space on the last page of the PDF. 

Where can I see this feature?
Check out this research article and you will see a list of recommended articles at the end of the PDF.

Open Access for everyone – no matter your institution

Recently published in ACS Omega, Organosolv Lignin Improved Thermoplastic Elastomeric Behavior of Polyethylene/Polyisoprene Blend (Ghosh, A: ACS Omega 2022, 7, 10, 8483–8492. DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.1c06062) marks the first publication from a primarily undergraduate institution under an ACS Read + Publish Agreement.

Primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) are defined by the National Science Foundation as accredited colleges and universities that award 20 or fewer Ph.D / D.Sci. degrees in NSF-supported fields during two consecutive academic years. As of 2016, there were more than 1,200 PUIs in the United States, employing in excess of 1,000,000 research and teaching staff. While PUIs have a primary focus on instruction, the staff of US-based PUIs nevertheless publish thousands of articles per year.

Read + Publish Agreements offer institutions and consortia full access to ACS content, as well as covering much or all of the publication charges for their researchers in ACS journals. While thousands of researchers in over 400 institutions worldwide are covered by ACS Read + Publish Agreements, Troy University is the first PUI to benefit from this offer.

“Dr Ghosh’s article is just one example of the high-quality research that Troy University, and other PUIs like us, produce,” said Dr Christopher Shaffer, Dean of Library Services at Troy University. “The option of an ACS Read + Publish Agreement, which provided both full access to ACS journals as well as the ability to publish in immediate open access, represents tremendous value. We can ensure that our faculty and students have access to the literature while also reaching the widest possible audience with our research.”

“ACS is committed to open access, and part of that commitment is to provide every chemical researcher the opportunity to publish in ACS journals,” said Sybille Geisenheyner, Director of Open Access Licensing and Strategy for ACS Publications. “Read + Publish Agreements have traditionally been struck with institutions that publish many articles each year, or with consortium groups representing institutions with lower publishing output but who still require broad access to the most trusted chemical literature. However, ACS’ flexible approach allows institutions of all sizes to publish their work in open access with support from their institution. We hope that Troy University is the first of many non research-focused universities to explore the benefits of an ACS Read + Publish Agreement.”

More information on ACS Read + Publish Agreements is available on the ACS Open Science website.