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How ACS Creates and Supports Trust in Research: Part 5

As the scientific community comes together to celebrate and recognize the importance of the peer review process and the value of peer reviewers this week, we also want to call attention to the individuals, initiatives, and areas of ACS Publications that are dedicated and committed to creating trust and integrity in research.

Follow along with this five-part series to learn about how ACS Publications develops, implements, and embeds research integrity along every step of the publishing and review process.

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5

Meet Prof. Tierui Zhang, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry (TIPC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

ACS Peer Review Week 2022 Part 5: Meet Tierui Zhang

We end this series with Prof. Tierui Zhang, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry (TIPC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Prof. Zhang was selected because of the impressive number of ACS manuscripts he reviewed over the past year as well as being a highly cited author in the fields of chemistry and material sciences.

Find out how Prof. Zhang approaches the peer review process and read the advice he gives to fellow peer reviewers. Then take the ACS Reviewer Lab  “How Well Do You Know Peer Review? quiz to test your knowledge of the peer review process.

What is the one thing you frequently do before you sit down to start a review?

I make sure to look at the article title, author information to prevent conflict of interest, and the scope of the journal before I start reviewing the manuscript. I also plan my time so the submission date of my review will be as early as possible and according to the deadline and schedule the journal has set.

What are some challenges you experience as a peer reviewer?

For me, the main challenges are twofold. One is to have a sufficient understanding of the research field to which the article belongs, to have a clear understanding of its cutting-edge developments, and to be able to accurately evaluate the value of the work, such as whether similar works have been published, or whether the authors have omitted some important relevant references, etc.

Another challenge involves dedicating enough time to read through the whole manuscript at least twice, so as not to misread the author’s intentions and not miss important details. I think these two points are challenging to most reviewers in terms of expertise and time management, but only by doing this can we make an accurate assessment of the innovation and academic contribution of the submitted manuscript.

What would you tell someone if they asked you why they should be a Peer Reviewer?

Reviewing manuscripts is very helpful to researchers. Not only can they get a first-hand look at the latest developments in the related fields, thereby broadening their research thinking, but they can also clearly grasp the key factors that they need to pay attention to during the review process. Being a peer reviewer can improve the quality of their own manuscripts.

What is your advice for those who are just starting out as peer reviewers?

Peer reviewers need to take their responsibility seriously, and develop their skills by learning from excellent reviews. They need to treat each manuscript with care and respect. When rejecting a manuscript, the reasons should be clear, thoughtful, and productive.

Remember that review comments cannot be given without reading the article carefully a number of times, and vague comments shouldn’t be given without explanation. Reviewers should focus their assessments on the innovation and academic contribution of the work while paying attention to the reproducibility of the experiment and referring textual errors to the editor.

Learn More About Prof. Zhang

How Well Do You Know Peer Review?

Peer Review Week 2022 Quiz

Whether you accomplish 365 reviews or are invited to review one manuscript over the course of the year, your contribution and impact are still significant, valuable, and essential to supporting and creating trust in research as part of the research and publishing processes.

Take the ACS Publications How Well Do You Know Peer Review? quiz to test your knowledge of the peer review process.

Take the Quiz!

Pick Your Favorite JACS Editors’ Choice Article of 2021

The ACS Editors’ Choice program selects one new peer-reviewed research article from an ACS journal each day to become free-to-read for a limited period of time as a service to our global community of researchers.

In 2021, articles from the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) were featured in ACS Editors’ Choice a total of 18 times. Each of these articles is among the most exciting work published in JACS this past year, but which was your favorite? Vote for your top pick in the poll below.

We asked you to vote for your top pick, and the results are in!
The three articles that received the most votes were:

Machine Vision Automated Chiral Molecule Detection and Classification in Molecular Imaging

Topochemical Deintercalation of Li from Layered LiNiB: toward 2D MBene

Nickel-Catalyzed Reversible Functional Group Metathesis between Aryl Nitriles and Aryl Thioethers

JACS was founded in 1879. It is the flagship journal of the American Chemical Society and the world’s preeminent journal in all of chemistry and interfacing areas of science. This periodical is devoted to the publication of fundamental research papers and publishes approximately 19,000 pages of Articles, Communications, and Perspectives a year. Learn more about the journal.

Learn more about ACS Editors’ Choice, view additional articles selected for the program, and sign up to get new picks sent to you via email.

Chemical Reviews Announces “Your Favorite Review” Campaign

Chemical Reviews excited to announce the return of the Your Favorite Review campaign, a celebration of the over 200+ reviews published in 2020 and the amazing authors/teams that wrote them.

Here’s how the campaign works:

There will be two rounds of voting. In the first round, we will have 24 polls matching the 24 issues we published in 2020. You will be able to vote for Your Favorite Review from each of the 24 issues. Following the first round, we will take the winning review from each poll (24 in total) and put them into the final poll, which will help us determine the one review you, our readers, voted as your collective favorite.

Round One

Voting in the first round ended on February 14. Thank you to everyone that voted!

Round Two

Round two ended on February 28, 2021.

Winner and Top 10

Thank you to everyone that took the time to vote in this year’s Your Favorite Review campaign. In total, we received over 10,000 votes between the two rounds, with more than half of them being cast during the Final Round. Wow! On behalf of all of our 2020 authors, your support is appreciated!

Now that we’ve told you how many votes we received, let’s get to naming the winner. Congratulations to authors Michelle P. Browne, Edurne Redondo, and Martin Pumera for “3D Printing for Electrochemical Energy Applications” being named the Favorite Review of 2021. The article provides an overview of the reasoning behind using 3D printing for these applications, discusses how the electrochemical performance of the electrodes/devices are affected by the various 3D-printing technologies, and insights into the future perspectives of the field.

The reviews that finished in the Top 10 (in order):


Issue 17: DNA Functional Materials Assembled from Branched DNA: Design, Synthesis, and Applications

Authors: Yuhang Dong, Chi Yao, Yi Zhu, Lu Yang, Dan Luo, and Dayong Yang


Issue 4: Property–Activity Relationship of Black Phosphorus at the Nano–Bio Interface: From Molecules to Organisms

Authors: Guangbo Qu, Tian Xia, Wenhua Zhou, Xue Zhang, Haiyan Zhang, Ligang Hu, Jianbo Shi, Xue-Feng Yu, and Guibin Jiang


Issue 21: Atomically Dispersed Metals on Well-Defined Supports including Zeolites and Metal–Organic Frameworks: Structure, Bonding, Reactivity, and Catalysis

Authors: Melike Babucci, Adisak Guntida, and Bruce C. Gates


Issue 8: Antifouling Strategies for Selective In Vitro and In Vivo Sensing

Authors: Cheng Jiang, Guixiang Wang, Robert Hein, Nianzu Liu, Xiliang Luo, and Jason J. Davis


Issue 23: Guidelines to Achieving High Selectivity for the Hydrogenation of α,β-Unsaturated Aldehydes with Bimetallic and Dilute Alloy Catalysts: A Review

Authors: Mathilde Luneau, Jin Soo Lim, Dipna A. Patel, E. Charles H. Sykes, Cynthia M. Friend, and Philippe Sautet


Issue 15: Nonenzymatic Metabolic Reactions and Life’s Origins

Authors: Kamila B. Muchowska, Sreejith J. Varma, and Joseph Moran


Issue 3: Bidentate Directing Groups: An Efficient Tool in C–H Bond Functionalization Chemistry for the Expedient Construction of C–C Bonds

Authors: Supriya Rej, Yusuke Ano, and Naoto Chatani


Issue 16: Metal–Organic Frameworks in Heterogeneous Catalysis: Recent Progress, New Trends, and Future Perspectives

Authors: Anastasiya Bavykina, Nikita Kolobov, Il Son Khan, Jeremy A. Bau, Adrian Ramirez, and Jorge Gascon


Issue 24: Visible-to-NIR-Light Activated Release: From Small Molecules to Nanomaterials

Authors: Roy Weinstain, Tomáš Slanina, Dnyaneshwar Kand, and Petr Klán


Thank you once again to all of the amazing authors who published research in Chemical Reviews in 2020. Lastly, congratulations to Michelle P. Browne, Edurne Redondo, and Martin Pumera and their review. The Your Favorite Review campaign will return in 2022.

Until then, stay abreast of all of the reviews being published in the journal by signing up for Chemical Reviews eAlerts.


Share Your Story: A Day in the Life of a Locked-Down Crystal Engineer

Today, Crystal Growth & Design launched a “Day in the Life of a Locked-Down Crystal Engineer,” campaign to provide a little hope and inspiration during this uncertain time. The goal of the campaign is to highlight how crystal engineers are continuing to work while social distancing.

To participate, share your story on Twitter using the #StayHomeDesignCrystals and mentioning @CGD_ACS. 

View the feed now for some inspiration

Don’t forget to like and share your tweet with colleagues and upgrade your posts with some visuals (either video or images!).

When the campaign concludes on May 31st, the five participants with the most likes will receive a surprise prize!

Please note: To be considered, you must also follow @CGD_ACS

Share Your Story

We Need Your Feedback on How You Discover and Use Literature in Your Research!

ACS Publications wants your feedback! We are interested to hear how you discover and use information when researching, as well as your views on ACS Publications, and how scientific literature is gathered within your organization.

This valuable information will help us to tailor our products to meet your needs and the needs of your organization.

The survey is open until March 15 and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. You could even win a pair of Bose® Noise Cancelling® Wireless Bluetooth Headphones!

Take the Survey Now!

Terms and conditions apply.

Announcing the Winner of the “Show Us Your Lab” Contest

Last month, ACS Axial held a contest asking readers to send in photos of their labs, classrooms, offices or wherever they do their best work. Today I am proud to announce the winner: Dr. Greg D. Smith of the Conservation Science Lab at Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. The 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art analytical and research laboratory is used for the study of artists’ materials.

Dr. Smith wrote in to tell me about the beautiful and unique lab at his workplace:

“Unlike the normal whitewashed, sterile chemistry labs, the art analysis lab at Newfields is decorated in a rich, inviting Arts & Crafts period style, complete with quartered oak cabinetry, hammered copper fittings, and a periodic table carved out of mahogany. The lab is also decorated with prints, tapestry, paintings, ceramics, and sculpture donated by contemporary artists working in the Craftsman tradition, all of which are used to train students in art analysis and technical art history.”

Check out a panoramic image of the lab:

Take a closer look at the lab’s periodic table:

The table is carved from mahogany, with a frame made of ebonized quarter sawn oak. The table was constructed by one of the lab’s master carpenters, Jim Bayes, with other craftsman efforts from paintings conservator Linda Witkowski. Note, the lab was opened in 2010, so the table doesn’t reference the elements added in recent years.

Dr. Smith appears as an author on two papers in Analytical Chemistry:

Pigment Identification by Spectroscopic Means: Evidence Consistent with the Attribution of the Painting Young Woman Seated at a Virginal to Vermeer
Anal. Chem., 2005, 77 (5), pp 1261–1267
DOI: 10.1021/ac048481i

The Gutenberg Bibles: Analysis of the Illuminations and Inks Using Raman Spectroscopy
Anal. Chem., 2005, 77 (11), pp 3611–3622
DOI: 10.1021/ac050346y

He’s also an author on the chapter “What’s Wrong with this Picture? The Technical Analysis of a Known Forgery,” in the ASC Symposium Series E-Book, “Collaborative Endeavors in the Chemical Analysis of Art and Cultural Heritage Materials.”

Congratulations to Dr. Smith and the staff at the Conservation Science Lab at Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields on their beautiful lab space.

Show Off Your Lab and You Could Win an Apple Watch

Sometimes the places we work can be almost as inspiring as the work that comes out of them. So we have to ask: Is your lab remarkable? Is your office the envy of your peers? Is your workspace a thing of beauty? If that sounds like your office, get ready to show off. ACS in on the hunt for the coolest workspace in chemistry. Is it yours? Prove it and you could win an Apple Watch.

All you have to do is take a photo of your lab (or office, or classroom, or wherever you work your magic), submit it online and share it via social with the hashtag #ShowUsYourLab. We’ll evaluate all the entries for attractiveness and creativity (with bonus points for including ACS mementos in the shot). Top entries may be featured on ACS Axial and the winner will get an Apple Watch.

Ready to show off your lab? Take a picture and show off your workspace today.

Terms and conditions apply.

ACS Celebrates National Nanotechnology Day

Lovers of big innovations in small packages, rejoice! It’s time for the 2nd annual National Nanotechnology Day, and ACS is here to help you celebrate it right.

What is National Nanotechnology Day?

The day is a joint project of the United States National Nanotechnology Initiative, scientific societies such as ACS, and other organizations. The day will promote awareness of nanotechnology, the way it already enriches our daily lives, and what the field holds for our future.

Why is National Nanotechnology Day held on Oct. 9th?

Because a nanometer is 10-9 meters, and October 9th is written as 10/9 in U.S. notation.

What is ACS doing to celebrate National Nanotechnology Day?

ACS is supporting National Nanotechnology Day with a wide variety of ways for our community to get involved.

Check out all of these great National Nanotechnology Day resources:

  • A special live ACS Webinar broadcast, “Nano 2.0: Multi-scale Nanomaterials” is scheduled for 2 PM ET on Oct. 9 with Dr. Teri Odom from Northwestern University and Dr. Laura Fernandez, Managing Editor of ACS Nano and Nano Letters.
  • ACS Publications is producting a special Virtual Issue devoted to nano across a variety of ACS journals.
  •  A “What Nanomolecule Are You?” quiz on Buzzfeed.
  • C&EN is offering a special, nano-themed Chemistry in Pictures contest.
  • A Reddit AMA series on 10/10 will allow users to ask  Dr. Warren Chan anything about his nanotechnology research.
  • ACS social media accounts will be joining in the conversation around nanoscience using the hashtag: #NationalNanoDay.
  • The Molecule of the Week is nanotechnology themed.

ACS’ celebration is just a small part of National Nanotechnology Day. Check out the official list of activities in your area and find more ways to get involved.

Celebrate Earth Day By Testing Your Environmental I.Q.

Chemistry is important to the past, present, and future of the modern environmental movement. Many of today’s thorniest environmental problems have their roots in the work of earlier generations of chemists. But if chemistry has sometimes been part of creating ecological problems, it is absolutely essential to humanity’s efforts to solve them. That’s why the American Chemical Society supports programs such as Chemists Celebrate Earth Day, which creates connections between the chemistry community, environmental activists, and the general public.

Take our quiz to uncover your Environmental I.Q. and learn how chemists can get involved with Earth Day.

Test Your Eco I.Q. With the ACS!
Test Your Eco I.Q.
Happy Earth Day 2017! Test your knowledge of recent advancements in environmental science, sustainable chemistry, agricultural and food chemistry, chemistry education, and more with this quiz from ACS Publications.
Chemists can do all these things and more. Learn more about Chemists Celebrate Earth Day activities from the American Chemical Society.
Learn more about the effects of elevated carbon dioxide levels on seawater chemistry in Journal of Chemical Education.
Read more about 2016 emissions levels in C&EN.
Learn more about this research in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Learn more about the latest in battery recycling in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
Rachel Carson’s 1962 book “Silent Spring” detailed harms caused by certain pesticides, spurring a wave of activism that led to the modern environmental movement.
Read more about the research in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
2016 was the third global “warmest year” in a row, according to NASA.
Learn more about the cause of the crisis in Environmental Science & Technology.
The U.S. has celebrated Earth Day each year since 1970.

Researchers Recognizing Transformative Librarians

In celebration of National Library Week, ACS Publications invited researchers nominate a transformative librarian that has supported them throughout their career. We received nominations from researchers across the globe and are excited to share our winner:

Sue Cardinal, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Librarian

University of Rochester

Sue received two nominations from the University of Rochester, Professor Daniel Weix and Leah Frenette, a graduate student. They wrote about Sue’s dedication to providing resources to her students, faculty, and researchers, and going outside the library to provide help to her users.

“Sue exemplifies to me how librarians are more vital than ever, even if the space they are named after is no longer needed for holding books and journals. With more information at our fingertips than at any other point in history, librarians are critical to finding the right information, planning for the long-term retention of invaluable data, and teaching students how to go beyond a Google search. At Rochester, Sue has been a leader in adapting to the changing environment. She held office hours in our chemistry department lounge – recognition that physical library space is already less important to researchers. She has led initiatives to expand our digital collections and our chemical informatics access, again, working to prepare the department for the future. Finally, she has been a leader in setting up classes or working with instructors to set up workshops on these new digital tools.” – Professor Daniel Weix

“Sue Cardinal is the most dedicated and passionate librarian that I have had the pleasure of working with.  She is always available to help find or ordering books and references, or just for a chat.  She is truly transformative, always looking for new ways to connect with the students and faculty in our department.  She is continually updating her knowledge with the changes in referencing technologies and keeps our chemistry community up to date with the latest tools and resources.  She offers librarian office hours in the chemistry building every week to make it easy for students and faculty to get their questions answered without having to find time to go to the library.  She gives incoming graduate students a thorough tour of the library so that everyone feels comfortable using everything that our library has to offer.  She goes above and beyond her duties by attending talks and thesis defenses in our department and being a constant fixture around campus.  Personally, she has helped me find references and taught me referencing software. In addition to being a phenomenal resource and always available she is a wonderfully friendly person and we are so lucky to have her as our Chemistry Librarian at the University of Rochester.  She is the definition of a transformative librarian and deserves to be recognized for her continual commitment.” – Leah Frenette


In a short interview with Sue, we asked her what piece of advice would she most want to share with librarians and researchers.

“For Librarians – focus on collaborations and partnerships with your stakeholders – students, faculty, customers, administration, etc. People first, then information. We are professionals who use our expertise and experience to provide access and/or share a vast wealth of knowledge. To do this, listen first to what is needed. Make yourself spontaneously available by going to events that your stakeholders attend. Become friends and, when possible, write articles, write grants, teach and take classes, and edit and write books so you can empathize and understand their pain points and provide meaningful practical solutions. Think beyond the core collection by introducing stakeholders to people, processes, and tools throughout their research or educational experiences. Finally, network with the best chemistry librarians and informational professionals at ACS CINF events, in person at National ACS meetings and virtually through the CHMINF-L list, Linked-In, and beyond. I am very grateful to my ACS friends for keeping me up to date on trends in my field.

“For Researchers – reach out to your librarian and ask him/her to keep you informed about new tools, processes, and information sources related to your field. Periodically invite your librarian to talks, group meetings, and/or classes. Share your frustrations regarding hard to find information, tools that don’t work well or ideas that you have for better information flow. If there is an information component in your course assignments, could the librarian share tools and strategies with your students so that students can spend more time researching, analyzing, synthesizing, and writing? Cultivating a partnership with your librarian can help your students succeed and save you time and effort.”

Congratulations again to Sue! We thank everyone who nominated a transformative librarian for this honor. From everyone at ACS Publications, thank you to all librarians for everything you do on a daily basis.

To learn more about National Library Week, visit the American Library Association’s website.