Information Today
Volume 18, Issue 3 — March 2001
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Editors Clarify Rules for Peer-Reviewed Chemistry Journals

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has announced that the editors of 30 scholarly journals published by the ACS endorsed a policy that they generally will not accept "pre-prints"—unreviewed manuscripts already published on the World Wide Web. The statement by the journal editors clarifies their policy on this form of prior publication.

The editors stressed that they continue to explore new ways of using the latest technology to disseminate research studies rapidly and affordably. While electronically distributed pre-prints may play a role in achieving those goals, they are not without drawbacks. For one, pre-prints are not subject to peer review, the process that for decades has ensured the quality and integrity of scientific information.

"The policy underscores the editors' commitment to maintaining the high quality and impact for which American Chemical Society journals are known," said Robert Bovenschulte, director of the ACS's publications division. "At the same time, it signals their willingness to explore emerging technologies and new ways of bringing research findings to light faster. The society will continue to work with them on these important efforts."

Scholarly publishers across the globe have varying policies on pre-prints. They have been a traditional part of the physics community for many years, but other prestigious societies and journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, Science, and the New England Journal of Medicine, generally refuse to consider these manuscripts for publication.

The American Chemical Society brings forth more than 30,000 research findings in chemistry and related sciences each year. According to the announcement, ACS journals are among the most cited in chemical research.

The full text of the policy is available at

Source: American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 800/227-5558, 202/872-4600;

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