Issue Date: February 23, 2009
Nature Chemistry Debuts
The ranks of chemistry publications are again expanding: Nature Publishing Group plans to publish the first print issue of Nature Chemistry, its 16th research journal, on March 20. The first article was scheduled to appear on the new journal's website on Feb. 22.
The peer-reviewed monthly will cover chemistry-related research in traditional core chemical fields and multidisciplinary subjects such as bioinorganic chemistry and nanotechnology. Nature Chemistry will publish research articles, reviews, correspondence, perspectives, and commentaries, as well as News & Views articles about recent research advances and analyses of issues including education, funding, and the impact of chemistry on society. On the journal's website, readers will be able to view 3-D displays of molecules described in research papers, click on links to PubChem, and post comments.
"The launch of Nature Chemistry offers authors from all of the subfields within chemistry a choice for where they wish their most significant work to be considered for publication," Chief Editor Stuart Cantrill says. He says he intends Nature Chemistry to round out the "surprisingly small number of what can be described as general-chemistry journals."
Librarians sometimes say the journal market is already overcrowded, and Cantrill, who was formerly a senior editor at Nature Nanotechnology, doesn't disagree. "There are too many high-cost, low-impact, narrow-scope journals that divide chemistry into ever-decreasing slices," he says. But Cantrill argues that Nature Chemistry will "offer value for money in that the content will be of the highest quality and will be relevant to the vast majority of chemists, rather than just a few members in any given department."
University of Utah chemistry professor Peter J. Stang, editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, welcomes the new publication. "As chemistry grows, particularly as it gets into interdisciplinary areas, there is room for new journals," he says. "There is enough good chemistry out there for everybody. And competition is good. It makes every one of us better." For instance, JACS recently unveiled several new features, including an illustrated cover and the JACSβ website, a testing ground for chemical publishing innovations (C&EN Online Latest News, Jan. 14). ACS is also working to integrate JACS more closely with SciFinder, Chemical Abstracts Service's search and discovery tool.
Angewandte Chemie Editor Peter Gölitz agrees that the chemical community benefits from friendly competition among publishers. He notes that his journal introduced an author profiles section last month.
"The leading journals in chemistry, Angewandte Chemie and JACS, are constantly challenged by other journals," Gölitz adds. "For example, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has made great efforts to cover more top-level chemistry," he says. "The journal has certainly had some success, but overall, the impact is still modest."
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