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ACS Journals In Transition

Society moves to a condensed print format, eliminates some print discounts to cut costs

by Sophie L. Rovner
June 15, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 24

Although demand for the Web editions of American Chemical Society journals is growing, demand for print editions has declined sharply. This trend is prompting the society to change the format and dissemination of its printed issues. In July, ACS will begin publishing the print editions of most of its journals in a "rotated and condensed" format that will fit two pages of content on one printed page.

The new format will reduce paper, printing, and distribution costs for ACS, Journals Publishing Group Senior Vice President Susan L. King notes. It will also have a positive impact on libraries because a single year of the print editions of all ACS journals currently requires 30 linear feet of shelf space. ACS won't increase prices for its print journals next year, but it will stop offering deep discounts on print subscriptions to libraries that have online subscriptions. Customers will also be offered incentives to switch to electronic-only access.

"The transition from print to Web for ACS journals has now passed a tipping point," King says. "In making changes to the production and dissemination of the print, we are acting in concert with members, readers, and librarians to focus on our digital future. By focusing on the electronic medium in all its manifestations—Web, desktop, mobile—we will collectively reap the benefits to be realized by truly networked and accessible scientific information."


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