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Web Date: January 14, 2009

Flagship Journal Has New Look

Illustrated cover and other new features give JACS a makeover
Department: ACS News
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GRAPHIC
The new and improved JACS now has an illustrated cover and other new features.
Credit: J. Am. Chem. Soc.
jacsat_cover1
 
GRAPHIC
The new and improved JACS now has an illustrated cover and other new features.
Credit: J. Am. Chem. Soc.

The American Chemical Society's flagship journal has a new look. As of the Jan. 14 issue, the Journal of the American Chemical Society will feature an illustrated cover. The new look for the 130-year-old periodical is one of several new features recently unveiled by the ACS Publications Division as the reinvention of JACS.

"We're doing a lot of new things at JACS these days," says Editor-In-Chief Peter J. Stang, a chemistry professor at the University of Utah. Stang notes that like other ACS journals, JACS recently conducted strategic planning sessions involving the journal's editors, advisers, and focus groups. The goal of that effort, Stang explains, is to "maintain and enhance the leadership and excellence of JACS," which is especially challenging in today's highly competitive and rapidly changing market for scholarly journals.

The decision to give the JACS cover a makeover is just one outcome of that reexamination, albeit a highly noticeable one. "Young researchers in particular are eager to get the chance to showcase their work on a journal cover," Stang comments. The switch to illustrated covers gives researchers the opportunity for increased visibility and may further encourage them to submit their best papers to JACS.

Many of the other new features are Internet-based and can be seen at the JACSβ website, which is accessible from the journal's home page. JACS Select, for example, offers readers a collection of recently published JACS papers on a single topic free of charge, together with editorials and commentaries on papers, an interactive glossary of key terms, related audio files, and other features. Topics covered thus far include molecular modeling of complex chemical systems, optoelectronic materials for solar cells, and biologically active natural products. Stang expects that the collection of materials will be useful for researchers and provide pedagogical benefits as well—in an advanced graduate course, for example.

The JACSβ site also features a JACS Image Challenge section, which is an interactive quiz based on an image from a recent JACS paper and is designed to test chemists at all levels, especially students. Also available are audio slideshows, audio files of interviews, and other electronic extras, including access to JACS content through popular online social networking outlets such as Facebook.

All of the changes and new features are aimed at attracting and retaining a younger generation of readers, Stang says. He hopes the innovations at JACS will draw students, postdocs, and assistant professors to favorably judge this well-known book by its cover.

 
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