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ACS News

ACS proposed chemistry preprint server

Website would promote access to unpublished research

by Andrea Widener
December 14, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 49

The American Chemical Society announced in August its intention to start a chemistry preprint server called ChemRxiv. ACS is currently seeking partners to help launch the server, likely sometime in 2017.

Preprint servers promote the sharing of draft research papers and preliminary data before they go through a journal’s more formal peer review process.

The chemistry community is a latecomer to the preprint server business. The physics and computer science communities have used arXiv for more than 20 years.

Nature Chemistry chief editor Stuart Cantrill isn’t sure chemists want to put their work online early. Even if they do, “I’m not convinced an ACS-branded server will appeal to all,” Cantrill said when the announcement was made. “A cross-publisher initiative that includes the likes of the Royal Society of Chemistry and other chem-heavy publishers would probably be a better bet.”

Previous attempts to start a chemistry preprint server failed, largely because journal editors did not allow submissions that had been posted previously online. Nature, Science, and many other top journals now publish research that has been on a preprint server. ACS journal editors can decide for themselves whether to accept preprints; about 33 of the approximately 50 ACS journals will accept that work.

A bogus competitor to ChemRxiv was launched and began seeking preprint submissions before the true site was up and running. Now, has a website up where people can register for more information when it becomes available.


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