- Scope of the Journal
- Manuscript Types
- ACS Publishing Center
- Manuscript Preparation
- Preparing for Submission
- Production And Publication
Scope of the Journal
ACS Chemical Biology provides an international forum for the rapid communication of research that broadly embraces the interface between chemistry and biology.
The journal also serves as a forum to facilitate the communication between biologists and chemists that will translate into new research opportunities and discoveries. Results will be published in which molecular reasoning has been used to probe questions through in vitro investigations, cell biological methods, or organismic studies.
We welcome mechanistic studies on proteins, nucleic acids, sugars, lipids, and nonbiological polymers. The journal serves a large scientific community, exploring cellular function from both chemical and biological perspectives. It is understood that submitted work is based upon original results and has not been published previously.
ACS Chemical Biology will publish regular research letters, articles, and reviews as well as specially commissioned pieces that further the understanding of the content of the journal. The editors welcome the submission of manuscripts, all of which are peer-reviewed, in the following categories.
Letters. Short reports of original research focused on an individual significant finding ≤5 printed pages long. Letters begin with an unreferenced abstract of ~150 words. Abstracts should not contain abbreviations or acronyms unless essential. Letters include unheaded sections for the Introduction and combined Results and Discussion. Letters include a headed section for Methods that can also contain subsections. Letters should contain ≤4 display items (figures/tables/schemes) and ~30 references. Letters should include sufficient experimental detail to allow others to reproduce the findings presented. Supporting Information is encouraged. Letters must be <4000 words in length, including the abstract, body text, methods, references and figure/scheme legends. Letters include a graphical Table of Contents entry.
Articles. Concise, yet comprehensive, reports (usually ≤12 printed pages) of original research presenting an advance of immediate, broad, and lasting impact. Articles are not intended to be follow-up papers, unless they contain new and extensive information that will advance the understanding of the system or biological process. Articles contain an unreferenced abstract of ~250 words. Abstracts should not contain abbreviations or acronyms unless essential. An unheaded but referenced introduction of ≤1000 words should expand on the background of the work. Articles include the following headed sections: combined Results and Discussion, and Methods. In general, Articles include ≤8 display items (figures/tables/schemes) and ~50 references. Supporting Information may be included. Articles must be <6500 words in length, including the abstract, body text, methods, references, and figure/scheme legends. Articles include a graphical Table of Contents entry.
Reviews. Topical, brief (~8–10 printed pages), and of general interest to the readership. A good review critically evaluates existing work, provides a logical organization, and makes the material more easily available to those not expert in the area through clear text and figures. Reviews should contain ≤ 100 references, and the use of graphics to illustrate key concepts (~3-5 display items) is strongly encouraged. Reviews include ~8–10 keywords extracted from the text that should be defined in 1 or 2 sentences. These will be used in the issue. Include a graphical Table of Contents entry consisting of a colorful figure that represents the topic of the review.
Perspectives. The goal of Perspectives is to communicate a focused (rather than a comprehensive) review of the most exciting new developments in a field or area with an eye toward guiding future research. This article type is particularly well-suited to emerging areas where an extensive body of work has not yet been developed but where it’s clear that there will be significant future advances. Topics that have been extensively reviewed recently in other journals will not be considered. ACS Chemical Biology Perspectives should include an abstract of 250 words or fewer. Perspective manuscripts are recommended to occupy approximately 4-7 pages of final printed text with no limit on the number of references or figures. A Table of Contents graphic is required.
Accounts. Accounts are reviews from pre-tenure early career researchers (or international and industry equivalent) that highlight their personal scientific contributions to the chemical biology field within the past four to ten years. Accounts should discuss the major new findings, advances, and highlights that the author has already made that could be included to justify tenure promotion and include a brief discussion of future research directions from the author. Placing past research developments and planned future directions in context with the evolution of their area of chemical biology is encouraged. Accounts are flexible in length, typically 2,500-8,500 words, and use figures, schemes, and tables where possible as well as photographs where appropriate. Note that permission must be obtained for use of all pictures and figures. Accounts are published on an invitation-only basis, though proposals are welcome and can be sent to the Editor-in-Chief by email at email@example.com.
In Focus. In Focus pieces are editorial-style commentary that provide a forum in which scientific news and timely discoveries can be communicated to a wide audience. These articles should make clear the advance, communicate a sense of excitement, and yet provide a critical evaluation of the work in the context of the rest of the field. The In Focus should explain why the topic is exciting to both the biologists and the chemists who read the journal. The In Focus should start with a brief abstract (1−3 sentences long) and should include 5 or fewer references. Figures are optional but recommended (including a TOC graphic) with a limit of no more than two. In Focus articles should occupy no more than 3 printed pages (~1200 words). We also welcome shorter ones.
ACS Publishing Center
While this document will provide basic information on how to prepare and submit the manuscript as well as other critical information about publishing, we also encourage authors to visit the ACS Publishing Center for additional information on everything that is needed to prepare (and review) manuscripts for ACS journals and partner journals, such as
- Mastering the Art of Scientific Publication, which shares editor tips about a variety of topics including making your paper scientifically effective, preparing excellent graphics, and writing cover letters.
- Resources on how to prepare and submit a manuscript to ACS Paragon Plus, ACS Publications’ manuscript submission and peer review environment, including details on selecting the applicable Journal Publishing Agreement.
- Sharing your research with the public through the ACS Publications open access program.
- ACS Reviewer Lab, a free online course covering best practices for peer review and related ethical considerations.
- ACS Author Lab, a free online course that empowers authors to prepare and submit strong manuscripts, avoiding errors that could lead to delays in the publication process.
- ACS Inclusivity Style Guide, a guide that helps researchers communicate in ways that recognize and respect diversity in all its forms.
Submit with Fast Format
All ACS journals and partner journals have simplified their formatting requirements in favor of a streamlined and standardized format for an initial manuscript submission. Read more about the requirements and the benefits these serves authors and reviewers here.
Manuscripts submitted for initial consideration must adhere to these standards:
- Submissions must be complete with clearly identified standard sections used to report original research, free of annotations or highlights, and include all numbered and labeled components.
- Figures, charts, tables, schemes, and equations should be embedded in the text at the point of relevance. Separate graphics can be supplied later at revision, if necessary.
- When required by a journal's structure or length limitations, manuscript templates should be used.
- References can be provided in any style, but they must be complete, including titles. For information about the required components of different reference types, please refer to the ACS Style Quick Guide.
- Supporting Information must be submitted as a separate file(s).
Document Templates and Format
The templates facilitate the peer review process by allowing authors to place artwork and tables close to the point where they are discussed within the text. Learn more about document templates here. Note that ACS Chemical Biology does not require the use of a template.
General information on the preparation of manuscripts may also be found in the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication.
Acceptable Software, File Designations, and TeX/LaTeX
See the list of Acceptable Software and appropriate File Designations to be sure your file types are compatible with ACS Paragon Plus. Information for manuscripts generated from TeX/LaTeX is also available.
A cover letter must accompany every manuscript submission. During the submission process, you may type it or paste it into the submission system, or you may attach it as a file.
The cover letter must contain the following elements:
- the manuscript title,
- the name of the corresponding author,
- the name(s) of any other author(s),
- a paragraph explaining why the paper is appropriate for ACS Chemical Biology, and
- a description of any Supporting Information and/or Review-Only Material.
Additionally, authors should note whether the manuscript was discussed with an ACS Chemical Biology editor before submission.
Manuscript Text Components
Title. Titles should clearly and concisely reflect the emphasis and content of the paper and be accessible to a broad audience. Titles are of great importance for current awareness and information retrieval and should be carefully constructed for these purposes.
Author List. Include all those who have made substantial contributions to the work. To facilitate indexing and retrieval and for unique identification of an author, use first names, initials, and surnames (e.g., John R. Smith) or first initials, second names, and surnames (e.g., J. Robert Smith). At least one author must be designated with an asterisk as the person to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Abstract. All Articles, Letters, and Reviews must contain an abstract, which should provide a succinct, informative summation of the most important results and conclusions.
Introduction. Clearly state the purpose and significance of the research, and put it into the context of earlier work in the area. Historical summaries are seldom warranted. Do not attempt a complete survey of the literature. If a recent article has summarized work on the subject, cite that article without repeating its individual citations.
In general, an introduction should be ≤750 words for a letter and ≤1000 words for an article.
Results and Discussion. Present this section concisely. The first paragraphs should explain the motivation for the work and how it combines the chemistry and biology disciplines. Use tables and figures only if they are essential for the comprehension of the data. Don’t present the same data in more than one figure or in both a figure and a table. The purpose of the discussion is to interpret the results and to relate them to existing knowledge in the field. To conserve space, submit supplemental or peripheral information in a separate file for online Supporting Information (also subject to review).
Papers reporting new 3D structures of small molecules from crystallographic analysis should include a structural figure with probability ellipsoids and a CIF file. Those reporting NMR or X-ray crystal structures of macromolecules must include a table with relevant data collection and refinement statistics. Templates for such tables are provided to authors in order to speed the production process. For papers reporting structures derived from electron microscopy experiments, authors must provide one image showing the distribution of particles being analyzed, the percentage of the particles being used in the reconstruction, and a correlation coefficient plot (or equivalent data) to indicate the resolution of the presented structure. Upon request from the Managing Editor, the authors must provide sequence, structure data (including coordinate files and structure factors), and/or microarray data in a MIAMEcompliant format to the editors and reviewers for the purpose of evaluating the manuscript.
Methods. Provide a clear, unambiguous description of materials, methods, and equipment in sufficient detail to permit repetition of the work elsewhere. Describe novel experimental procedures in detail, but published procedures may be referred to by literature citation of both the original and any published modifications.
Papers reporting data from experiments on live animals must include a statement identifying the approving committee and certifying that such experiments were performed in accordance with all national or local guidelines and regulations. Results from experiments involving humans or tissue samples must additionally include a statement that informed consent was obtained from the subject or from the next of kin.
Authors must emphasize any unexpected, new, and/or significant hazards or risks associated with the reported work. This information should be in the experimental details section of the full article or communication.
Acknowledgment. Include financial support, technical assistance, advice from colleagues, gifts, etc.
Funding Sources. Authors are required to report ALL funding sources and grant/award numbers relevant to this manuscript. Enter all sources of funding for ALL authors relevant to this manuscript in BOTH the Open Funder Registry tool in ACS Paragon Plus and in the manuscript to meet this requirement. See https://pubs.acs.org/page/4authors/funder_options.html for complete instructions.
References. Compile all references together in a list at the end of the manuscript text. Many of them will have links to other web resources, such as the corresponding abstracts in Chemical Abstracts and the full text on publisher web sites. Because of this electronic linking, and because the references are not checked in detail by editors or reviewers, it is crucial that authors verify their accuracy.
Avoid unnecessarily long lists of references. However, authors must reference all previous publications in which portions of the present work have appeared. Avoid long references; place additional data and peripheral discussion in the Supporting Information rather than in references. Supplementary references may be placed in Supporting Information. Literature references must be numbered with Arabic numerals in the order of their first citation in the text and the corresponding numbers inserted at the appropriate locations in the text. References can be provided in any style, but they must be complete, including titles. Papers accepted for publication are cited as “in press”; the DOI should be given if the paper is published online only.
Nomenclature. Use abbreviations and acronyms sparingly, and all usage should be defined at the first occurrence in the text. Whenever possible, use systematic nomenclature as recommended by IUPAC and IUBMB for chemical compounds and biomolecules. Names of organisms should comply with genetic conventions, with genus and species names written in italics and spelled out in full on first appearance. Gene symbols should conform to approved nomenclature and should be italicized, whereas corresponding protein products should start with a capital letter and should not be italicized. Consult the available nomenclature databases (e.g., LocusLink) for correct names and symbols. Enzyme names should be accompanied by their Enzyme Commission numbers.
Characterization. Provide evidence to firmly establish both the identity and the purity of new substances. ACS Chemical Biology adheres to the Guidelines for Characterization of Organic Compounds set forth by J. Org. Chem. Include the completed J. Org. Chem. Excel spreadsheet with your submitted manuscript. The criteria for other substances vary but may include spectroscopic, crystallographic, chromatographic, electrophoretic, or other analytical methods. Supply sequencing or functional data for all biological constructs, such as fusion proteins, plasmids, etc.
This information is provided to the reviewers during the peer-review process (for Review Only) and is available to readers of the published work (for Publication). Supporting Information must be submitted at the same time as the manuscript. See the list of Acceptable Software by File Designation and confirm that your Supporting Information is viewable.
If the manuscript is accompanied by any supporting information files for publication, these files will be made available free of charge to readers. A brief, nonsentence description of the actual contents of each file, including the file type extension, is required. This description should be labeled Supporting Information and should appear before the Acknowledgement and Reference sections. Examples of sufficient and insufficient descriptions are as follows:
Examples of sufficient descriptions: “Supporting Information: 1H NMR spectra for all compounds (PDF)” or “Additional experimental details, materials, and methods, including photographs of experimental setup (DOC)”.
Examples of insufficient descriptions: “Supporting Information: Figures S1-S3” or “Additional figures as mentioned in the text”.
When including supporting information for review only, include copies of references that are unpublished or in-press. These files are available only to editors and reviewers.
Research Data Policy
All ACS journals strongly encourage authors to make the research data underlying their articles publicly available at the time of publication.
Research data is defined as materials and information used in the experiments that enable the validation of the conclusions drawn in the article, including primary data produced by the authors for the study being reported, secondary data reused or analyzed by the authors for the study, and any other materials necessary to reproduce or replicate the results.
The ACS Research Data Policy provides additional information on Data Availability Statements, Data Citation, and Data Repositories.
Sequence Data. Papers reporting protein or nucleic acid sequences will not be published without an accession number to Genbank/EMBL/DDBJ, SWISS-PROT, or another appropriate database in the field that provides free access to the data for all scientists from the date of publication.
Crystal and NMR Structures. Small molecular crystallographic data should be submitted upon publication to the Cambridge Structural Database (www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk). Papers reporting macromolecular NMR or crystal structures must specifically state that the atomic coordinates have been deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) (www.rcsb.org/pdb/home/home.do) or the Nucleic Acid Database (ndbserver.rutgers.edu) and must list the accession code(s). These coordinates must be designated “for immediate release upon publication”. Authors of papers reporting X-ray crystal structures are encouraged to deposit the structure factor files in the PDB. No formal requirement exists for deposition of NMR assignments and constraints (see Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank at www.bmrb.wisc.edu).
Electron Microscopy Data. No formal requirement exists for deposition of molecular envelope reconstruction from electron microscopy data, but the journal encourages authors to deposit relevant information in appropriate databases. Approved databases for deposition of electron microscopy data are the Worldwide Protein Data Bank (www.wwpdb.org), the Protein Data Bank Japan (www.pdbj.org), or the Protein Databank in Europe (PDBe, www.ebi.ac.uk/pdbe).
Microarray Data. Data must be submitted to the GEO (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo) or ArrayExpress (www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress) databases and the inclusion of relevant accession numbers in the published manuscript. Please reference the Microarray Gene Expression Data (MGED) open letter specifying microarray standards at www.mged.org/Workgroups/MIAME/miame_checklist.html.
Genetically Modified Organisms and Mutants. Use established repositories such as the Jackson Laboratory, the Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Center, the American Type Culture Collection, the UK Stem Cell Bank, or another public storage area whenever possible. Large datasets for which an approved database has not yet been established must be housed as online Supporting Material at ACS Chemical Biology.
Material and Data Availability
ACS Chemical Biology understands that communication and collaboration between chemists and biologists are significantly enhanced when materials and data can be exchanged among scientists. Therefore, a condition of publication is that authors are required to make materials, data, and protocols available to readers through deposition in a publicly used database. Hosting on an author’s web site is not an acceptable substitute. Authors also agree to make available to interested academic researchers for their own use any materials reported in their manuscript that are not otherwise obtainable. Any restrictions to the availability of materials or information must be stated at the time of submission.
Language and Editing Services
A well-written paper helps share your results most clearly. ACS Publications’ English Editing Service is designed to help scientists communicate their research effectively. Our subject-matter expert editors will edit your manuscript for grammar, spelling, and other language errors so your ideas are presented at their best.
The quality of illustrations in ACS journals and partner journals depends on the quality of the original files provided by the authors. Figures are not modified or enhanced by journal production staff. All graphics must be prepared and submitted in digital format.
Graphics should be inserted into the main body whenever possible. Please see Appendix 2 for additional information.
Any graphic (figure chart, scheme, or equation) that has appeared in an earlier publication should include a credit line citing the original source. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to re-use this material.
Figure and Illustration Services
The impact of your research is not limited to what you can express with words. Tables and figures such as graphs, photographs, illustrations, diagrams, and other visuals can play a significant role in effectively communicating your findings. Our Artwork Editing and Graphical Abstract services generate publication-ready figures and Table of Contents (TOC) graphics that conform to your chosen journal’s specifications. For figures, this includes changes to file type, resolution, color space, font, scale, line weights, and layout (to improve readability and professional appearance). For TOC graphics, our illustrators can work with a rough sketch or concept or help extract the key findings of your manuscript directly for use as a visual summary of your paper.
Preparing for Submission
Manuscripts, graphics, supporting information, and required forms, as well as manuscript revisions, must all be submitted in digital format through ACS Paragon Plus, which requires an ACS ID to log in. Registering for an ACS ID is fast, free, and does not require an ACS membership. Please refer to Appendix 1 for additional information on preparing your submission
Prior Publication Policy
ACS Chemical Biology authors are allowed to deposit an initial draft of their manuscript in a preprint service such as arXiv or bioRxiv. Please note any use of a preprint server in the cover letter, and as appropriate, state how the manuscript has been adjusted/updated between deposition and submission. All other prior/redundant publication is forbidden. Upon publication in ACS Chemical Biology, authors are advised to add a link from the preprint to the published paper via the Digital Object Identifier (DOI).
The Review Process
Editors evaluate submitted manuscripts, and only those judged to fall within the scope of the journal and to be of potential interest to our readers are sent to 2 or 3 reviewers for evaluation. Reviewers can suggest that a manuscript be published, revised, or rejected. Reviewers will evaluate the originality, technical quality, clarity of presentation, and importance to the field. The editors evaluate the reviewer arguments in the context of the scope and aim of the journal and make the final decision on each manuscript. The decisions will be to
- accept with minor stylistic changes;
- revise to address the concerns of the reviewers before the editors make a final decision;
- reject but consider a resubmission if significant additional work is completed; or
- reject on the grounds of major technical or interpretational flaws, insufficient advance, or lack of novelty and interest.
Please note that editorial decisions are based on many factors. Reviewer concerns are considered very seriously. In cases when reviewers suggest different decisions, additional information may be requested from the reviewers, other experts may be consulted, and/or the authors may be asked to clarify questionable sections.
Reviewers may be asked to review subsequent versions of the manuscript, especially if new data have been added to the paper, to evaluate whether the authors have addressed the scientific concerns. In such cases, blind copies of all reviewer comments are normally sent to the reviewers. This practice allows the reviewers to obtain a clear understanding of the expectations of the editors. The editors will expedite any additional rounds of reviews to ensure timely publication.
The ACS strongly disapproves of any attempts by authors to determine the identity of reviewers or to confront potential reviewers. The editorial policy of this journal is to neither confirm nor deny any speculation about the identities of our reviewers. The journal will not release the identity of a reviewer to the authors or to other reviewers.
Providing Potential Reviewer Names
Please suggest 6 reviewers. Authors are encouraged to avoid suggesting reviewers from the authors’ institutions. Do not suggest reviewers who may have a real or perceived conflict of interest. Whenever possible, suggest academic email addresses rather than personal email addresses.
If your submission is declined for publication by this journal, the editors might deem your work to be better suited for another ACS Publications journal or partner journal and suggest that the authors consider transferring the submission. Manuscript Transfer simplifies and shortens the process of submitting to another ACS journal or partner journal, as all the coauthors, suggested reviewers, manuscript files, and responses to submission questions are copied by ACS Paragon Plus to the new draft submission. Authors are free to accept or decline the transfer offer.
Note that each journal is editorially independent. Transferring a manuscript is not a guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted, as the final publication decision will belong to the editor of the next journal.
PRODUCTION AND PUBLICATION
Proofs via ACS Direct Correct
Correction of the galley proofs is the responsibility of the Corresponding Author. The Corresponding Author of an accepted manuscript will receive e-mail notification and complete instructions when page proofs are available for review via ACS Direct Correct. Extensive or important changes on page proofs, including changes to the title or list of authors, are subject to review by the editor.
It is the responsibility of the Corresponding Author to ensure that all authors listed on the manuscript agree with the changes made on the proofs. Galley proofs should be returned within 48 hours in order to ensure timely publication of the manuscript.
Publication Date and Patent Dates
Accepted manuscripts will be published on the ACS Publications Web site as soon as page proofs are corrected and all author concerns are resolved. The first date on which the document is published on the Web is considered the publication date.
Publication of manuscripts on the Web may occur weeks in advance of the cover date of the issue of publication. Authors should take this into account when planning their patent and intellectual property activities related to a document and should ensure that all patent information is available at the time of first publication, whether ASAP or issue publication.
All articles published ahead of print receive a unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, which is used to cite the manuscript before and after the paper appears in an issue. Additionally, any supplemental information submitted along with the manuscript will automatically be assigned a DOI and hosted on Figshare to promote open data discoverability and use of your research outputs.
Manuscripts will be published on the “ASAP Articles” page on the web as soon as page proofs are corrected and all author concerns are resolved. ASAP publication usually occurs within a few working days of receipt of page proof corrections, which can be several weeks in advance of the cover date of the issue.
The American Chemical Society follows guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) when considering any ethical concerns regarding a published article, Retractions, and Expressions of Concern.
Additions and Corrections
Additions and Corrections may be requested by the author(s) or initiated by the Editor to address important issues or correct errors and omissions of consequence that arise after publication of an article. All Additions and Corrections are subject to approval by the Editor, and should bring new and directly relevant information and corrections that fix scientific facts. Minor corrections and additions will not be published. Readers who detect errors of consequence in the work of others should contact the corresponding author of that work.
Additions and Corrections must be submitted as new manuscripts via ACS Paragon Plus by the Corresponding Author for publication in the “Addition/Correction” section of the Journal. The corresponding author should obtain approval from all coauthors prior to submitting or provide evidence that such approval has been solicited. The manuscript should include the original article title and author list, citation including DOI, and details of the correction.
Articles may be retracted for scientific or ethical reasons and may be requested by the article author(s) or by the journal Editor(s), but are ultimately published at the discretion of the Editor. Articles that contain seriously flawed or erroneous data such that their findings and conclusions cannot be relied upon may be retracted in order to correct the scientific record. When an article is retracted, a notice of Retraction will be published containing information about the reason for the Retraction. The originally published article will remain online except in extraordinary circumstances (e.g. where deemed legally necessary, or if the availability of the published content poses public health risks).
Expressions of Concern
Expressions of Concern may be issued at the discretion of the Editor if:
- there is inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors;
- there is evidence that the findings are unreliable but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case;
- an investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication either has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive;
- an investigation is underway but a judgment will not be available for a considerable time.
Upon completion of any related investigation, and when a final determination is made about the outcome of the article, the Expression of Concern may be replaced with a Retraction notice or Correction.
Sharing Your Published Article
At ACS Publications, we know it is important for you to be able to share your peer reviewed, published work with colleagues in the global community of scientists. As sharing on sites known as scholarly collaboration networks (SCNs) is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s scholarly research ecosystem, we would like to remind you of the many ways in which you, a valued ACS author, can share your published work.
Publishing open access makes it easy to share your work with friends, colleagues, and family members. In addition, ACS Publications makes it easy to share your newly published research with ACS Articles on Request (see below). Don’t forget to promote your research and related data on social media, at conferences, and through scholarly communication networks. Increase the impact of your research using the following resources: Altmetrics, Figshare, ACS Certified Deposit
When your article is published in an ACS journal or partner journal, corresponding authors are provided with a link that offers up to 50 free digital prints of the final published work. This link is valid for the first 12 months following online publication, and can be shared via email or an author’s website. After one year, the access restrictions to your article will be lifted, and you can share the Articles on Request URL on social media and other channels. To access all your Articles on Request links, log in to your ACS Publishing Center account and visit the “My Published Manuscripts” page.
Appendix 1: PREPARING FOR SUBMISSION
We’ve developed ACS’ publishing and editorial policies in consultation with the research communities that we serve, including authors and librarians. Browse our policies below to learn more.
ACS editors have provided Ethical Guidelines for persons engaged in the publication of chemical research—specifically, for editors, authors, and reviewers. Each journal also has a specific policy on prior publication.
As a U.S.-based non-profit organization, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is required to comply with U.S. sanctions laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). While these laws and regulations permit U.S.-based publishers like ACS to engage in publishing-related activities with authors located in sanctioned regions in many cases, ACS may be prohibited under U.S. law from engaging in publishing-related activities in some cases, including, but not limited to, instances where an author or the institution with which an author is affiliated is located in a particular sanctioned region or has been designated by OFAC as a Specially Designated National (SDN) pursuant to certain U.S. sanctions programs. ACS reserves the right to refrain from engaging in any publishing-related activities that ACS determines in its sole discretion may be in violation of U.S. law.
Authors must emphasize any unexpected, new, and/or significant hazards or risks associated with the reported work. This information should be in the Experimental Section of a full article and included in the main text of a letter. Statement examples can be found in the Safety Statement Style Sheet and additional information on communicating safety information from the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication is freely available here.
Conflict of Interest Disclosure
A statement describing any financial conflicts of interest or lack thereof is published in each ACS journal and partner journal article.
During the submission process, the Corresponding Author must provide a statement on behalf of all authors of the manuscript, describing all potential sources of bias, including affiliations, funding sources, and financial or management relationships, that may constitute conflicts of interest. If the manuscript is accepted, the statement will be published in the final article.
If the manuscript is accepted and no conflict of interest has been declared, the following statement will be published in the final article: “The authors declare no competing financial interest.”
In publishing only original research, ACS is committed to deterring plagiarism, including self-plagiarism. ACS Publications uses CrossCheck's iThenticate software to screen submitted manuscripts for similarity to published material. Note that your manuscript may be screened during the submission process.
Further information about plagiarism can be found in Part B of the Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research. See also the press release regarding ACS' participation in the CrossCheck initiative.
Authorship, Author List, and Coauthor Notification
Authors are required to obtain the consent of all their coauthors prior to submitting a manuscript. The submitting author accepts the responsibility of notifying all coauthors that the manuscript is being submitted.
During manuscript submission, the submitting author must provide contact information (full name, email address, institutional affiliation, and mailing address) for all of the coauthors. Because all of the author names are automatically imported into the electronic Journal Publishing Agreement, the names must be entered into ACS Paragon Plus. (Note that coauthors are not required to register in ACS Paragon Plus.) Author affiliation should reflect where the work was completed, even if the author has since left that institution. Authors may include a note with a current address if their institution has changed since the work was completed.
To expedite the processing of your manuscript, please format your author and affiliation information according the guidelines in this link: https://pubsapp.acs.org/paragonplus/submission/author-address-information.pdf.
Criteria for authorship can be found in Part B of the Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools do not qualify for authorship. The use of AI tools for text or image generation should be disclosed in the manuscript within the Acknowledgment section with a description of when and how the tools were used. For more substantial use cases or descriptions of AI tool use, authors should provide full details within the Methods or other appropriate section of the manuscript.
If any change in authorship is necessary after a manuscript has been submitted, confirmation is required that all of the authors (including those being added or removed) have been notified and have agreed to the change. To provide this confirmation, authors are asked to complete and sign an authorship change form and provide the completed form to the appropriate editorial office.
Patent Activities and Intellectual Property
Authors are responsible for ensuring that all patent activities and intellectual property issues are satisfactorily resolved prior to first publication (ASAP or in issue). Acceptance and publication will not be delayed for pending or unresolved issues of this nature.
Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)
Authors submitting manuscript revisions are required to provide their own personal, validated ORCID iD before completing the submission, if an ORCID iD is not already associated with their ACS Paragon Plus user profiles. This ID may be provided during original manuscript submission or when submitting the manuscript revision. All authors are strongly encouraged to register for an ORCID iD, a unique researcher identifier. The ORCID iD will be displayed in the published article for any author on a manuscript who has a validated ORCID iD associated with ACS when the manuscript is accepted.
ORCID iDs should not be typed into the manuscript. ACS publishes only those ORCID iDs that have been properly verified and linked before the manuscript is accepted. After your ORCID iD is linked, it will be displayed automatically in all subsequently accepted manuscripts for any/all ACS journals. We do not publish ORCID iDs provided during proof review or via other communications after a manuscript is accepted for publication.
With an ORCID iD, you can create a profile of your research activities to distinguish yourself from other researchers with similar names, and make it easier for your colleagues to find your publications. If you do not yet have an ORCID iD, or you wish to associate your existing ORCID iD with your ACS Paragon Plus account, you may do so by clicking on “Edit Your Profile” from your ACS Paragon Plus account homepage and following the ORCID-related links. Learn more at www.orcid.org.
Copyright and Permissions
To obtain forms and guidelines for copyright transfer, obtaining permissions from copyright owners, and to explore a Copyright Learning Module for chemists, click here.
Funder Reporting Requirement
Authors are required to report funding sources and grant/award numbers. Enter ALL sources of funding for ALL authors in BOTH the Funder Registry Tool in ACS Paragon Plus and in your manuscript to meet this requirement.
Open Access Compliance
ACS offers options by which authors can fulfill the requirements for open access and deposition into repositories for funded research. Visit our ACS Open Science site to see how to fulfill requirements for specific funders and to find out if you are eligible to publish under a Read + Publish agreement between ACS and your institution. You can also find out more about Open Access Compliance and ACS Open Science initiatives.
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
During manuscript submission, ACS journal authors have the option to submit a statement sharing information related to diversity and inclusion that is relevant for their paper. If supplying a diversity and inclusion statement, the corresponding author must provide this on behalf of all authors of the manuscript during the submission process. These statements include but are not limited to analysis of citation diversity and acknowledgment of indigenous land on which research was conducted. Statements expressing political beliefs are not permitted and may be removed by the journal office. All statements are subject to final review by the Editor.
- Citation Diversity Statement:The citation diversity statement should appear in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript. ACS recommends including the following: (1) the importance of citation diversity, (2) the proportion of citations by gender and race/ethnicity for the first and last authors, (3) the method used to determine those proportions and its limitations, and (4) steps taken to by the authors to improve citation diversity in the article. We recognize that one limitation of the current methods is that it cannot account for intersex, non-binary, and transgender people, or Indigenous and mixed-race authors. (Adapted from BMES/Springer Guidelines)
- Land acknowledgment:The land acknowledgment statement should appear in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript. The statement should link to the institutions’ formal land acknowledgments on which the research took place, if possible. Further guidance for creating these statements can be found here: https://nativegov.org/news/a-guide-to-indigenous-land-acknowledgment/.
Appendix 2: Preparing Graphics
Digital graphics pasted into manuscripts should have the following minimum resolutions:
- Black and white line art, 1200 dpi
- Grayscale art, 600 dpi
- Color art, 300 dpi
Graphics must fit a one- or two-column format. Single-column graphics can be sized up to 240 points wide (3.33 in.) and double-column graphics must be sized between 300 and 504 points (4.167 in. and 7 in.). The maximum depth for all graphics is 660 points (9.167 in.) including the caption (allow 12 pts. For each line of caption text). Lettering should be no smaller than 4.5 points in the final published format. The text should be legible when the graphic is viewed full-size. Helvetica or Arial fonts work well for lettering. Lines should be no thinner than 0.5 point.
Color may be used to enhance the clarity of complex structures, figures, spectra, and schemes, etc., and color reproduction of graphics is provided at no additional cost to the author. Graphics intended to appear in black and white or grayscale should not be submitted in color.
Type of Graphics
Table of Contents (TOC)/Abstract Graphic
Consult the Guidelines for Table of Contents/Abstract Graphics for specifications.
Our team of subject-matter experts and graphical designers can also help generate a compelling TOC graphic to convey your key findings. Learn more about our Graphical Abstract service.
A caption giving the figure number and a brief description must be included below each figure. The caption should be understandable without reference to the text. It is preferable to place any key to symbols used in the artwork itself, not in the caption. Ensure that any symbols and abbreviations used in the text agree with those in the artwork.
Charts (groups of structures that do not show reactions) may have a brief caption describing their contents.
Each table must have a brief (one phrase or sentence) title that describes the contents. The title should be understandable without reference to the text. Details should be put in footnotes, not in the title. Tables should be used when the data cannot be presented clearly in the narrative, when many numbers must be presented, or when more meaningful inter-relationships can be conveyed by the tabular format. Tables should supplement, not duplicate, information presented in the text and figures. Tables should be simple and concise.
Each scheme (sequences of reactions) may have a brief caption describing its contents.
Chemical structures should be produced with the use of a drawing program such as ChemDraw.
ACS Chemical Biology authors are encouraged to submit images to be considered for use on the journal’s front cover or Supplementary Covers at the time of the submission of their revised manuscript. If your article is accepted for publication, your suggestion may also be selected for use on one of the journal’s covers. If your art is selected for front cover, ACS will send you information about how to request one complimentary 18” by 24” printed poster featuring your work. Images chosen for the front cover will be published at no cost to the author.
Cover image submissions should be scientifically and visually exciting. Colorful images without text or structures are preferred. The cover image should not resemble a graphical abstract or data figure, but rather should be an artistic and scientifically accurate representation of the manuscript. For examples of cover art designs, please refer to some recent issues.
Image files should be submitted as TIF, JPG, PNG or EPS files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi for pixel-based images. Images should be 8.19 in × 10.00 in. (or 20.80 cm × 25.40 cm). Please note that the journal title will cover the top 3 in. (7.62 cm) of the image. Authors should submit the cover image, along with a short, clear legend (less than 50 words) explaining the image, as supplementary files to ACS Paragon Plus with their revised manuscript.
If you wish to be considered only for the front cover, and not a paid supplementary cover, please respond NO accordingly to the Journal Covers question in ACS Paragon Plus. For more information on the Supplementary Covers program, please see this webpage. All art submitted for consideration for a supplementary cover will also be considered for a front cover.
Web Enhanced Objects (WEO)
The Web editions of ACS journals allow readers to view multimedia attachments such as animations and movies that complement understanding of the research being reported.
WEOs should be uploaded in ACS Paragon Plus with ‘Web Enhanced Object’ selected as the file designation. Consult the list of compatible WEO formats.