Scope of the Journal

Major Change: The Letters to the Editor manuscript type has been discontinued.


ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters is interested in receiving manuscripts that discuss various aspects of medicinal chemistry. The journal will publish studies that pertain to a broad range of subject matter, including compound design and optimization, biological evaluation, drug delivery, imaging agents, and pharmacology of both small and large bioactive molecules. Specific areas include but are not limited to:

  • Identification, synthesis, and optimization of lead biologically active molecules and drugs (small molecules and biologics)
  • Biological characterization of new molecular entities in the context of drug discovery
  • Computational, cheminformatics, and structural studies for the identification or SAR analysis of bioactive molecules, ligands and their targets, etc.
  • Novel and improved methodologies with broad application to medicinal chemistry
  • Discovery technologies for biologically active molecules from both synthetic and natural (plant and other) sources
  • Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies that address mechanisms underlying drug disposition and response
  • Pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomic studies used to enhance drug design and the translation of medicinal chemistry into the clinic
  • Mechanistic drug metabolism and regulation of metabolic enzyme gene expression
  • Chemistry patents relevant to the medicinal chemistry field


For more information, please see the journal website.

Manuscript Types

ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters is an online publication that publishes original research in the form of Letters, Notes, and Technology Notes. The journal also invites publications that highlight recent and/or highly innovative developments in medicinal chemistry in the form of Viewpoints and Innovations. The Editors strongly encourage dialogue within the medicinal chemistry community this form of communication can be made in the form of Letters to the Editor. Descriptions of the aforementioned submission types are as follows:


Letters. Peer-reviewed reports of original research focused on an individual finding significant to a broad medicinal chemistry field.


Notes. Brief peer-reviewed reports of original research intended for the rapid dissemination of highly notable findings where existing limitations may preclude further development at the time of publication.


Technology Notes. Peer-reviewed descriptive manuscripts outlining new or improved "toolbox" innovations encompassing a myriad of technologies (high-throughput/high-content screening, robotics, structure-based drug design, fragment-based drug design, combinatorial chemistry/parallel synthesis, etc.), which simultaneously facilitate and partially define modern medicinal chemistry.


Innovations. May include articles intended to tell the backstory of drug discovery campaigns relating to the development of new therapeutic agents or articles covering the discovery and development of new technologies that enable the identification of new therapeutic targets or advancement and acceleration of drug discovery programs. See the first published Innovations article as an example.


Topical Innovations are short, timely reviews of a topic of high interest to the medicinal chemistry community. Emphasis should be on a focused topic that is instructive, rather than comprehensive, so that a medicinal chemistry audience may understand the importance of the topic and next steps that will move the field forward. Topical Innovations should include a critical evaluation of the work they review. Topics can include inter alia specific sub-disciplines of medicinal chemistry, including development of new technologies that enable identification of new therapeutic targets or advancement and acceleration of drug discovery programs. Topical Innovations should include a single unnumbered high-resolution image without caption that is 7 in. wide x 9 in. high (vertical), 7 in. high x 9 in. wide (horizontal) or 504 pt x 648 pt. This or another graphic will serve as the TOC graphic.


Viewpoints. Invited general commentaries on current issues in the medicinal chemistry field, including views on new chemical patents and relevant patent laws and tutorials of immediate interest to the broad readership.


Patent Highlights. A journal section dealing with recently issued medicinal chemistry patents. The coverage will feature patents and published patent applications in high-interest areas with brief commentaries on their potential impact. The Patent Highlights are written by members of the Patent Panel appointed by the Editors and are not open to submission by other authors.


The following list summarizes the publication and formatting requirements for ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters manuscript types.

  • Letters: 4500 words, ≤150 word abstract, 6-10 figures/tables, ~40 references, peer reviewed
  • Notes: 2500 words, ≤150 word abstract, 2-4 figures/tables, ~30 references, peer reviewed
  • Technology Notes: 4500 words, ≤150 word abstract, 6-10 figures/tables, ~40 references, peer reviewed
  • Innovations: 7000 words, ≤250 word abstract, <6 figures/tables, ~50 references, peer reviewed, by invitation only
  • Topical Innovations: 7000 words, ~250 word abstract, one graphic (see details above) ~50 references, peer-reviewed
  • Viewpoints: 2000 words, ~50 word abstract, 0-2 figures/tables, 5-12 references, editorial review, by invitation only

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.

Manuscript Preparation

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


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.

Cover Letter

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 should contain clear and precise information about the submission, highlighting the significance of the work and must contain the following elements:

  • Manuscript title
  • Name of the corresponding author, with contact information
  • Paragraph explaining why the manuscript is appropriate for ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters
  • Short lay summary (1 paragraph) describing the significance of the study and its interest for a broad audience
  • Suggestions for a minimum of five possible reviewers, as well as sufficient justification for excluding potential reviewers that might have a conflict of interest


If your manuscript is accepted for publication, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters may choose to modify, edit, and publish your lay summary in the In This Issue feature of the journal. The journal may also promote your research article through press communications.

Manuscript Text Components

Title. Titles are limited to 120 characters, including spaces, and should clearly and concisely reflect the emphasis and content of the manuscript 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. One option that authors may wish to consider is to present a significant outcome in the title. Titles should not contain specialized abbreviations or jargon.  Editors may request author revision of a title at any time prior to publication.


Author List. All those who have made substantial contributions to the work should be included. To facilitate indexing and retrieval and for unique identification of an author, first names, initials, and surnames (e.g., John R. Smith) or first initials, second names, and surnames (e.g., J. Robert Smith) should be used. At least one author must be designated with an asterisk as the person to whom correspondence should be addressed. Many Funders and Institutions require that institutional affiliations are identified for all authors listed in the work being submitted. ACS facilitates this requirement by collecting institution information during manuscript submission under Step 2: Authors and Affiliations in ACS Paragon Plus.


Abstract. All Letters, Notes, Technology Notes, Innovations and Viewpoints must contain an abstract, which should provide a succinct, informative summation of the most important results and conclusions. Abbreviations should be used sparingly and spelled out when first used. The abstract should be written in complete sentences without the use of subheadings or specialized jargon. It should be accessible to a graduate student in the field so as to be palatable to a broad audience.


Keywords. Authors should provide a list of four to six keywords to be displayed below the abstract of their publication.


Introduction. In this unheaded section, the purpose and significance of the research should be clearly stated and placed in the context of earlier work in the area. Historical summaries are seldom warranted. Attempts at a complete survey of the literature should not be made. If a recent article has summarized work on the subject, that article should be cited without repeating its individual citations. In general, the introductory section should be approximately 750 words for a Letter.


Results and Discussion. This section should be continuous with the Introduction and does not receive a heading. The first paragraphs should explain the motivation for the work and how it combines the chemistry and biology disciplines. Tables and figures should be used only if they contribute significantly to the comprehension of the data. The same data should not be presented 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. Manuscripts 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. For manuscripts 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 Editor, the authors must provide sequence, structure data (including coordinate files and structure), and/or microarray data in a MIAME-compliant format to the Editors and reviewers for the purpose of evaluating the manuscript.


Experimental Procedures. A clear, unambiguous description of materials, methods, and equipment should be provided in a format that permits repetition of the work elsewhere. Novel experimental procedures and characterization data for key compounds should be described in sufficient detail, but where pertinent, synthetic and bioassay protocols should refer to published procedures by literature citation of the original method and any later modifications used. The Experimental Procedures section can also contain subsections (with subheadings), but it is recommended that most procedural details be placed in Supporting Information. Manuscripts 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. Authors are encouraged to review the following publication for detailed standards on chemical laboratory safety practice: National Research Council. 2011. Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards, Updated Version. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12654


Author Information. The following information should be provided in these specific subheadings:

  • Author Addresses: current address for each author if different from the location(s) where the research was conducted.
  • Author Contributions: ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters recommends that individual contributions of authors be listed.
  • Funding Sources


Acknowledgments. Financial support, technical assistance, advice from colleagues, gifts, etc. should be included.


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 http://pubs.acs.org/page/4authors/funder_options.html for complete instructions.


Abbreviations. If nonstandard abbreviations (see The ACS Style Guide) are used within the manuscript, then a section should be added to identify the abbreviations. Such abbreviations should also be defined on first appearance in the manuscript text.


References. All references should be compiled together in a list at the end of the manuscript text. During the publication process, many of them will have links added 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. Unnecessarily long lists of references should be avoided. However, authors must reference all previous publications in which portions of the present work have appeared, including published patent applications and issued patents. Long references with multiple citations within one reference number should be avoided. Each reference should be listed as a separate citation, and each should be assigned a unique reference number. Additional data and peripheral discussion should be placed in the Supporting Information rather than in the references. Supplementary references may be placed in the Supporting Information. Literature references must be numbered with Arabic numerals in the order of their first citation in the text, and the corresponding numbers must be inserted at the appropriate locations in the text. The following reference styles should be used.


For journals:

  • Rich, D. H.; Green, J.; Toth, M. V.; Marshall, G. R.; Kent, S. B. H. Hydroxyethylamine Analogues of the p17/ p24 Substrate Cleavage Site Are Tight-Binding Inhibitors of HIV Protease. ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2010, 1, 1285–1288.


For journal articles published online ahead of issue or online only:

  • Liu, C.; Yang, S. Synthesis of Angstrom-Scale Anatase Titania Atomic Wires. ACS Nano, published online March 23, 2009; DOI: 10.1021/nn900157r.


For monographs:

  • Casy, A. F.; Parfitt, R. T. Opioid Analgesics; Plenum Press: New York, 1986; pp 333–384.


For edited books:

  • Rall, T. W.; Schleifer, L. S. Drugs Effective in the Therapy of the Epilepsies. In The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 7th ed.; Gilman, A. G., Goodman, L. S., Rall, T. W., Murad, F., Eds.; Macmillan Publishing Co.: New York, 1985; pp 446–472.


Titles of journals should be abbreviated according to Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (CASSI, www.cas.org/products/print/cassipr/index.html). Letters accepted for publication should be cited as “in press”; the DOI should be given if the Letter is published online. Manuscripts that are in preparation or have been submitted, but have not yet been accepted, should be cited as unpublished results or personal communications.

Supporting Information

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.

Data Requirements

Nomenclature. Nonstandard abbreviations (see The ACS Style Guide) and acronyms should be used sparingly, and all usage should be defined at the first occurrence in the text. Whenever possible, systematic nomenclature as recommended by IUPAC and IUBMB for chemical compounds and biomolecules should be used. 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. The available nomenclature databases (e.g., LocusLink) should be consulted for correct names and symbols. Enzyme names should be accompanied by their Enzyme Commission (EC) numbers (e.g., see http://www.expasy.org).


Chemical Compound Characterization. The knowledge of the purity of compounds employed in biological studies, whether they are synthesized, purchased, or received as gifts, is a crucial factor for obtaining reliable and reproducible results. For studies reported in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, it is preferred that assayed compounds be at least 90% pure as judged by either HPLC, LC-MS, or NMR. The analytical methods used for compound characterization and purity assessment should be mentioned in the Experimental Procedures section. For novel compounds, it is important to obtain such data to confirm their structure and purity. Manuscripts for ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters should at least provide exemplary characterization data for new compounds, including LC-MS, and 1H NMR and full characterization, including 13C NMR (peak lists), HPLC, and HRMS (see below for more details) for final products that are undergoing screening. For compounds prepared in a library format, a general experimental procedure should be provided, including full experimental details, with yields, for a representative selection of library members. The synthesis protocols and selected characterized compounds must reflect the reliability and scope of the reaction sequence. The purity of all reported library compounds should be explicitly stated. The submission of manuscripts solely based on mixture synthesis and/or mixture analysis is strongly discouraged. Authors must be specific about the reagents used to obtain the final product so that the work can be reproduced by another laboratory.


Key Compounds. Frequently, articles will present a series of compounds with analogous structures. In such a case, complete characterization data need not be reported for all compounds. However, complete data should be provided for key compounds, which are those compounds in a manuscript that receive extra attention beyond the primary or general screening of the entire set used for structure- activity analysis. Key compounds include those that are subject to: (a) additional or follow-up studies for bioactivity in functional cellular assays, isolated tissues, or in vivo systems; (b) advanced adsorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicology (ADMET) studies; (c) in vivo pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics studies; or (d) studies identifying off-target effects. The relevant characterization data for key compounds are as follows:


HRMS and Elemental Analysis. For novel key compounds (excluding biomacromolecules and other polymers), HRMS data should be reported to support the molecular formula assignment. Elemental analysis data, which are optional, can serve as an alternative. The reported HRMS data should include the molecular formulas on which the theoretical (calcd) values are based. HRMS molecular formulas and calcd values should include any added atoms (usually H or Na). Found values should be close enough to the calcd values, and have sufficiently small estimated uncertainties, to exclude alternative plausible formulas. The ionization method and the mass detector type should be reported. Elemental analysis values found for carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen (if present) should be within 0.4% of the calcd values for the proposed formula. Complexed solvents, including water, should be confirmed by an additional analytical method, such as NMR analysis for organic solvents and Karl Fischer titration for water.


NMR Spectral Data. 1H NMR and 13C NMR resonances should be listed for each key compound, and the solvent and instrument frequency should be identified. 13C NMR peak shifts should be rounded off to the nearest 0.1 ppm, except when greater precision is needed to distinguish between closely spaced peaks. If detailed peak assignments are made, the type of 2D NMR methods used to establish atom connectivities and spatial relationships should be identified in an Experimental Procedures paragraph in the Supporting Information. Authors are encouraged to place in the Supporting Information copies of well-resolved 1H NMR and proton-decoupled 13C NMR spectra for every new key compound. In cases where structure assignments of complex molecules depend heavily on NMR data interpretation, including isolated and synthesized natural products, copies of suitable 2D spectra should also be placed in the Supporting Information. For complete details and best practices on reporting NMR, please see http://pubs.acs.org/page/4authors/submission/index.html.


Melting Points. It is suggested that a melting point range be reported for crystalline solid products.


Isomers and Isomeric Mixtures. The composition of isomeric mixtures (regioisomers, diastereomers, and enantiomers) must be reported. Enantiomeric ratio (er) or diastereomeric ratio (dr) values are preferred over enantiomeric excess (ee) or diastereomeric excess (de) values. Specific optical rotations should be reported for enantiopure compounds, enantioenriched isomer mixtures, and isolated natural products, when a sufficient sample is available. Specific rotations based on the equation [α] = (100⋅α)/(lc) should be reported as unitless numbers as in the following example: [α]D20 (c 1.9, MeOH), where the concentration c is in g/l00 mL and the path length l is in decimeters. The units of the specific rotation, (deg⋅mL)/(g⋅dm), are implicit and are not included with the reported value.


Peptides and Biomacromolecules. For peptide materials, it is necessary to provide an amino acid composition analysis. For biomacromolecules, structures may be established by providing evidence about sequence and mass. Sequences may be inferred from the experimental order of amino acid, saccharide, or nucleotide coupling; from known sequences of templates in enzyme-mediated syntheses; or through standard sequencing techniques. Typically, a sequence will be accompanied by MS data that establish the molecular weight. Additional characterization and physical property data should be placed in the Supporting Information unless they are important to the main discussion.


Biological Results. Biological test methods must be referenced or described in sufficient detail (in the main text or preferably in the Supporting Information) to permit the experiments to be repeated by others. The methods used should be relevant to the purpose of the study. Authors should be cognizant of significant figures for their measurements when reporting biological data. A statement regarding inherent error, such as standard deviation, standard error of the mean (SEM), or the like, should be provided. The error limits themselves need not be presented in the main text but can appear in the Supporting Information. The number of experiments for a given data point (e.g., N = 3) should be indicated in some manner. In vivo biological data should be accompanied by statistical limits (statistical significance). Doses and concentrations should be expressed as molar quantities (e.g., mol/kg, nM) whenever possible. Exceptions include antibiotic concetrations for which µg/mL has been traditionally been used.


Computational Chemistry. When computational chemistry is a major component of a study, manuscripts must fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Practical applications of computational methods including experimental data, in particular, experimental validation of computational predictions
  • Substantially novel methods along with evidence for utility in medicinal chemistry and drug design and significant potential for advancing the field, with methods that must be described clearly and comprehensibly
  • Computational, statistical, or other theoretical analyses of currently available data that provide unexpected or provocative insights into topical problems and advance medicinal chemistry knowledge


When manuscripts combine computational and experimental studies, both components must be significant. For example, computational analyses are not automatically validated by the addition of a minor experimental component. For manuscripts reporting virtual screening results, purity data should conform to journal purity requirements for all experimentally tested active compounds, and convincing experimental data should be provided that demonstrate true biological activity of identified hits. For manuscripts describing new methods, the scope of the method must be validated convincingly.


Sufficient information should be presented to allow the method to be reproduced and tested in other laboratories. All experimental data and molecular structures used to generate and/or validate computational models must be reported in the manuscript or Supporting Information or be readily available without infringements or restrictions.

QSAR/QSPR and Proprietary Data

General Requirements. (1) Authors should explicitly state in the manuscript the novel features of the quantitative structure–activity relationships/quantitative structure–property relationships (QSAR/QSPR) study being reported. (2) If a new method/theory is being reported in the manuscript, it should be compared and “validated” against at least one other common data set for which a published study exists by using at least one other method/approach and preferably a method/approach that has been widely used in the field. The data set should not be small. (3) All data and molecular structures used to carry out a QSAR/QSPR study should be reported in the manuscript or Supporting Information or must be readily available without infringements or restrictions. The use of proprietary data is generally not acceptable. (4) Standard QSAR/QSPR studies will only be considered if the predictions are experimentally tested and if the experimental data are novel and significant. Only QSAR/QSPR analyses that provide new insights into the mechanism of activity are encouraged.


Guidelines for Prospective Authors. (1) 3D QSAR studies that overlap with and enhance structure-based design methods are encouraged. QSAR models that lead to subsequently validated experimental findings are encouraged. (2) Manuscripts reporting new and novel QSAR/QSPR methods and approaches for facilitating a mechanistic understanding of ADMET properties, and/or for reliable ADMET screening, are welcomed. (3) New QSAR/QSPR methods that interface with cheminformatics and bioinformatics methods and/or with data-mining techniques are encouraged. (4) QSAR/QSPR approaches for virtual screening must demonstrate distinct advantages or advances over current virtual screening schemes. (5) Specific studies that are discouraged include the following: QSAR and QSPR modeling for data sets that have already been extensively modeled, model development featuring high ratios of descriptors to data points, and reports of new descriptors without clear evidence for their superiority in QSAR/QSPR modeling to existing, commonly used alternatives.

Database Deposition

Sequence Data. Manuscripts 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). Manuscripts 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 (http://ndbserver.rutgers.edu) and must list the accession code(s). These coordinates must be designated “for immediate release upon publication”. Authors of manuscripts 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 relevant accession numbers must be included 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. 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 should be used whenever possible. Large data sets for which an approved database has not yet been established must be housed as online Supporting Information at ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.

Material and Data Availability

ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters understands that communication and collaboration between scientists are significantly enhanced when materials and data can be exchanged. Therefore, authors are strongly encouraged to make experimental data and protocols available to readers through deposition in a publicly used database. The hosting of such information on an author’s Web site is not an acceptable substitute. Authors should endeavor to make research materials reported in their manuscript that are not otherwise reasonably obtainable available to interested academic researchers. Any restrictions as to the availability of materials or information should be stated at the time of submission.


Policy Summary on Patent Citation. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters authors should cite issued patents or published patent applications when the material in the manuscript overlaps with or is significantly related to that in the patent literature. Due to the significant differences in the review of patents vs journal articles, however, we cannot accept a reference to the patent literature in lieu of experimental protocols (chemical and biological) and characterization data for novel and key compounds. For the same reasons, we cannot publish articles whose primary purpose is to dispute patent literature and which do not provide additional assay and/ or compound information that extends significantly beyond the patent scope of work. Authors who wish to raise concerns regarding data or statements reported in patents are advised to open a dialogue with the community by submitting Letters to Editors.


Web Enhanced Objects, Such as Movies. The use of multimedia attachments such as animations and movies is encouraged. These objects should complement a reader’s understanding of the research being reported. Authors should submit Web-enhanced objects via the Paragon Plus Web site as part of their submissions and clearly indicate to the Editor that the material is Web-enhanced object content.


Descriptions of Web Enhanced Objects should be noted in the appropriate places within the graphic caption or text of the manuscript, noting the type of file and format. Example: “A 3D rotatable image in xyz format is available.” For acceptable file formats and specifications, please refer to this webpage on Submission & Authoring in ACS Paragon Plus.

Frequent Reasons for Revisions

The following constitute examples of frequent reasons for revisions and should ideally be addressed before manuscript submission:

  1. Standard deviations/SEM missing
  2. Data reported not consistent with standard deviation/standard error of measurement
  3. References in incorrect format
  4. Purity assessment not included
  5. Uncommon abbreviations section missing or incomplete
  6. No section headings
  7. Optical characterization missing

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.

Preparing Graphics

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 service generates publication-ready figures that conform to your chosen journal’s specifications. This includes changes to file type, resolution, color space, font, scale, line weights, and layout (to improve readability and professional appearance).

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 Medicinal Chemistry Letters authors are allowed to deposit an initial draft of their manuscript in a preprint service such as ChemRxiv, arXiv or bioRxiv. A patent or a published patent application is not considered to be a prior "publication". Please note any use of a preprint server, patents, and dissertations in the cover letter, and as appropriate, state how the manuscript has been adjusted/updated between deposition and submission. All other prior/redundant publications are forbidden. Upon publication in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, authors are advised to add a link from the preprint to the published paper via the Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

Editorial Policies

Costs. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters does not impose submission or publication fees.


Presubmission Inquiries. Presubmission inquiries can be made to the Editor-in-Chief by e-mail at: eic@medchemlett.acs.org.


Review Process. The 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 two or more reviewers for evaluation. Reviewers can suggest that a manuscript be published, revised, or rejected. Reviewers will evaluate the originality, technical quality (including appropriateness of compound characterization and quality of experimental data), clarity of presentation, and significance to the field. The Editors evaluate the reviewers’ arguments in the context of the scope of the journal and make the final decision on each manuscript.


Editorial decisions are based on many factors. Reviewers’ concerns are considered very seriously. When reviewers’ recommendations diverge, 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 consider subsequent versions of the manuscript, especially if new data have been added to the manuscript, to evaluate whether the authors have sufficiently addressed the scientific concerns. In such cases, blind copies of all previous reviewer comments may be 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.


Anonymity. 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.


Conditions of Acceptance. When a submission is accepted for publication in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, the authors will:

  • Honor any reasonable request from Editors, reviewers, and other scientists for materials, methods, or data necessary for verification of the conclusions reported in the submission
  • Have deposited protein and nucleic acid sequences, crystallographic structures, and microarray data in approved databases and provided accession numbers for inclusion in the published manuscript as described in the deposition policies described above
  • Provide assurance that animals used in the study were cared for in accordance with institutional guidelines
  • Verify that, in human studies, consent was obtained after the consequences of the studies were explained to the experimental subjects. All research on humans must have IRB approval
  • Agree to disclose all potential sources of bias, including affiliations, funding sources, and financial or management relationships, that may constitute conflicts of interest
  • Will not release to the press or the public the accepted manuscript prior to the stated embargo date

Providing Potential Reviewer Names

Please suggest 5 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.

Manuscript Transfer

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.


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.

ASAP Publication

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.

Post-Publication Policies

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.


Article, journal, and commercial reprints are available to order.


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.

Ethical Guidelines

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.

OFAC Compliance

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.


Safety Considerations

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.

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.


If any change in authorship is necessary after a manuscript has been submitted, the Corresponding Author must e-mail a signed letter to the Editor-in-Chief confirming that all of the original coauthors have been notified and have agreed to the change. If the change involves the removal of a coauthor’s name, the Corresponding Author must, in addition, arrange for the coauthor involved to e-mail a separate signed letter to the Editor-in-Chief consenting to the change. No changes in the author list will be permitted after a manuscript has been accepted.


To expediate 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.


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.)

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.

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.

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.


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

Chemical structures should be produced with the use of a drawing program such as ChemDraw.

Cover Art

ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 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.


Front covers should be both visually captivating and scientifically interesting to the medicinal chemistry field. Images should be colorful, without text or structures. Submissions of structures, graphs, and chemical schema are discouraged and will not be considered. Artistic renditions of molecules, cells and data are encouraged. Authors are strongly advised to visit the journal’s recent issues to review what has previously been accepted.


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 × 8.73 in. (or 20.80 cm × 22.17 cm). Please note that the journal logo will cover the top 1.9 in. (4.83 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.