- Scope of the Journal
- Manuscript Types
- ACS Publishing Center
- Manuscript Preparation
- Preparing for Submission
- Production And Publication
Scope of the Journal
Organic Letters invites original reports of fundamental research in all branches of the theory and practice of organic, physical organic, organometallic,medicinal, and bioorganic chemistry. Organic Letters provides rapid disclosure of the key elements of significant studies that are of interest to a large portion of the organic community. In selecting manuscripts for publication, the Editors place emphasis on the originality, quality and wide interest of the work. Authors should provide enough background information to place the new disclosure in context and to justify the rapid publication format. Back-to-back Letters will be considered. Full details should be reserved for an Article, which should appear in due course.
- One-step organic transformations must be highly innovative and include one detailed complete method at the 1 mmol scale.
- Designed structures: if the design, synthesis and spectral data of a new compound are not exceptionally novel, then data such as biological, binding, or materials properties must be included.
- Novel organic electronic materials need to illustrate either a novel synthetic method or interesting device properties.
- Supramolecular assemblies: a novel method should be demonstrated and/or the materials should have either interesting properties or a significant application.
- Analytical detection of a selected species (we are highly selective in this category):
- Letters must contain a novel synthetic protocol and/or demonstrate notable improvement on the limits of detection of the species.
- The synthesis of a novel compound or a significantly improved route to a known compound will only be considered if appropriate improved device or use data is provided.
- The synthesis of a known compound via known methods together with new sensing data will not be considered, unless the new binding or sensing data provides a significant advance on previously reported selectivity and/or sensitivity for a target species and/or a novel mode of binding for a particular species under consideration.
Organic Letters publishes only communications-length manuscripts. Authors are required to use the document template to help facilitate placement of figures and to determine whether your submission meets the journal’s length requirements.
A manuscript may not exceed 2,200 words at submission. This word count includes the title, abstract, main text, and titles/footnotes of typically five graphics (one of which is the TOC graphic). Tables and graphics count toward the word-count limit at the rate of 20 words per vertical centimeter for one-column items and 50 words per vertical centimeter for wider items up to two columns. Large graphics or additional graphics will require a reduced amount of text. Authors are reminded that any graphics that are reduced in size to help adhere to the length limits need to be fully legible when the page is printed at 100% scale.
The goal for these length requirements is for manuscripts to fit within four pages, end matter (Supporting Information, Author Information, Notes, Acknowledgments) and references excluded — end matter and references are not included in the word count, and are the only part of the manuscript that will be allowed to extend beyond the end of the fourth page. Authors of submitted manuscripts that exceed the length requirements will be asked to adjust their manuscript by removing material, which can be placed in the Supporting Information. Note that authors should take care to not allow the length of their manuscript to exceed these requirements when making revisions.
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.
- 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.
Review Ready Submission
All ACS journals and partner journals have simplified their formatting requirements in favor of a streamlined and standardized review-ready 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.
- A two-column manuscript template is available and can be used for manuscripts submitted to any ACS journal or partner journal. Templates are not required but may be useful to approximate how an article will compose. For manuscripts with word count limits, authors are not required to fit content into a page limit based on the template.
- References can be provided in any style, but they must be complete, including titles.
- Supporting Information should be submitted as a separate file(s).
- Author names and affiliations on the manuscript must match what is entered into ACS.
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.
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 address the criteria of significance and the need for rapid disclosure and, if the author wishes, list the name of a suggested Associate Editor for consideration. Information regarding previous submission to Organic Letters or to any other ACS journal should be included. If back-to-back publication with another paper is desired, this should be stated, along with the desired order of publication in the cover letters of both manuscripts.
Manuscript Text Components
Letters contain a Title, Abstract, main text without section headings, and references/end matter.
The title should be descriptive of the topic of the article and as short as possible (not exceeding 20 words), using easily searchable keywords and avoiding/minimizing hyphenation. To that end, avoid using abbreviations and acronyms unless they are more commonly used than spelled out words. Also avoid complex compound names as much as possible in the title by using generic names, and spell out elements rather than using symbols unless part of a compound formula. Neither the title nor any other text should indicate that the article is part of a numbered series on a broader research topic, or a numbered contribution from a particular institution or research group.
The abstract should not exceed 200 words: See the Guidelines for Table of Contents/Abstract Graphics for specifications. In the Abstract graphic, creativity is welcome but avoid using images of known people living or from the past and avoid creating parodies that could be socially/culturally insensitive or considered racist or discriminatory.
The introduction of the main text should include sufficient background information to provide appropriate context as to the novelty and importance of the new work and clearly state the purpose and objectives of the research. An extensive review of prior work is not appropriate, and documentation of the relevant background literature should be selective rather than exhaustive, particularly if reviews can be cited.
Claims of priority, originality, convenience, effectiveness, or value should be avoided or used with great restraint in the title and throughout the main text. For example, the words “concise,” “convenient,” “efficient,” “elegant,” “expedient,” “facile,” “first,” “new,” “novel,” “practical,” “simple,” “unique,” “unprecedented,” and “versatile” should not be used. In addition, editors may ask authors to moderate or remove what they judge to be excessive use of subjective evaluative language elsewhere in the manuscript.
Abbreviations, Symbols, and Units
Authors are encouraged to use abbreviations and acronyms to conserve space. A list is available to assist with common examples. Nonstandard abbreviations and acronyms must be defined the first time they are used in the abstract and in the text. The use of abbreviations should be consistent throughout the manuscript text and graphics. For example, either CH3 or Me may be used for “methyl,” but not both.
Authors should be judicious in citing the literature; unnecessarily long lists of references should be avoided. If a number of publications are relevant to a statement in the text, not more than two or three of the most seminal or recent should be cited; if appropriate, the author may add “and references cited therein” following a reference. Authors must also cite any previously published work wherein portions of the submitted work have been disclosed. It is seldom necessary or appropriate for an author to cite more than 5 of his or her own publications. No reference should repeat a reference that appears elsewhere in the manuscript’s list of references. Long endnotes should be avoided; peripheral discussion should be placed in the supporting information. Endnotes should not contain graphics, experimental procedures, or compound characterization data.
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 description of each file is required, and the paragraph and descriptions should be placed at the end of the manuscript before the list of references. The appropriate format is as follows:
Supporting Information. Brief descriptions in nonsentence format listing the contents of the files supplied as Supporting Information.
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.
Supporting Information (SI) is required and is reviewed for completeness and accuracy by a Data Analyst. Submissions without adequate SI will be inactivated and the authors will be asked to provide the requested information.
An introductory section should include general procedures, standard techniques, and instruments employed in the synthesis and characterization of the compounds described in this section.
- General reaction conditions
- Instruments used (NMR, microwave reactors, etc.)
- Suppliers for commercial compounds
- Citations to references for noncommercial known compounds
Experimental Details Section
- New procedures should be fully described in detail to ensure reproducibility.
- When a new or improved synthetic method is described, at least one detailed complete method must be provided at the 1 mmol scale.
- The yields reported in key experimental examples, and yields used for comparison with existing methods, should represent amounts of isolated and purified products.
- Chromatographically or spectroscopically determined yields are not acceptable
- Reactant quantities and product yields should be reported in weight and molar units; percentage yields should only be reported for materials of demonstrated purity
- Experimental details and spectra in the SI are in the sequence that corresponds to the manuscript
The Editors encourage authors to emphasize any unexpected, new, and/or significant hazards or risks associated with the reported work, including the use of toxic and/or environmentally persistent reagents and solvents, and provide a rationale on choice of these reagents and solvents. Organic Letters further encourages authors to consider the Principles of Green Chemistry in carrying out their research and consider reporting metrics such as atom economy, mass efficiency, E-factor, or others. For more information, please consult Research Tools provided by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute.
For each procedure, include the following details:
- Title containing the compound number and structure that corresponds to the manuscript
- For synthetic procedures, include:
- Reactant quantities
- Detailed purification techniques
- Product quantites
- Isolated yields
- Physical state/description of the compounds (i.e., color, solid, etc.)
- Characterization data
- Report 1H chemical shift to two digits after the decimal point
- Report 13C chemical shifts to one digit after the decimal point
- When flash chromatography is used for product purification, the support should be identified and the solvent should be identified for each compound.
- HPLC analyses should be performed in two different solvent systems. The stationary phase, solvents (HPLC), detector type, and percentage of total chromatogram integration should be reported; alternatively, a copy of the chromatogram may be included as a figure in the Supporting Information.
When computational results are included in a manuscript, complete details of computational methods and results, reported in sufficient detail to allow other researchers to repeat the computations, should be included either within the paper or in the Supporting Information. The level of theory, basis set, and relevant input parameters should be identified along with the specific program used, including information sufficient for the reader to use the program if desired. The data should include Z-matrices or Cartesian coordinates, grid size (for DFT calculations) and computed total energies of target or optimized structures. Where applicable, the number of imaginary frequencies should be reported to identify stable structures and transition states. Graphics of computationally derived models that are not vital to the discussion should be placed in the Supporting Information.
All Crystallographic Information Files (CIFs), structure factor tables, and CheckCIF reports must be submitted to the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) prior to manuscript submission. See Requirements for Depositing X-Ray Crystallographic Data [PDF] for complete details on submission of CIFs and a list of file types accommodated by CCDC.
- Before being submitted to CCDC, CIFs should be checked using the free checkCIF data-validation utility on the CIF Validation site.
- Any reported syntax errors should be corrected. Authors are required to correct/defend/or respond to any A-level alerts. Comments may be inserted into the CIF file using a Validation Response Form or uploaded as a separate document as Supporting Information for Review Only.
- checkCIF output files (combined into one PDF file) should be uploaded at submission as Supporting Information for Review Only.
- Any subsequent revisions to the CIFs or structure factor tables should be deposited directly with the CCDC before resubmitting the manuscript in ACS Paragon Plus.
Reports of syntheses conducted in microwave reactors must clearly indicate:
- Type of reaction vessel(s) and if sealed or open
- The manufacturer and model of the reactor
Record the method of monitoring the reaction mixture temperature, and the temperature-time profile. Reporting a wattage rating or power setting is not an acceptable alternative to providing temperature data. NOTE: Reactions using domestic (kitchen) microwave ovens will not be accepted except for studies where the unit is used for heating reaction mixtures at atmospheric pressure.
When manuscripts report the synthesis of compounds, submission of a Compound Characterization Checklist is recommended. The Checklist will be provided to Editors and reviewers to help them assess the thoroughness of the characterization of synthesized compounds. Compound characterization data provided should be sufficient to ensure that compounds being added to the chemical literature have been correctly identified and can be synthesized in known yield and purity by the reported preparation, isolation, and purification methods.
Note that authors are responsible for retaining their original data or having available original data from collaborators or from contractors who perform analyses on their behalf. Authors may be asked to provide copies of spectra or analytical reports if an editor or reviewer raises a question about reported results.
New compounds: Evidence adequate to establish both identity and degree of purity (homogeneity) should be provided (see below).
Known compounds: Purity documentation must be provided for known compounds whose preparation by a new or improved method is reported (see below). Listings of IR absorptions and NMR resonances for known compounds should be presented only if they do not duplicate previously published data.
In addition, for noncommercial, known compounds used as starting materials, the method of preparation and the literature data used to confirm the materials’ identity must be cited.
Identity – Compound Requirements
For all new compounds, a listing of 1H and 13C resonances, either HRMS or elemental analysis data and important IR absorptions should be included in the experimental details section. HPLC/LCMS can be substituted for biochemistry papers where the focus is not on compound synthesis. Hydrogen multiplicity (C, CH, CH2, CH3) information obtained from routine DEPT spectra should be included. If detailed peak assignments are made, the type of NOESY or COSY methods used to establish atom connectivities and spatial relationships should be identified in the Supporting Information.
If a required type of data is not obtainable, the reason for the absence of the data should be noted in the experimental section of the Supporting Information. For example:
- Compound is too insoluble to record a 13C NMR spectrum
- Compound is too unstable to obtain a good elemental analysis
The following data should be included:
- Spectral data: Copies of 1H and 13C NMR spectra and/or relevant heteronuclei if appropriate should be provided for key transformations and final products.
- HRMS/elemental analysis: To support the molecular formula assignment, either the HRMS data accurate within 5 ppm, or combustion elemental analysis data accurate within 0.4%, must be reported for new compounds.
NOTE: in certain cases, a crystal structure may be an acceptable substitute for HRMS/elemental analysis (see Crystal Data for information on submitting CIF files to CCDC).
- Melting point: A melting point range should be reported for all crystalline compounds.Melting points of noncrystalline amorphous compounds should not be reported.
- Specific rotations: Specific rotations based on the equation [α] = (100·α)/(I·c)should be reported as unitless numbers as in the following example: [α]20D-25.4 (c 1.93, CHCl3), where the concentration c is in the g/100 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.
Purity – Compound Requirements
The types of evidence appropriate for demonstrating a compound’s purity will necessarily depend on the method of preparation, the compound’s air and thermal stability, the complexity of the structure, the nature of reasonably likely impurities, and the amount of sample available. For example, combustion analysis would not be a good choice for the product of an isomerization or rearrangement reaction; a “clean” NMR spectrum would need to be supplemented with other evidence when a reasonably likely impurity is NMR silent (e.g., an inorganic salt).
For all known compounds synthesized by a new or improved method, include one or more of the following characterization data:
- A well-resolved high field 1H NMR spectrum showing at most only trace peaks not attributable to the assigned structure.
- A standard 1D proton-decoupled 13C NMR spectrum.
- Combustion elemental analytical values for carbon and hydrogen (and nitrogen, if present) agreeing with calculated values within 0.4%.
- Quantitative gas chromatographic analytical data for distilled or vacuum-transferred samples or quantitative HPLC analytical data for materials isolated by column chromatography or separation from a solid support.
- Electrophoretic analytical data obtained under conditions that permit observing impurities present at the 5% level.
NOTE: HRMS data may be used to support a molecular formula assignment but cannot be used as a criterion of purity.
Guidelines for Specific Compound Classes
Combinatorial libraries containing more than 20 compounds: complete characterization data must be provided for at least 20 diverse members.
Natural products whose structures are being proposed or revised: sufficient data should be provided to definitively establish molecular composition. Suggested analyses include: melting point of crystalline compounds, HRMS, IR spectra, 1H and 13C NMR spectra, 2D 1H COSY, 2D 1H/13C HMQC, and 1D DEPT spectra as well as long-range 1H COSY spectra and NOESY and/or NOE spectra (where NOE data is being used to assign a structure). An X-ray crystal structure can also be employed to establish the structure assignment. Specific optical rotations as [α]D values should be reported for isolated natural products and enantiopurecompounds.
Configurational Isomer Mixtures: For reporting the compositions, enantiomeror diastereomer ratios are preferred over enantiomeric or diastereomeric excess values.
Non-racemic chiral substances: Data to permit correlation ofabsolute configuration should be provided, preferably including [α]D values.
Biomacromolecules: The structures of biomacromolecules may beestablished 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 by standard sequencing techniques. Typically, a sequence will be accompanied by MS data that establish the molecular weight.
Spectra Standards. Spectra files should not be manipulated in any manner that could result in misinterpretation or misrepresentation of the original spectra. Nothing within an image such as spectral baselines or solvent/impurities should be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced.
- Label each spectra with an image of the structure and a compound number
- Spectra should be legible and images are not faint or blurry
- Spectra should be at least a half page in size, preferably a full page
- Include magnified region(s) when necessary to show detail
- Display the NMR baseline and include the minimum chemical shift range:
- -1-9 ppm for 1H spectra
- -10-190 ppm for 13C spectra
- Extended range for functional groups that resonate from 9-14 ppm
- Integrate all peaks in the 1H NMR arising from the compound
- Chemical shift values should be included for all peaks arising from the compound in the 1H and 13C spectra
- The largest peak in the 1H NMR spectrum should normally be full scale and arise from the compound, not the solvent or impurities
- Field strength, solvent peak and nucleus being measured should be noted on each spectrum
Primary NMR Data Files
Submission of primary NMR data files (FID files, acquisition data, processing parameters) is highly recommended. All original primary NMR data supporting a submission should be retained and provided if requested. For more information on packaging primary NMR data and metadata for submission, see the ACS Research Data Center.
When submitting FID files:
- One folder should be created for each compound
- Folder should be named clearly, using the compound number
- Include the FID files, acquisition data and processing parameters for each experiment
- Name each spectrum according to the type of nucleus measured: 1H,13C, DEPT, COSY, etc.
- NMR files should be compressed into zip file(s)
- Name the zipped file, "FID for Publication"
In a text document, include the name of the manufacturer of the spectrometer used to collect the data, the acquisition software and processing programs used to analyze the data, and the field strength used to measure each nucleus (i.e., 300 MHz 1H or 50 MHz 13C). Include a structure file that shows the structure and compound identifier for each provided dataset. MolFile is the recommended format and is strongly preferred.
Vibrational circular dichroism. Absolute configuration determinations by VCD spectroscopy should be reported in such a way that the reasoning of the assignment becomes clear. The presentation of the comparison of experimental and computed spectra must include both the IR and VCD spectra in the same figure; both sets of spectra must be shown in the same wavenumber range (e.g., 1800-900 cm-1) and spectral intensities must be reported in units of molar absorptivity (ε, M-1 cm-1). Experimental conditions such as concentration, solvent, and optical path length must be stated. A qualitative comparison between experimental and computed spectra is sufficient as long as convincing band correlations between major features in the experimental and computed spectra are indicated. Quantitative comparison can be made using similarity analysis algorithms which provide a degree of congruence between measured and calculated VCD spectra for the assigned enantiomer versus its opposite enantiomer. If VCD is used to distinguish diastereomers, a particular emphasis of the spectra comparison must be given to those signals that are used to differentiate the stereoisomers. Computational results such as energies and relative energies must be provided for all conformers with a calculated Boltzmann weight larger than 5%. Cartesian coordinates can be limited to the five most populated conformers (see section on Computational Data).
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 Figures 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
Organic Letters is committed to the rapid publication of exciting new original work that has not previously been published and/or is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Any relevant content that has been made publicly available, either in print or electronic format, may jeopardize the originality of a submission and preclude consideration for publication in Organic Letters. The exception to these restrictions is the final version of a thesis filed as a publicly stated requirement for an undergraduate, masters, or Ph.D. degree posted on the official Web site of the degree-granting institution. When submitting a manuscript, the authors should inform the editor of any prior dissemination of the submission content, including conference presentations, posters, and reports in institutional repositories.
Authors are allowed to deposit an initial version of their manuscript in a preprint repository such as ChemRxiv, arXiv, bioRxiv, or the applicable repository for their discipline prior to submission. Authors must note any use of a preprint repository in the cover letter, include a link to the preprint, and as appropriate state how the manuscript has been adjusted/updated between preprint deposition and journal submission. The preprint should be cited as a reference in the manuscript. Authors are discouraged from posting a revised version of the preprint, or for depositing the initial version of manuscript as a preprint, after the manuscript has been submitted and a decision is pending.
Previously Submitted Work
Organic Letters will consider work that has been previously declined by the journal, as follows:
- Submit as a new manuscript
- Include in cover letter:
- Previous manuscript number
- Previous Organic Letters Editor
- Details of changes made to the manuscript – particularly in response to reviews
- Rationale for reconsideration
Information on the prior submission of a manuscript to a different ACS journal can facilitate Organic Letters evaluation. Authors should reformat and revise the manuscript to comply with Organic Letters guidelines and include with the cover letter the previous journal’s decision letter and reviews from the previous submission along with details of changes made to the manuscript, especially changes in response to reviewer comments. The same process on prior submission to other publishers is encouraged.
Information for Reviewers. Organic Letters operates under a single-blind peer-review process. The quality of the papers published in the peer-reviewed chemical literature depends heavily on the thoroughness and rigor of the manuscript evaluations provided by reviewers. The editors of Organic Letters rely on each reviewer’s conscientiously prepared comments for helping maintain the high scientific standards of the journal. Please read the general information about ACS Peer Review and ACS Publication Policies.
Reviewers are expected to promptly respond to invitations to conduct a review and to promptly return their review before the deadline. During their evaluation, reviewers are requested to adhere to the precepts in the “Ethical Obligations of Reviewers of Manuscripts” section of the ACS Ethical Guidelines for Publication of Chemical Research. These include treating the manuscript as a privileged document and disclosing any potential conflict of interest to the editor. The editors will not disclose the names of any reviewer to the author of a manuscript. Reviewers should keep the reviewing process confidential by not contacting authors about the content of manuscripts, or disclosing to authors their role as reviewer, without prior approval of the editor. If a manuscript declined by Organic Letters is later submitted to a different ACS journal, the names of the reviewers and copies of the reviews will be made available if requested by the editor of that journal.
Reviewers should become familiar with this complete Author Guidelines document; tools for viewing Supporting Information are provided here. Comments about the content of the manuscript should be entered in the “Comments to the Author” section of the review form. These comments are seen by the editor as well as by the author. Review comments should be objective, impersonal, and constructive. The “Comments to the Editorial Office” section of the form should be used only for ethical concerns and other remarks intended for the editor only.
The editors ask all reviewers to access the manuscripts they are reviewing on the ACS Paragon Plus website; hardcopies of manuscript files will not be mailed to reviewers. Reviews should be submitted on the website; they cannot be accepted by mail, e-mail, or fax.
The editors try to identify reviewers whose research interests and expertise are in areas closely related to the focus of each manuscript. To help the editors identify reviewers with appropriate expertise, reviewers and potential reviewers are asked to complete a journal-specific Reviewer Expertise Form [Word] and to update the form if there is a substantial change in research interests. The downloaded form may be completed on screen and e-mailed to the Journal office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the invited reviewer, you might on occasion ask a postdoctoral researcher or graduate student in your group to review the manuscript along with you. This approach is acceptable so long as the reviewer requests permission from the cognizant editor in advance and the assistance is noted in the “Comments to the Editorial Office” section of the form when the review is returned. We encourage junior group members to first complete the ACS Reviewer Lab.
Reviewing manuscripts is recognized as a professional obligation of scientists who themselves publish in the literature. Editors are aware of the demands placed on reviewers and have records of individual review records available to help avoid assigning multiple reviews simultaneously or for making review requests too often.
Reviewer Credit. Reviewers of manuscripts submitted to ACS journals may claim credit for their hard work and contributions through an ACS collaboration with ORCID. Reviewers will receive one credit on their ORCID account for all review activity associated with each manuscript. To claim credit, simply ensure that your ORCID iD is associated with your ACS Paragon Plus account. If you do not have an ORCID iD, you can create one using the ORCID link on your ACS Paragon Plus profile page. For more information, click here.
Note for Authors about Reviews. As an ethical obligation, authors are expected to clearly and succinctly address all reviewer comments and concerns during manuscript revision and note how the manuscript has been revised, with an eye toward improving their manuscript.
Appeals. Appealing an editorial rejection decision is always an option available to authors, one that the Editorial Team takes seriously. But such appeals must be based on rational arguments focused specifically on why a decision should be overturned. Appeals may be successful if they address objective issues (such as interpretation of data, for example) with calm and clear arguments rather than emotional pleas, and address all of the critiques rather than focusing selectively on positive parts of the reviews and ignoring negative comments. Appeals are less likely to be successful if the rejection of the manuscript was based on the Editor’s view that the work does not accommodate the broad readership of the journal (scope). During an appeal, the Editors may obtain additional opinions from other Editors or members of the Editorial Advisory Board before coming to a decision.
Providing Potential Reviewer Names
Please suggest at least five reviewers. ACS requests that you consider the gender and geographic diversity of your suggested reviewers in addition to their topical expertise. 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 “Articles ASAP” 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.
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 the full article and included in the main text of a letter.
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.
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 in the same sequence as they appear on the first page of the manuscript. (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 (Just Accepted, 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 of manuscript deposit for research funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust, and the Austrian Science Fund. ACS offers options by which authors can fulfill the requirements for open access and deposition into repositories for funded research. Read more about Open Access Compliance and ACS Open Access 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 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 should be produced with the use of a drawing program such as ChemDraw.
The Editor-in-Chief’s office will contact authors to invite submission of front cover artwork, however volunteer front cover suggestions will be considered. The journal is looking for aesthetically pleasing covers that exhibit simplicity, clarity, and eye-catching graphics. Some covers may include supporting text if the artwork is not self-explanatory. Authors should use the “About the Cover” description to describe the cover concept and how it relates to the article, and also as a place to acknowledge those who created or contributed toward the cover artwork. 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.
Organic Letters also offers authors a great way to promote their work through Supplementary Covers. Submit your cover idea, artwork, and caption when submitting your manuscript revision in ACS Paragon Plus. If your article is accepted for publication, your suggestion may be selected for use on one of the journal’s supplementary covers.
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.