ACS Publications recognizes the hard work that goes into getting your research to the point of submission for publication. We appreciate that you are interested in submitting to one of our 75+ journals and are here to support you through your publishing journey.
This page provides an overview of the ACS publishing process, fundamental guidance, and resources to help avoid common mistakes and be fully prepared every step of the way.
Keeping up with the latest findings from your research community is essential to future publishing success. Seeing what’s being published, what your peers are reading, and where it is being published will help you advance your research and write with confidence.
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- Create your ACS ID for access to many of the platforms, systems, and resources you will need.
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- Top 10 Tips for Scholarly Publishing to help you along the way from ACS on Campus.
- Top 10 Tips for Effective Science Writing will help you convey your ideas and write effectively whether for a manuscript, press release, or presentation.
- Enroll in ACS Author Lab to learn the fundamentals of the publishing process outlined below with on demand, free-to-access, and self-paced modules.
Step 1: Journal Selection
When submitting your manuscript, you will need to choose the most appropriate journal for your research. Before you even start writing, you should have already familiarized yourself with a journal’s editorial scope, its policy on prior publication, its format, and the Author Guidelines. Doing so will help you avoid common mistakes and expedite the submission, review, and acceptance process.
You may also want to familiarize yourself with articles from your journals of interest to help determine the journal’s style, editorial voice, and target audience ahead of submission.
Check to see if your funder has an open access mandate. Our range of options provides you with multiple ways to make your research articles available via open access, including our fully open access journals, transformative hybrid journals, and transformative "read and publish" agreements that cover more than 1,000 individual institutions.
Step 2: Prepare
Carefully preparing your manuscript will help you successfully navigate the process with ease and confidence. The key components you will need to include upon submission are listed below, with links to full details, requirements, and resources to help.
Manuscript Submission Criteria
Conflict of Interest Disclosure - The Corresponding Author must provide this statement on behalf of all authors of the manuscript during the submission process to include a statement describing any financial conflicts and all potential sources of bias.
Ethical Guidelines - ACS journal Editors provide a set of ethical guidelines for persons engaged in the publication of chemical research, specifically, for editors, authors, and manuscript reviewers.
Author List and Co-author Notification - Authors must obtain the consent of all their co-authors before submitting a manuscript for publication.
Permissions - Authors are responsible for obtaining any permission necessary to reproduce tables, figures, charts, schemes, photographs, text excerpts, etc., from the copyright owner.
Funding Disclosures - Authors are required to report funding sources and grant/award numbers and are required to enter all sources of funding for all authors in both the FundRef tool in ACS Paragon Plus and in your manuscript to meet this requirement.
Pre-submission Tip: Familiarize yourself with submitting and authoring in ACS Paragon Plus prior to submitting your manuscript.
Step 3: Assemble
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.
- Templates are not required but may be useful to approximate how an article will be composed.
- References can be provided in any style, but they must be complete, including titles.
- Supporting Information must be submitted as a separate file(s) and may have journal-specific requirements, which can be found in the journal guidelines.
- Author names and affiliations on the manuscript must match what is entered into ACS Paragon Plus.
Writing Style and Language Usage
Step 4: Submit
It is essential to review the journal’s Author Guidelines carefully before submitting your manuscript for consideration. Paying close attention to all requirements will help expedite review and reduce the time to publication.
Manuscripts, graphics, supporting information, and required forms must all be submitted and revised in digital format through the ACS Paragon Plus online submission site. Hardcopy manuscripts are not accepted.
The Submission Process
To learn more about the peer review process, please consider enrolling in our free course, ACS Reviewer Lab. The course covers all key aspects of peer review, including the assessment of manuscripts, tips for writing your review, and the ethical considerations inherent to the process.
Pre-screening - Your manuscript is first checked by the Journal Editorial Office for proper formatting and other requirements.
Assessment - It is then assessed by the Editor-in-Chief, Executive Editors, or Development Editors for scope, scientific merit, and significance to ensure it is a good fit for the journal.
Evaluation - An Associate Editor evaluates your manuscript to select appropriate experts for peer review.
Review - Authors will have a chance to review and approve the PDF version of their manuscripts prior to formal submission to the Editor.
Pre-publishing Tip: Submit your manuscript to a pre-print server. ChemRxiv is an openly accessible preprint platform for chemists, with no fees for readers or authors. Share your work with the research community to gain insights and stake a claim to your new findings while your manuscript is going through the review process with ACS.
Step 5: Peer Review
During submission, you will be asked to provide a list of recommended reviewers. The editors will take this list into consideration but may invite other experts if your article is selected for peer review.
Your manuscript will be thoroughly reviewed by at least three of your peers with the goal of validating and improving the content prior to publication. You may be asked to revise your manuscript slightly or to perform a few additional experiments. After revision, your manuscript will be re-evaluated considering your changes and additions.
Select - Peer Reviewers are selected.
Return - Detailed feedback from the reviews is returned to the author.
Revise - Revisions are made to the manuscript by the author.
Re-evaluate - The revisions from the author are re-evaluated by the editor and/or reviewers.
Decide - The final editorial decision is made.
Tip during the review wait time: Familiarize yourself with the Journal Publishing Agreement and process so you are prepared if your manuscript is accepted or the ACS Manuscript Transfer Service if you are invited to submit to an alternate ACS Journal to better highlight your work.
Step 6: Publish, Transfer, or Reject
After you approve the final PDF of your manuscript, the Editor will carefully read and examine each manuscript, analyze each review, and decide if the manuscript will be published, transferred, or rejected.
We have outlined the next steps and options you can take depending on the outcome below with links to ACS Publications resources to help and support your next steps.
If your manuscript is selected for publication, you will be notified to complete the publishing agreement, funding information, or payments that may be required. Refer to the quick links below to help navigate through these final steps.
Sometimes an editor finds that your research may have a greater impact and value in an alternate ACS journal. Our editors and editorial staff will work with other journal editors, when possible, to find the best placement for your hard work and to showcase your research to the best audience. The quick links below will provide you with more information.
This is not a decision ACS Editors take lightly or without careful consideration towards the Author(s) and the work put into the research. You may have revisions to make based on the feedback or need some extra help to get your manuscript to re-submit. Find options and support in the quick links section below.
Step 7: Share Your Work
When authors take action to share their research with the global scientific community, they help maximize its impact. ACS Publications makes it easy to share your newly published research with ACS Articles on Request and other ACS Author Benefits that can help your published research get views, downloads, and citations.
It is essential to promote your research and related data on social media, at conferences, and through scholarly communication networks. The quick links below will help you figure out the best way to get your published work in front of the right audience.