Publishing your research is critical to your career, but the process can be daunting. That’s why ACS Publications is here to help at every stage of the journey.

Here, we present your guide to publishing – a systematic overview of the process of communicating your research results, with resources to help you along the way.

Step 1: Stay Informed

Science never stands still. Keeping up with the latest findings from your research community is essential to future publishing success.

Seeing what’s getting published in your field – and where – will help you advance your research and write with confidence.

Make sure you’re aware of all the ACS Publications resources that will help you stay informed:

View the ACS resource checklist.

Step 2: Prepare Your Manuscript

You’re keeping up with the latest in your field and putting together a compelling new story with your research. Bravo! Now, it’s time to start preparing your manuscript to get your hard work published.

At this stage, it’s important to know all your options. As you prepare for submission, consider your audience and identify the field where your findings will have the greatest impact. With over 60 ACS journals to choose from, you are sure to find a good outlet for your research.

ACS also offers services to help you attend to the details of your manuscript. Whether you are looking for help preparing figures, English editing by experts with a chemistry background, or even translation of your research article into English, ACS Authoring Services can bring you one step closer to publication.

Don’t forget to utilize ACS Publications’ other author resources, as well. You are not in this alone!

View our list of manuscript preparation resources.

Step 3: Submit Your Manuscript

You’ve chosen your journal, followed the specific instructions for authors, and completed your manuscript. Now it’s time to submit.

When you submit to an ACS journal, your manuscript is evaluated in several stages. Your manuscript is first checked by the Journal Editorial Office for proper formatting and other requirements. It is then screened by the Editor-in-Chief for scope, scientific merit, and significance to ensure it is a good fit for the journal. Finally, your manuscript is evaluated by an Associate Editor, who selects appropriate experts for peer review.

  1. Submit your manuscript
  2. The Journal Editorial Office performs an initial pre-screening
  3. The Editor-in-Chief assesses scope, scientific merit and significance
  4. An Associate Editor evaluates manuscript and sends it for peer review

To ensure your submission process goes as smoothly as possible, we encourage you to use the tools and resources available to you from ACS Publications:

Consider also submitting your work to the chemistry preprint server ChemRxiv, a collaboration from ACS, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the German Chemical Society (GDCh), the Chinese Chemical Society, and the Chemical Society of Japan. With ChemRxiv, you can share your results before publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, establishing credit for your work and receiving early feedback from your field. In addition, with Direct Journal Transfer, a free feature of ChemRxiv, you can directly submit your posted preprints from ChemRxiv to ACS journals for editorial consideration and peer review.

Please remember to check the journal’s preprint policy for any additional requirements or limits that may be in place.

Step 4: 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 in light of your changes and additions.

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 manuscript, tips for writing your review, and the ethical considerations inherent to the process.

  • Peer Reviewers are selected
  • Reviews returned to the author
  • Revisions made to the manuscript
  • Re-evaluation by editor and/or reviewers
  • Final editorial decision

Step 5: Publish

Congratulations, you’ve been accepted for publication! Always check to see if your funder has an open access mandate and make arrangements if necessary. Even if open access is not a requirement for you, ACS Publications offers a variety options to share your science with the world. 100% of ACS journals publish open access articles, so whether you choose one of our fully open access journals or one of our hybrids, we have an open access option for you.


Step 6: Share

When authors take action to share their research with the global scientific community, they help maximize its impact. 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. And of course, 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: