ACS Publications and its journals hold that a critical factor for the integrity of the scientific record relies on a code of conduct related to ethical research and publication. This code is necessary to ensure the advancement of science and to engender trust in published science from the public.
To uphold these goals, the ACS Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research (or ACS Ethical Guidelines) set forth expected obligations for Editors, authors, and reviewers participating in the publication process at ACS journals. These guidelines set expectations prior to publication and help to address matters that may be found during the peer review process or after publication. Examples of publication ethics issues that may arise are: conflicts of interest; contested authorship; data fabrication or reproducibility concerns; editorial misconduct; peer review manipulation; or plagiarism.
When potential ethical issues arise, the relevant journal Editor(s)-in-Chief works with ACS staff and/or subject matter experts when needed to determine the most appropriate resolution, guided by the ACS Ethical Guidelines and other publishing industry standards. The ACS Ethical Guidelines are maintained and updated by the ACS Publications Ethics Committee (APEC), with input from all ACS Editors-in-Chief.
ACS Publications Ethics Committee (APEC)
The APEC is a rotating committee of active ACS Editors who consider and propose changes to the ACS Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research. Members serve for a minimum of two years and maximum of six years.
- Chair: Marc Hillmyer, Macromolecules
- Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Chemical Reviews
- Chris Jones, ACS Catalysis
- Peter Licence, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
- Vincent Rotello, Bioconjugate Chemistry
- Sara Skrabalak, Chemistry of Materials
ACS Publications is also a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and follows COPE guidance in addressing ethics issues.
For more information about ethics standards and guidance from ACS Publications and its Editors, a list of resources has been provided below:
- ACS Reviewer Lab: Module 2: Ethics in Peer Review
- ACS Author Lab: Module 7: Adhere to Ethical Guidelines
- ACS Style Guide: Part 1.2: Ethics in Scientific Publication
- Publishing Your Research 101 video series
- ACS on Campus
- Guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
If you have questions or concerns about ethical issues related to content submitted to or published in ACS journals, these matters should be raised to the Editor-in-Chief of the involved journal(s) with details of your concerns. Contact information can be found on individual journal webpages.
For general inquiries, contact the Publishing Integrity Office at email@example.com. Please note that concerns or questions raised about specific journals or journal content may be directed to the relevant journal editorial office(s).
For concerns related to the conduct of ACS Editors, Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) members, or reviewers regarding the peer review process, the ACS Publications Ombudsperson may be contacted.