If I Were the Editor of JACS…

March 6th, 2007

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the ignition of the chemical blogosphere (in JACS), here’s what I’d do if someone handed me the reins of the ACS’s flagship journal:

First, one thing that I would not do is make the journal open access.  I like the idea of going open access, but it would be a poor business decision for one of the leading journals.  Why should the ACS give away all of that revenue? JACS is the finest chemistry journal on the planet—it provides a good service and puts out a good product. If libraries and other subscribers are willing to pay exorbitant sums of money for subscriptions, why not take it?  Let all of the worse journals go open access first, then you can start talking about JACS.  Also, libraries having to pay for JACS is good for the prestige of the journal.  If budgets tighten, the last chemistry journal that a library will cancel is JACS.  We don’t want anybody to forget that.


How would I run the journal?  Well, the central editorial philosophy would be that the process of publication should be completely transparent—no anonymity at any step.

Main Features

1. Once an accepted paper is ready for publication, all documents associated with that manuscript will go online. This includes the final paper, the supporting information, the original and revised submissions, the cover letter, the referee reports, and the authors’ response to the referees. Everything. As is currently the case, only the final paper will appear in the print edition of the journal.

2. Once a paper is published online, a comments thread will appear on the ACS Web site for readers who wish to make comments on the work. In order to post comments, readers will have to register for an account, and their full names and home cities will appear alongside their comments. Anonymous commenting will not be allowed.

Authors, like any other users, can respond to comments. At first, in order to ensure that the commenters are who they say they are, only members of the American Chemical Society will be allowed to comment. Details for signing up for accounts will be mailed to the addresses that the ACS has on its membership files. All corresponding authors must register for an account before they will be allowed to submit manuscripts for publication.

For non-ACS members, we will setup registration booths at ACS national meetings or prospective users can swing by ACS headquarters in DC. Two forms of photo identification will be required to register in person.

3. Documents associated with manuscripts that are ultimately not accepted for publication will not be made public. However, the ACS publications office will keep these records on file, including referee reports.

4.  The office will maintain statistics on each referee to monitor how many papers each accepts and rejects, and how many times a referee’s recommendation stands in opposition to the recommendation of the other referees and the final decision of the editor. The statistics will be published on the user page of each referee, alongside other statistics such as the average turn-around time the referee has for returning reports on communications and on articles.

5. A special associate editor for the site will have the power to temporarily remove comments that he or she judges to be inappropriate. A committee of seven people who have been corresponding authors on a JACS publication in the past five years will serve as an oversight committee for the Web page. They will convene once a month, online, to consider the reinstatement of comments removed by the associate editor and to consider appeals from other users regarding inappropriate conduct. They will have the power to delete comments and sanction individuals who misbehave by trolling, badgering authors, or posting off-topic (spam) or offensive material. The sanctions will be made public and posted on the offending person’s user page. The user will be allowed to post a response.


1. Everything will be signed—the manuscripts, the referee reports, the editors’ decisions. Any material that cannot be ascribed to the person who wrote it will be discarded.

a. If the authors don’t like the policy of making the cover letters and original revisions available, they should go publish somewhere else.

b. If the referees don’t like the possibility of having their reports made public, they should decline our requests to review manuscripts. Why should a referee be embarrassed about anything he or she has to say? If the criticism is valid, the authors and the readership will recognize it as valid. The only people who benefit from anonymity are cowards and those who wish to abuse the system by playing favorites or holding personal grudges.

(I know a lot of you will get hung up on this and say, “This will never work.”  I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal. We are all adults. A referee shouldn’t feel bad about writing a critical referee report, so long as he is justified in doing so.  So long as the opinion is valid, no one will go online and criticize the referee.  In fact, if a referee knows that he will have to defend his report in public, the report will probably end up being more honest and of a higher quality.)

2.  As editor, if I saw that an author was submitting a lot of manuscripts but wasn’t refereeing his fair share, I’d cap the number of submissions that the author could make per year.

3.  Statistics will be maintained regarding the activity of all authors, editors, referees, and commenters.  These stats will be posted on their user pages. User pages will also include links to the users’ referee reports, Web comments, editorial decisions, stats on submissions, and sanctions or disciplinary actions.

4. Upon the death of an author, a note will be entered in his user profile and an automated system will leave a comment in all of his publications saying that the author will not be able to respond to further comments.

5.  As a resource to the commenting community, we will provide information about federal and state laws on defamation.  Users will be required to sign a statement acknowledging they have reviewed the information and will not make libelous comments.


I have no doubt that the journal would endure an initial decrease in the number of submissions and in the number of people willing to serve as referees. In fact, if the journal had any serious competition, the consequences could be disastrous.  But if the above system is instituted, the increased candor will bolster the credibility of papers published in JACS and the comment system will improve scientific communication among members of the community.  As I see it, that’s what the ACS Publications Division should have as its top priority.

Now is a good time to make these changes, because the Internet has become a reliable tool for publishing scientific papers and JACS is the perfect publication to implement these changes because it is the leader in our field.  JACS might be the only journal strong enough to weather the inevitable wave of resistance from the Ol’ Boys Club and others who stand to lose from the democratization of power in scientific publishing.

So, can we make this happen?

Previous Comments

  1. Milo Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 6:58 am Open access is not really aimed at the libraries and the wealthy PIs who get JACS via their grants.I have a real problem with the idea that the good science is only available to those with the cash to pay.
  2. rb Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 7:40 am You must think we live in a world without politics and vengefulness . NO ONE would be a reviewer if the process was not anonymous. It is more reasonable to have the submission be anonymous.
  3. Ψ*Ψ Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 7:52 am Milo: Look around you–it isn’t just the science that’s only available to those with the cash to pay…
    I like some of the ideas you have listed, Paul…I don’t foresee any changes coming soon, though.
  4. Joshua Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 8:54 am It is more reasonable to have the submission be anonymous.The only catch is that you can usually figure out who the lead author of a paper is by carefully looking through the first 10 or 15 references of the paper…a comments thread will appear … for readers who wish to make comments on the workPaul: though PLoS ONE hasn’t published many chemistry papers, you might want to take a look at their site (i.e., the sections on “Annotations” and “Discussions“), as they are trying to do something similar to what you’re proposing…
  5. milo Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 9:04 am Ψ*Ψ,Ah… so true. I thought I would limit my social commentary here to JACS. Of course, we could always talk about housing, health care, food…. :-)
  6. J Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 10:07 am Hmmm… I like ‘open threads’ for each journal article. But I’m not too fond of anything else.Publicly funded information should be made public, if not immediately then shortly after it is published. If the journal wants to charge a fee for color images or revive the per page charge, then fine. There’s no reason why the public should be charged once to fund the research and then charged again to read about it. To demarcate a journal as the best by charging admission is silly. It’s not a nightclub. If anything, they should show their progressiveness by publishing the Communications online for free.Grading referees based upon rejection rates is a dangerous game. People can simply request they not referee their paper, which would limit the pool to softies or people that just look at the name on the journal. Non-anonymous posting is also doomed to failure, as the recent unsuccessful Nature (or Science) blog style review process pointed out. I mean… fine, we are all adults, but we don’t all act like it. What’s more, I don’t think the problem will come from the authors being afraid of the comments, but the commenters being afraid of the author. I’ll certainly not use my real name to point out mysteriously useless shit coming out of *so and so’s* lab is *so and so* sits on an NIH review board.Would you really want to piss off someone like Steve Lippard? You really think that guy is mature enough to just let that sort of shit slide? I sure don’t, and I sure wouldn’t try to find out.
  7. excimer Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 11:09 am It’d be awfully big of you to implement these changes so that some other journals would finally get some more serious recognition, while JACS fades into Chemische Berichte obscurity. You start making things unnecessarily difficult for your authors, and authors will stop publishing with you. You say JACS has no serious competition, but your efforts will create competition. You treat JACS as if it were some kind of privilege, but that goes both ways, in terms of the quality, breadth and depth of the science being submitted AND the standards of the journal. If you think the journal’s standards aren’t up to snuff, there are thousands of chemists out there willing to submit to JACS who think otherwise, and they, more so than the editors, are the ones keeping JACS relevant, by reading and publishing in it, despite the whole Dalibor Sames mess (which is clearly the inspiration for this post). That kind of hubris will make JACS’ relevance fade, when it starts treating authors as suspects rather than scientists.Also, you forgot one important detail… If you were editor of JACS, you would have Excimer be Hawaii regional editor. I’ll make sure things get done… once I get back from the beach. I work better tanned. Mahalo.
  8. eugene Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 12:21 pm If I were the editor of JACS… I’d have people who faked research killed at the storke of dawn, their bodies burned, then their ashes brought to me on a silver platter with a glass of chilled Sancerre.(Red Dwarf reference)
  9. Wavefunction Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 2:58 pm Journals cannot be made available for free probably, but their current subscription rates are a scandal, that’s for sure.
  10. milkshake Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 11:07 pm If I had a hammer, I would get hammered in the morning (or something like that).We have one JACS editor working here; he is quite normal. He is not trying to re-organize the entire world. My guess – he likes doing chemistry instead. I can drink to that.
  11. My Lord, My Guide Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 11:55 pm Some of the consequences, if your proposals are ever implemented:The number of chemistry ‘papers’ reduce drastically. Since the comment thread can act as follow up publications, many second class journals will die. An eventual consequence is that a paper in JACS will have the same impact of a nature/Science paper.
  12. Wolfie Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 12:50 am “We are all adults.”Sure ?
  13. Wolfie Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 1:25 am In addition, it all sounds a little bit like Karl Marx. Welcome to the real world.If I were the editor of JACS, I would put an Angewandte Logo on the cover page, so everyone knows what the real thing is (no, to be honest, I haven’t read them for years, all too plain academic).
  14. Paul Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 4:07 am Regarding open access: As I said above, I like the idea of open access, but what does JACS or the ACS gain by going open access? You’ll be losing so much money, and I doubt that many other journals will follow suit. The idea makes *zero* business sense, in that there is a huge cost and the product won’t get any better. For JACS to become free, Congress is going to have to pass a law granting taxpayers access to government-funded research. I see no rational alternative, besides a really rich guy setting up an endowment. Not even advertising will make JACS free.Regarding PLoS ONE: Again, I like the idea, but I don’t think this attempt will catch on. First, why would authors choose to pay $1,250 to publish their work, especially in this time of tight scientific funding? Second, revolutionary efforts like PLoS ONE need big names behind them. For it to work, the community will need to see a respected leader, whether a scientist or an organization, step forward and endorse the project. That’s why I think JACS is a good journal to make the move–it is the leader in its field.Perhaps the thing that I find most disturbing about the comments above is that everybody recognizes that there are problems with the current system but seems resigned to living with them. The Old Boys Club is holding the rest of the scientific community hostage. I wish some of these heavy-hitters would trade their current power for eternal fame by endorsing a new system for the way science is published. Who wants to be the hero?
  15. milkshake Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 4:59 am Back home we used to have a Hero of Socialist Labor award; it was the second highest decoration, right after the Lenin’s Award. Looking back, I think some of that heroic labor and Lenin’s achievements we could have lived without.The original disease is often preferable to a cure promised by the revolutionaries. I think it has to do with the fact that under skin of a revolutionary there is always an impatient despot waiting to come out.Besides, the pasivists have more fun.
  16. J Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 9:38 am I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the system, actually. So far as I can tell, it works quite well. The only problem I see is the outrageous cost these journals charge for people to read them. Business sense or not, all these journals are doing is publishing shit other people wrote using money the taxpayers gave them and they’re making a killing by offering them online, which has no printing costs, in excess of $15,000 a year. How that requires an annual subscription fee of $300 is beyond me. Maybe they should start looking at trimming some of the fat in the offices of the editors before they stick it to the public.
  17. Dude Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 10:06 am What might be some of the unintended consequences? I could envision several: 1) it would make refereeing for JACS more of a headache than refereeing for some other journal. Certainly, some professors would choose to submit their papers to other journals to avoid this extra scrutiny. If I was a big-name professor, would I really want to have all my referee reports online so that a bunch of gossipy graduate students with blogs and time on their hands could scrutinize them? I’d think twice, that’s for sure. 2) the path of least resistance (to avoid being hounded by angry authors) would simply be to have lower standards. How many graduate students have given undergrads a higher mark than they deserve simply because they don’t want the student to come back and hassle them? 3) by naming names, the refereeing process becomes politicized – and, by consequence, could leak into the granting process. If professor X turns down my paper for what I perceive as incorrect reasons, how likely am I to be favorable to prof. X if his grant proposal lands on my desk? 4) for this reason, the power of the “old boys club” would likely increase, not decrease. Who wants to piss off a powerful professor by refusing his paper? J(coment #7) had it right.What is the cost-benefit ratio here? Would all of these changes really make JACS a higher quality journal? Would they still prevent a clever fraud? I think the answer is no.
  18. Paul Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 10:28 am 1) I already ceded this point. 2) If a referee rolls over and accepts a bad paper from a heavy hitter, everyone will see what is going on and the referee will be exposed as a sycophant. And stop giving undergrads grades they don’t deserve. 3) The grant and referee processes are already politicized, and it’s not like one referee alone prevents a paper from being published. The professor would have to hold it against 1-3 referees and an associate editor. Grant decisions don’t hinge on a single professor’s opinion, either. 4) I disagree. Grow a spine and be honest in your evaluations.
  19. J Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 10:52 am In regards to your point #3, I’m afraid you are wrong. A recent grant submitted to the NSF received two outstanding and one good. (or three outstanding and one good…) A single reviewer prevented the funding.The reviewing process is WAY less political but is WAY more susceptible to politics than you give it credit for being…
  20. Paul Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 11:49 am It’s not that simple. In addition to the written reviews, there is a study section that discusses everything. And “outstanding” does not equal “fund”. The proposals are given numerical rankings and then a funding cutoff is made.
  21. J Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 12:49 pm Sorry, not outstanding, the rating is “excellent”.I think you may be mistaken on how the NSF reviews grants. There are no study sections for the NSF. They send out your grant application to reviewers who grade your work and grade it as anything from poor to excellent. A program officer supposedly weighs in and makes the final call from these reviews, but you know who your program officer is and that’s a totally transparent process. In any case, one reviewer was sufficient to derail the grant application.
  22. J Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 12:52 pm Errr… I mean to say “In any case, one reviewer is sufficient to derail the grant application.”
  23. Bunsen Honeydew Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 1:03 pm I agree that journal subscription reates are obscene! Given the prevelence and cost (a colour printer and ink is drastically less than a year of JACS) of colour printers now, I think the print edition could be abandoned. At that point we are talking hardware, bandwidth and geeks keep it running. That’s a lot less than paper, printing presses (especially in light of declingin print subscription rates), ink and geeks to keep them running, not to mention postage (what is it? $2 a issue? That’s $100 a year!). To quote Egon from Ghostbusters (a.k.a. Harold Ramis), “Print is dead”. The fewer people who subscribe the more expensive it gets so fewer people subscribe. The downward spiral has started.I am sick of seeing virtually the same stuff from big name labs over and over and over again in JACS. New twists on, and extensions of previously published work at some point must to be “demoted” to Organic Letters. I find that JACS plays the name game to the point of disgust. Although, I will concede that it is better now than a year or two ago. For my money, JACS is most certainly not the best journal out there. I would rather spend my time reading Angewandte Chemie. It’s more dynamic (reviews and highlights), more worldly, and not so annoyingly USA-and-Japan-o-centric. Just don’t get me started about how much a print subscription costs! What a farce that is!
  24. Paul Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 2:20 pm I was thinking NIH. NSF does do things more like a journal, where reviwers=referees and program officers=editors.
  25. The real world Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 4:29 pm It’s just a fact of life that in almost any situation, whether it’s refereeing a paper or otherwise, there are very few people who will tell you exactly what they really think about you or your labors if they are not shielded by anonymity. It’s a shame, because the world would be a better place if more people spoke their mind – it just doesn’t work that way…
  26. Liquidcarbon Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 5:04 pm There was a note saying that starting from 2007 authors can pay extra so that their paper would be available for everyone. Isn’t it the first step to public access? If I were PI, I would pay for that. This kind of information must be free.
  27. Paul Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 6:37 pm The new ACS “AuthorChoice” option will cost you anywhere from $1000-$3000. Are you willing to pay that to have your article be open access? It’s (yet another) rip-off courtesy of the ACS.We should start the Grassroots Journal of Chemistry. It will be Web-only (no print edition), free to publish, open access, and peer reviewed, where “peer reviewed” means reviewed by a panel of nit-picking, anal, sarcastic grad students on the Internet.
  28. Nathan Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 8:46 pm “It is more reasonable to have the submission be anonymous”Best idea I’ve heard. Also, you might consider axing reviewers with collaborations in Pharma. I’ve never known a well-funded Prof. that would not sell his mother, much less sell out a competitor’s paper, for some more cash.
  29. Wolfie Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 9:33 pm The nice thing about experimental chemistry is, you have a simple idea, you go to the lab, run the reaction under more or less defined conditions (that’s the point, I guess), and it tells you it does not work. Life is unfortunately more complex, for fakers, revolutionists, and even for experimental blog editors.
  30. Ψ*Ψ Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 10:13 pm In theory, you could say “it works, or it doesn’t.”
    In practice…yeah, you’re right, usually it doesn’t.
  31. Kyle Finchsigmate Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 10:17 pm I’ve been sitting here trying to come up with something witty.Dammit.I’ll let you know if I think up anything.
  32. Wolfie Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 11:07 pm “Don’t sit, but stand up, and do ! Free men will achieve or endure, or both”quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, FDR, or both
  33. carmen Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 10:45 am have you ever brought up pubchem in the blog(s), paul? what’re your thoughts on it?
  34. aa Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 11:42 am “It is more reasonable to have the submission be anonymous”When Prof. Stang gave a talk at my school last year, I asked him if JACS/ACS would ever adopt such a policy. His answer was that it is not necessary since their is no bias in the system. “JACS has rejected papers from every living chemistry Nobel Prize winner” was his evidence that who you are makes no difference to getting papers accepted. Of course he did not say “JACS has accepted papers from every chemist you’ve never heard of”, so maybe both sides of the coin aren’t equal.In regards to the cost of journal access, I asked Prof. Stang when JACS would move to a web-only version and cut the paper copies to save costs. He said that would not happen for a long time, basically b/c a lot of “older” profs don’t like the web and only read the paper version. By older I think he meant anyone born before 1970. So once those guys all retire in 2040, the costs should go down! I’m already planning what I’ll do with all that extra cash.
  35. Mitch Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 1:03 pm They won’t retire, you’ll have to wait until their dead.Mitch
  36. mederic Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 6:09 pm Agree with #23.Angewandte is a much better read than JACS. I get the feeling from JACS that some of the junior editors are too scared to reject papers from the bigger names for fear of alienating themselves. Chemistry is a close knit profession.Without naming names, the recent publication of one particular total synthesis in JACS has astonished many, including myself.
  37. joel Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 8:04 pm to #19.It isn’t fair to say that one person “prevented” funding from the NSF just by offering a “good” rating.
    These proposals are (and should be) rated on their percieved priority. If the reviewer saw other proposals
    that he/she thought were more worthy, can you blame them for their decision? Besides, offering a “good”
    rating is different from saying that it shouldn’t be funded. In a more generous funding cycle, a proposal with
    two “outstandings” and one “good” would probably get funded, but the resources are extremely limited.
    If this is your proposal, the only thing you can do is retool and resubmit.As for this journal business, If I Were A JACS Editor I Would get rid of the hard copy version of the journal
    and publish exclusively online. They are expensive to produce, which is passed on in the fees… and they are
    difficult to store.
  38. Mark C R UK Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 8:56 pm Milo says:
    “I have a real problem with the idea that the good science is only available to those with the cash to pay.”I agree with Milo, but I also think we need to fully strike the balance between GOOD SCIENCE and THE MOST OPEN ACCESS POSSIBLE.
  39. Mark C R UK Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 9:30 pm Something to think on:Instruction 14. for life, from the Dali LamaShare your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
  40. aa Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 9:50 pm #39… the dali Lhama also once said “Gunga… gunga lagunga”. Incidentally, I shall receive total consciousness when I die. So aside from chemistry, I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
  41. Mark C R UK Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 10:02 pm That is a rather moronic thing to say. Showing an enormous amount of cultural ignorance.Rather than flame on.I’ll follow the Dali’s lead, and forgive you.
  42. Paul Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 10:53 pm Spaulding, how many times have I spoken to you about your language? I’m having a party this weekend. How would you like to come over and mow my lawn?
  43. Paul Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 11:04 pm Carmen: I’ve never blogged on or needed to use PubChem. The site looks interesting.And regarding JACS vs. Angewandte, my opinion is still that JACS is of overall higher quality. That said, both journals are must-reads.
  44. aa Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 11:14 pm Mark C R UKNo offense meant. Was quoting the all-time great film Caddyshack. Try to find the scene on Youtube. Impossible not to laugh.
  45. aa Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 11:50 pm Very nice Paul… they don’t make comedies like that anymore. I die a little inside every time I think that the same people who made Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane, and Naked Gun also made Epic/Date Movie.
  46. European Chemist Says:
    March 10th, 2007 at 8:12 am My two cents on the issue.JACS is, in my opinion, an extremely biased journal.
    a) Although it has “Chemical” in its name, you can easily skim through an entire issue without seeing more than 50% chemistry (the rest being biology and genetics). And don’t give me the crap of “Multidisciplinarity”.
    b) Big-name American professors have it in their hands; anything submitted by them will be accepted in less than 10 days. Just check the “submission” and “acceptance” dates on ANY paper by a Big-name American (by the way this holds true for Org Lett too). Send it from here and it will take at least 1 month to hear back from the Editor. Can’t really understand why since e-mails don’t take longer from the US to Europe.
    c) even upstart Americans have it easy. Some less-than-exciting work has been sistematically published there without really being excellent. You get the feeling that JACS really likes beefing-up the careers of some people. Sames was probably one of these cases which ended badly.
    d) I’d love to do the following experiment: take a total synthesis of Yourpreferedmacrolide and submit it from a less well-known European group. Make sure your Supporting Info is perfect and that everything is more than acceptable. Chances that it will be refused at JACS FOR NO VALID REASON: 80%. Then just submit it again from an American big-shot’s lab and watch it get accepted in a week or so.We’ve had referees rejecting top-class work in JACS without any valid reason. We’ve had referees presenting a list with 45 mistakes in the Supporting Information from which 43 of them simply DID NOT EXIST (but still persisting that they were there). We’ve had referees rejecting our papers because “the chemistry is really not that unexpected”, since apparently they could have drawn the same reactions on paper (?!) We’ve even had a case where the paper still could be accepted (in spite of some anti-european bastards) but one of these frustrated guys wrote to the editor later saying he was appalled to see the work get published because HE DIDN’T BELIEVE THAT THE CHEMISTRY REPORTED WORKS (shocking at least).
    And you still think that people that do this should remain anonymous?If you want to change JACS, you’ll have to change a lot more than editorial policies, Paul.
  47. Journals « Chemical Musings Says:
    March 27th, 2007 at 7:52 pm […] There was a lengthy discussion over at Chembark a while ago regarding JACS, open access articles and journals in general. Rather than comment every 3 minutes over at Paul’s blog, I thought I would take a minute to opine over here. […]
  48. Milo Muroski Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 1:37 pm Post 46. I have worked in both Europe and the US. I am currently an assistant prof. in the US and I have just sumbitted 2 JACS comms. While working for a Big Shot in Europe, who had moved there from the US, we got a A. chemie paper accepted without revisions in 7 days. About 6 months later another member of that group got a crap paper accepted in A. Chemie in 48 hrs without revisions. Those two papers would not have been accepted in JACS. Weather the group was in the US or Europe. My JACS comm got reviewed in 1 month and I am stil waiting to hear about the other one. In my opinion A. Chemie is more political than JACS because it is only run by 1 main and 1 assistant editor who deal with all of the manuscripts. JACS, however, has about 15 assistant editors that deal with the reveiws, Stang’s office just sends them out. The bottom line is if you are getting squeezed in JACS by the assistant editor you can just send it to another one whereas in A.Chemie you cannot do that. But they are both political and the big shots give more talks than regular Prof’s so they are more politically connected and get an easier ride in getting a paper accepted.
  49. Everyday Scientist Says:
    April 11th, 2007 at 12:58 am blog roundup for march/april…So I haven’t been perfect at this blog-roundup thing, but here’s another:Biocurious’ molecule of the month: Clathrin (for April) and zinc-fingers (for March)
    Kyle at The Chem Blog lists some stupid things to do in lab
    Propter Doc ha…
  50. Bryan Vickery Says:
    November 13th, 2007 at 10:10 am Many of the suggestions you’ve made are already in operation elsewhere. You don’t have to look far, but you should certainly think further than the boundaries of JACS. The suggestion of reviewer/author ratings is a difficult one, and I think we need to start with some kind of universal author identifier which would make submission to journals (all, not just JACS) easier, allow readers to quickly disambiguate authors, see where the author worked before, or after the article was published, and – yes, whether they are dead.Nobody has yet picked up on your rather US centered approach to commenting on articles. JACS authors and readers come from all corners, not just America – but not all/many foreign researchers are members of the American Chemical Society/visit ACS meetings or have the desire to visit DC to have their photo taken. Also, many who may wish to comment or add new insight are probably not chemists. Only allowing ACS members or those who have registered a DNA sample to post comments is ridiculously limiting.Which leads me on to my final point … what does the ACS or JACS have to gain by moving to an open access model? The ACS could recover the costs of publishing JACS through article charges, and this would allow everyone free and unhindered access to read and build upon the research. Isn’t it the mission of a learned society to promote research in its field, and foster communication and innovation? Would authors pay? Don’t be fooled by this – your institution is already paying huge amounts of money for you to access content published in subscription journals. The money for this comes from somewhere, and probably includes a provision taken from your grants. More more is already in the system than is needed, it’s simply in the wrong place!
  51. stork naked Says:
    November 13th, 2007 at 11:18 am while JACS has gone material science and more of applied chemical engineering, at least they didn’t have the Mulzer-gate that Angew. did
  52. Willyoubemine Says:
    November 13th, 2007 at 6:08 pm what is mulzer gate?
  53. stork naked Says:
    November 13th, 2007 at 7:34 pm 52. mulzer-gate is total synthesis deja-vu…

2 Responses to “If I Were the Editor of JACS…”

  1. ChemBark’s First Spokesmodel | ChemBark Says:

    […] Ian can’t talk, but he has other ways of using his mouth to communicate opinions. Here’s a photo snapped after he read my post about what I’d do if I were the editor of JACS: […]

  2. Some Thoughts on Ads | ChemBark Says:

    […] to referees, editorial decisions, and reader comments—is signed and available online. That post was from 2007. What is the delay, people? Let’s make this […]

Leave a Reply