(10 August 2016, Washington) The American Chemical Society (ACS) today announced its intention to form ChemRxiv, a chemistry preprint server for the global chemistry community, proposed as a collaborative undertaking that will facilitate the open dissemination of important scientific findings. The Society is presently in the process of inviting interested stakeholders to participate in helping to shape the service ahead of its anticipated launch.
“ChemRxiv is expected to follow the established models of arXiv in physics and bioRxiv in the life sciences by enabling researchers working across diverse areas of inquiry to share early results and data with their scientist-colleagues ahead of formal peer review and publication,” says Kevin Davies, Ph.D., who, as Vice President within the ACS Publications Division, will be spearheading the effort as part of a joint undertaking with the Society’s Chemical Abstracts Service. “Preprints are fully citable and are freely accessible preliminary communications, aimed to advance the pace of scientific discovery and information dissemination. The chemistry community has a growing interest in such open sharing to aid researchers in establishing recognition and priority for their research discoveries, while also providing a mechanism to elicit informal feedback from other scientists to help in shaping their ongoing work.”
“The ACS is advancing the concept for ChemRxiv, as doing so aligns with key aspects of our Society’s mission and goals, notably the advancement of science through the dissemination of indispensable chemistry-related information worldwide,” says Thomas Connelly Jr., Ph.D., ACS Executive Director and CEO. “Furthermore, in keeping with our mission of service to the global chemistry community, the American Chemical Society recognizes there is considerable merit in pursuing ChemRxiv as a multi-organization venture — with an eye toward interoperability with various sources of chemistry-related information. Accordingly, we invite interested parties to become potential co-organizers and sponsors, and will be engaging in a broad consultation to help shape the scope, governance and operating principles for ChemRxiv as a collaborative endeavor.”
From initial market research and expert feedback, including advice and encouragement from editors-in-chief of ACS Journals, the Society has identified broad support for the launch of a chemistry preprint server. Over the coming months, and in collaboration with potential partners, a full evaluation will be completed to ensure ChemRxiv supports the specific needs of the chemistry-research and publishing community.
“An ACS-sponsored chemistry preprint server would be an important and forward-looking contribution to the global community and to science,” says Laura Kiessling, Ph.D., Steenbock Professor of Chemistry and the Laurens Anderson Professor of Biochemistry, Director of the Keck Center for Chemical Genomics at the University of Wisconsin and the Editor-in-Chief of ACS Chemical Biology.
“Conceptually, preprint servers could solve one problem we face today in academic publishing related to peer review,” says Paul Alivisatos, University of California, Berkeley’s Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Director of the Kavli Energy Nanosciences Institute and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Nano Letters. “By its nature, peer review can be a trade-off between time and quality. The availability of a chemistry preprint server would provide researchers a speedy mechanism by which to share their results and data, and would, in turn, allow peer reviewers and journal editors to focus their efforts on assessing the scientific accuracy and quality of research articles prior to formal journal publication. … Given the popularity of preprint servers in physics and now biology, chemistry will have a preprint server. It is a positive move by the ACS to foster this initiative in this way,” Alivisatos affirmed.
The announcement in full is here.