Organic Letters Tests News Ways to Stem Pricing Debate

Article excerpt

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has announced the release of what it claims is the first scientific journal designed to stem a contentious debate over subscription prices in scholarly publishing. Called Organic Letters, the new journal publishes peer-reviewed research in organic chemistry and aims to distribute research results faster and at significantly less cost than existing journals-about two-thirds less than the higher-priced journals in its category.

In recent years, researchers and academic librarians across the U.S. have protested against spiraling journal-subscription prices, which can cost many thousands of dollars. As a result, libraries have begun canceling subscriptions, a move that has driven some publishers' prices even higher.

A nonprofit publisher, the American Chemical Society is the first major publisher to agree to work with research libraries to offer new journals at more accessible prices. Organic Letters is the first of three journals that ACS will publish under a collaboration with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), through its Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). The coalition's 166 academic libraries, with a combined purchasing power of over $750 million, have agreed to support the publication of Organic Letters.

"From pricing to peer-review, Organic Letters is an extraordinarily important journal, not only in itself, but because it is testing innovations that could change the face of research publishing," said Robert D. Bovenschulte, director of ACS's publishing efforts.

Over 35 articles are already available electronically at http:/pubs.acs.org/OrgLet. The print version of Organic Letters is expected to debut this month. …

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