The American Chemical Society (ACS) has joined the Society Publishers’ Coalition (SocPC). SocPC is a group of like-minded, nonprofit, learned societies, publishers, and charities that publish as part of their charitable goals and reinvest the surplus from their publications in the disciplinary communities they serve. As the open access movement grows, SocPC members seek to steer the shift in publishing models so that their nonprofit activities are sustained, continue to serve their research communities, while promoting the broadest dissemination of research articles.
As a scientific society and non-profit organization, we are proud to be part of SocPC. ACS has a long history of philanthropic activity, as do all other societies dealing with SocPC.
The ACS Project SEED (Summer Experiences for the Disadvantaged) program is a paid summer internship for high school students. Through this program, students have the opportunity to work with scientists in real laboratories, learn about careers in chemistry, and receive mentoring in college preparation and career development. The SEED project has served over 11,000 students, many of whom have continued their careers as chemists.
ACS also funds researchers through a variety of philanthropic programs. The ACS Scholarship Program awards over $ 1 million annually to over 300 students from renewable scholarship funds for students from historically underrepresented groups in the chemical sciences with a focus on chemistry and intent on pursuing careers in chemistry. ACS also awards more than $ 20 million in research grants each year to researchers involved in the development of agriculture, medicinal inorganic chemistry, green chemistry research, and many more. Scholarships are also given to high school chemistry teachers so they can improve their classroom offering and stimulate interest in chemistry in their students.
In addition to direct funding of grants and fellowships, ACS directs its resources towards activities that enrich and empower chemical and publishing companies. As a founding member of ChemRxiv, the leading preprint server for chemistry, ACS pioneered one of the fundamental open scientific resources in chemistry. ACS works with its sister companies to maintain and continuously improve ChemRxiv for the benefit of chemists everywhere.
Peer review is essential to the integrity of academic communication and ACS provides significant support for this important activity. ACS’s Peer Review Lab is a free peer reviewer training course that provides instructions on all elements of the peer review process. ACS also recently launched the ACS Author Lab, which offers authors training in scientific communication.
As the field of academic publishing shifts towards open access, we look forward to working with other SocPC members on innovative solutions to ensure philanthropic activities like that of ACS continue.