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Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

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Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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March 6, 2013

Open Access For ACS Articles?

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Posted by Derek

Rich Apodaca investigates something that I didn't know, either: that the ACS provides the corresponding authors of papers with links to their articles, which (1) allow for fifty free downloads during the first year after publication, and (2) allow for unlimited free downloads after that. I thought about that for a while, and couldn't remember any examples of such a link, not that I'd noticed, at any rate.

Apodaca's having trouble reducing it to practice, too. He has been trying to get such a link for one of his own papers in J. Med. Chem., and . . .well, his post will tell you about all the places he's looked so far. Let's just say that the ACS does not make it obvious where a corresponding author is supposed to obtain such a URL. Has anyone out there tried this, and has anyone had any success?

Comments (12) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: The Scientific Literature


1. Benjamin on March 6, 2013 8:25 AM writes...

Do you manage to get full text through this link ?

If yes, the link is in ACS Paragon under 'ACS Articles on Request' in 'recently published papers'.

Keep me posted, if it works, you can just put a link on a public webpage and 50 clicks is quite a lot in my opinion.

Permalink to Comment

2. David Borhani on March 6, 2013 10:01 AM writes...

ACS is a nonprofit organization, chartered by Congress in part for the public welfare (see p. 2 of the ACS governance document). I believe that the general public should be allowed unlimited access to older ACS content. Set a reasonable time frame (e.g., older than 1 year, or a few years) to recoup costs. After that, open access.

I find the half-measures that ACS has instituted for member access to publications frustrating:

Online access to any 25 articles from all ACS Journals, ACS Symposium Series e-Books, and C&EN Archives is included with your annual membership.

When I want to access an old JACS or JOC article, say from the 1950s or earlier, I have to jump through many hoops to obtain the article. Luckily, as a member, I have those hoops to jump through. What about non-members who want to research something, or just want to educate themselves?

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3. SuperScienceGrl on March 6, 2013 10:11 AM writes...

I've seen this a few times so it definitely exists...

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4. SuperScienceGrl on March 6, 2013 10:12 AM writes...

I've seen this a few times so it definitely exists...

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5. InfMP on March 6, 2013 12:19 PM writes...

The link is there when you publish, but I don't know why anyone would need it.

It was a lot better when they used to give you free reprints in full color on nice paper (stopped in mid 2008).
That was amazing.

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6. PUI prof on March 6, 2013 1:31 PM writes...

ACS members are supposed to get some number of free downloads each year also. I have tried without luck to download any for free.

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7. Half-Hearted on March 6, 2013 2:02 PM writes...

If the ACS wanted to provide easy access to articles one year after publication they would provide a live link to the full article on the site. To require the corresponding author to post or email a "reprint" link (50 free the first year then unlimited after one year) is just a way to make it more difficult and unlikely. There is no problem finding a link to the "Pay per Article" site.

Since peer reviewed journals rely on referees as a prerequisite to publication, perhaps it is time for a little "quid pro quo". If articles are not made available after a reasonable length of time as suggested in Comment #2, then perhaps referees should not give their services away either.

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8. Teddy Z on March 6, 2013 3:26 PM writes...

@#6. It works, but you have to be logged in to use it and ACS does NOT keep you logged in or remember you ever. Trust me I have tried. However, if you find a paper you want, click on the link, login, then in fine print somewhere it will say do you want to use one of your 25 free papers this year. Then you get it. Don't waste it on ASAP articles though, wait until they are in print.

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9. KNP on March 6, 2013 4:02 PM writes...

I just had a paper published in Org Lett and they provided the weblink for the 50 free e-prints (link to be used on a personal website) in an email when the article went live on ASAP...

Also agree with Benjamin, the weblink can be found on ACS Paragon through "ACS Articles on Request" after clicking "recently published articles"

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10. Rich Apodaca on March 6, 2013 4:33 PM writes...

Benjamin, your link just redirects me to a paywall. Logging in does not give me access to the paper.

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11. Handles on March 6, 2013 6:27 PM writes...

I use the ACS member benefits free papers. Sometimes when you log in, the paywall is still there, but I find reloading the page after logging in usually fixes it.

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12. anon on June 3, 2013 3:52 PM writes...

The page says that ACS has restored functionality to the Articles on Demand (where the author links for articles come from).

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