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Cheap Chemistry Journal

The first fruit of a collaboration between libraries and scientific publishers to rein in soaring journal costs will be a journal tentatively called Organic Chemistry Letters, the American Chemical Society (ACS) announced today. To start as a monthly and evolve into a weekly, it will debut in mid-1999.

ACS is the first publisher to join up with a group called SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), a U.S.-Canadian group established last year by the Association of Research Libraries. The journal will "not be just imitation but superior to" competitors--namely Elsevier's $8000-a-year weekly, Tetrahedron Letters--says ACS publications director Robert Bovenschulte. The ACS product will cost $2300 a year. As with other ACS journals, there will be an online version and papers will be put on the Web within 2 days of final acceptance.

SPARC chair Kenneth Frazier of the University of Wisconsin Libraries says the 81-library group will deliver a ready market as most are "expected" to subscribe to journals arising from the new collaboration.