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When ChemistryOpen launched in 2011, it was the first society‐owned fully open‐access (OA) general chemistry journal. Back then, although progress had already been made in OA publishing within fields like physics and biology, the reception of OA within the chemistry community was still rather lukewarm. Fully OA general chemistry journals were uncommon, and a lot of researchers and their institutions were uncertain about their stance on the emerging publishing model.
Nowadays, the OA publishing landscape in chemistry is much more crowded, and the attitude towards OA in the scientific chemistry community is improving. Purely OA journals such as ChemistryOpen with an “author pays” model (so‐called gold open access) have become more common, though the term “author pays” is somewhat misleading given the number of funders and institutions with direct deals with publishers and journals for OA publishing, such as the Wiley Open Access Accounts program. More traditional subscription journals are adopting increasingly accommodating green open access policies (also known as self‐archiving), where the accepted version is archived online (typically in a subject‐based repository such as PubMed Central) by the author after an embargo period, and it is common for a subscription journal to offer a gold OA option, such as Wiley's OnlineOpen service. In recent years, we have even seen established subscription‐based journals in chemistry being “flipped” to a gold open‐access model.
The push for OA is coming predominantly from institutions, funding agencies, and governments, which are issuing detailed OA policies encouraging or even requiring OA publication of research results. Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States are among the most vocal proponents of OA, though policies vary greatly.
Throughout all the changes in the OA publishing landscape within chemistry over the past five years, ChemistryOpen has held its own. It continues to publish excellent articles in all fields of chemistry, many of which are highly cited by experts in the community (Table 1). One of the great advantages of an OA journal is that articles can be accessed and read by anyone, anytime and anywhere around the world. It is worth noting that although ChemistryOpen is still a relatively small journal, its articles are some of the most accessed among the whole ChemPubSoc Europe family of journals (www.chempubsoc.eu)—a testament to the benefits of publishing OA.
Of course, deciding to publish in a gold OA journal like ChemistryOpen isn't the easiest decision for some authors due to the associated article publication charge (APC). While it is increasingly common to include funding for APCs in a grant application, not all authors have funds available to meet the costs associated with OA publishing. That said, there are numerous discounts and waivers available to ChemistryOpen authors.
These discounts and waivers are summarized on the journal's homepage here: www.ChemistryOpen.org/charges. Authors might also be interested to read the 2013 Editorial by ChemistryOpen Co‐Editors‐in‐Chief Drs. Karen Hindson and Haymo Ross entitled “Show Me the Money! How, as a Chemist, Can I Find Funding for Open‐Access Publishing?” (DOI: 10.1002/open.201200047).
2015 was a landmark year for ChemistryOpen with regard to its submission and publication figures, its new impact factor, and its involvement in the scientific community.
June 2015 saw an end to the “free‐to‐publish” promotion, which started in July 2014 to celebrate ChemistryOpen′s first (partial) impact factor (IF). The first IF and the promotion led to a sharp increase in submissions and, consequently, the number of articles published. In 2015, ChemistryOpen published 53 Full Papers, 24 Communications, 7 Reviews, and 9 Thesis Summaries—a 220% increase in published articles over 2014. This increase in volume has not hampered our publication times, as our continually‐improving workflows have allowed us to make decisions and publish papers even quicker than before (Figure 1).
Given the high quality of papers published in ChemistryOpen, alongside the wide reach afforded by OA, it did not come as a surprise when the journal received an impressive first full IF of 3.25 (ISI Journal Citation Report 2015, Thomson Reuters). Excellent articles from top researchers all over the world have contributed significantly to the journal′s first full IF.
ChemistryOpen was particularly active within the scientific community in 2015. The journal participated in two worldwide events in October: Peer Review Week 2015 and the 8th Open Access Week. For these two celebrations, ChemistryOpen was active on social media with posts about peer review and open access, and it supported two successful online seminars from Wiley Exchanges entitled “Trust and Transparency in Peer Review” and “Your Route to Open Access: 5 Steps to Success”.
ChemistryOpen Editors were also busy throughout 2015 travelling to conferences and visiting institutions to promote the journal, alongside other ChemPubSoc Europe sister journals. A stand‐out event in 2015 was the 1st International Caparica Christmas Congress on Translational Chemistry (IC3TC, www.ic3tc2015.com), held in Portugal in December. ChemistryOpen supported this conference, co‐organized by Editorial Advisory Board member Prof. Carlos Lodeiro Espiño (BIOSCOPE Group, PROTEOMASS Scientific Society, Universidade Nova de Lisboa), by promoting it and sponsoring four poster awards (Figure 2). Dr. David Peralta, ChemistryOpen’s Associate Editor, also gave a talk, sharing some insights on best practices in publishing.
In the coming year, ChemistryOpen looks forward to supporting more meetings. Already in the pipeline is a collaboration with the 2016 Congress of the Organometallic Specialized Group of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (XXXIV GEQO), to be held in Girona (Spain) from September 7th–9th, 2016 (www.geqo2016.com).
As a multidisciplinary journal, ChemistryOpen covers all aspects of chemistry and its subdisciplines. The journal also features specialized Virtual Issues that seek to highlight particular areas within the chemical sciences of current interest and importance. In 2015, ChemistryOpen published its third Virtual Issue, this time focusing on Carbohydrates in the 21st Century: Synthesis and Applications. This issue was capped nicely with an Editorial (DOI: 10.1002/open.201500184) from Guest Editor Prof. Antony Fairbanks (University of Canterbury, New Zealand). In 2016, we look forward to completing a fourth Virtual Issue on Nature‐Inspired Organic Chemistry, with Guest Editor Prof. Oliver Reiser (University of Regensburg, Germany). This Virtual Issue is still open to new submissions, and researchers wishing to contribute to this or future Virtual Issues should contact the Editorial Office via e‐mail for further details.
The ChemistryOpen Thesis Treasury has also grown in the past years. This feature, unique to ChemistryOpen, allows scientists to “browse” doctoral research like never before, making the results more discoverable and citable. As more Thesis Summaries are published in 2016, readers can expect an improved layout, including the addition of subcategories for easier browsing. Those who want to read the Thesis Summaries or wish to contribute their own should visit the Thesis Treasury section on the ChemistryOpen website www.chemistryopen.org.
It is no secret that social media now plays a key role in the dissemination of news—readers are increasingly using social media to hear about new articles, learn about new topics in their field, and interact with the scientific community. There are many options for readers to follow exciting developments in science. ChemistryOpen is active on both Facebook (www. facebook.com/chemistryopen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/chemistryopen), now with 5605 likes and 604 followers, respectively, as of January 25th, 2016. Acknowledging the importance of social media and to further promote the excellent work published in ChemistryOpen, all articles published in the journal are actively promoted using Facebook and Twitter, as well as on ChemistryViews (www.chemistryviews.org), the ChemPubSoc Europe online magazine.
Since 2014, the ChemistryOpen app has been available for iPads and iPhones, and soon, an app will be released for Android users as well. The app is free to download and of course, all articles are fully open access—free to read anywhere anytime; more information can be found here: www.chemistry open.mobi.
For this 5th Anniversary Volume, we look forward to receiving and publishing more excellent work covering all topics in chemistry. Our authors and readers can also expect to see more of ChemistryOpen as we continue to interact with the open access community and reach out to authors in conferences and workshops all over the world.
We encourage everyone to get further involved with ChemistryOpen—subscribe via the journal homepage to our RSS feed or New Content Alerts, download our mobile app to access ChemistryOpen on the go, share our articles with your colleagues, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, keep an eye out for our Editors at conferences, and most importantly submit your next top manuscript to us!
On behalf of the entire ChemistryOpen Editorial Team, we thank all of our board members, reviewers, authors, and readers for their support over the last five years. We look forward to the next five successful years of excellent chemistry.
Dr. David Peralta
Dr. Natalia Ortúzar
D. Peralta, N. Ortúzar, ChemistryOpen 2016, 5, 7.