Friday, January 31, 2014

Why Aren't Correction Articles Free?

Update (1/31/14) - Tweet from ACS Publications:
This morning, a friend pointed out an interesting bit of data in a recent Organometallics Correction article. I clicked on over, only to find myself stuck behind the ACS Pubs paywall:

$35.00! This left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and an obvious follow-on question: Why aren't Correction articles free? Are they peer-reviewed? (Don't think so). Do they contain amazing scientific advances? (Not usually).

Here's the correction process at a few other publishers, for comparison:

Angewandte Chemie Int'l Edition

Nature Publishing
What's the deal, ACS?


  1. Tweet from several days from now: @SeeArrOh We decided not to remove the paywall for corrections as our office is in need of a new Ferrari.

  2. I always found that weird. Especially when I'd already paid for the original article, paying for the correction just stuck in my throat a little. (or a lot).

  3. The biggest question is why there corrections are not molded into the article itself — either as red ink or whatever.

  4. I am glad that you are bringing this up; it has bothered me as well. I had noticed too that other publishers provide the corrections for free. It would be useful if they changed this policy.

  5. Check out the swag of corrections in Org Lett this morning by Fukuyama et al for doctored NMR spectra..
    Amos Smith III is certainly keeping true to his word as Editor in Chief

  6. How else is a non-profit supposed to make any money these days???

    1. ACS is out to make money just like everyone else. Profits from a given year are put into investments to make. That is not to say that the ACS won't put that money back out into the society, but don't be blind to the money making part of the ACS.

    2. The correction should be bundled with the original article (for the electronic copy). something like a red box at the front and then the correction itself at the end. Has the benefit of both new readers seeing the correction for sure and for buyers of getting the correction along with the purchase. Of course this locks out people who bought the article before the correction. Proabably easier just to make corrections free.