Monday, September 25, 2017

ACS Publications has cancelled individual subscriptions to ACS journals

From an e-mail to ACS members:
In order to better serve you, we have changed the subscriptions options for ACS Member Universal Access. We are now offering twice as many downloads at no charge.  You can now download 50 articles or book chapters from any ACS Journal or eBook, as well as the C&EN Archives.  Articles or chapters downloaded past the first 50 will now cost $25 per article or chapter.

Your weekly subscription to C&EN magazine will of course continue with no changes, and it remains available both in print and electronically. You'll also continue to receive significant savings on open access publishing, discounts on ACS books, and special members-only pricing for Articles on Command.  However, individual subscriptions to our ACS Journals will be discontinued as of January 1st.  (emphasis CJ's) For more information about these changes, please visit

Why are we discontinuing the purchase of ACS Journals for Members?  We continually assess the member benefits in order to make sure we are providing the most value to the broadest base of our members.  An assessment of usage behaviors among members show that not only do they require broader access to ACS's entire portfolio of journals, members also required more than the annual 25 downloads we traditionally provided.  Many members augmented this through additional purchases. By increasing the ACS Member Universal Access benefit to 50 articles per year, we can reduce the additional expense of purchasing journals for the majority of our members. 
I think it's rather odd that they cancelled the individual subscriptions. Here's the math, courtesy of Prof. Scott Silverman:
2x as many free downloads (old 25, new 50), but then price per goes from $12 to $25. New system costs more starting at 74 downloads.
I don't know how this affects people overall. I suspect there were not that many people purchasing individual subscriptions to begin with, but I suspect that smaller companies were purchasing individual subscriptions to key journals to save some money. 


  1. What has irked me for years is that electronic C&EN (no printing or mailing expense) is not discounted relative to the print version.

  2. Hate the decision. Prefer dead-tree journals for reading, especially for long articles and theme-issues such as those found in Accounts of Chemical Research and Chemical Reviews, to which I have subscribed personally. At least they are keeping C&E News subscriptions in print? I am surely not alone in finding the physical versions much more convenient for reading "en crappeur" than on a device...

    1. I think you would find yourself relatively alone if you digest literature in the form of hard copies. I rarely see journal issues in print form, only when they were souvenirs of authorship. Sometimes it is good to read hard copy, particularly review articles, but that is where a printer comes in handy.

  3. Doesn't make a difference one way or the other. Thanks, Sci-Hub!

  4. I got an email from ACS that they've already changed their mind about the individual subscriptions.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20