Vol. 23, No. 6
A Hard Copy Journal of Organic Chemistry Freely Available on the Web
by Prof. Alan R. Katritzky
ARKIVOC (Archive for Organic Chemistry) was conceived in an attempt
to alleviate a number of adverse trends in the practice and publication
of organic chemistry, which are particularly acute in countries of the
second and the third world. These include the following:
- Increasing difficulty for researchers in accessing the primary
chemical literature because of the increasing cost of journals. The
costs of some of the leading journals of organic chemistry are given
in Table 1. Even in Western Europe and North America, and in major
universities, libraries face severe difficulties with their budgets.
- Increasing difficulties for authors to publish their work in journals
that are widely available. The pressure on library budgets caused
by point 1 above has recently led to the disappearance (often by amalgamation)
of many second rank (and some first rank!) journals. The amalgamated
journals are accepting only the best, the most novel of research that
is carried out. Other sound work is now often published in a third
rank journal (e.g., a university journal with low distribution) or
not at all.
- Increasing needs for equipment, starting materials, infrastructure,
etc., which cause shortages of funds for actual research. This point
is so self-evident that no further explanation is required.
- The potential for random testing by high through-put screening of
compounds prepared during research projects with completely different
objectives. Several commercial organizations are already collecting
specimens worldwide and selling them to pharmaceutical companies and
other interested organizations. While these efforts are undoubtedly
of considerable value to the recipient organizations, the proportion
of the gross income returned to the producers of the compounds is
often a fraction of the selling price.
1 Prices (in USD for 2000) and pages per annum (approximate) of
leading journals in organic chemistry.
of Organic Chemistry 1626/10,000
Organic Letters 2403/4000
Journal of Chemical Society, Perkin I 1843/4000
Journal of Chemical Society, Perkin II 1535/2500
Tetrahedron Letters 8859/10,000
European J. of Organic Chemistry 2698/5000
numbers are given for the year 2000. Prices reflect costs for year
2000 in countries other than that of the producer for an institutional
subscription. In making price comparisons, the different sizes of
pages and densities of printing need to be taken into consideration,
which has not been done.
The not-for-profit Archive for Analysis and Testing Foundation (ARKAT)
was created in an attempt to address simultaneously the four points
outlined above. We publish and circulate on the Internet a new freely
accessible journal: ARKIVOC (Archive for Organic Chemistry). The cost
of publishing ARKIVOC on the web will be met in a number of ways. We
solicit contributions from companies and granting organizations. We
hope to produce and sell hard copy issues of the journal at a later
date. We run the Florida Heterocyclic conferences (see
announcement) as an income-producing activity to support ARKIVOC.
ARKIVOC Submission and Processing of Manuscripts
All correspondence is handled electronically. After experimenting with
a more idealistic system, we rapidly moved to traditional anonymous
refereeing. Thus, all manuscripts are forwarded electronically to our
coordinating editor, A. John Boulton (detailed instructions are available
on the Web at www.arkat-usa.org),
who assigns two referees, a technical editor, and a scientific editor
to deal with each manuscript. The corresponding author is informed of
the name of the scientific editor. The referees and the technical editor
are sent the manuscript and name of the scientific editor to whom they
are asked to send their reports directly. The scientific editor is sent
the manuscript and the names of the referees and the technical editor.
If reports are not received within two weeks, the scientific editor
reminds the referee. After receipt of the referees' and the technical
editor's reports, the scientific editor can directly accept or reject
the paper. Normally, the scientific editor will communicate the referees'
and technical editor's reports (anonymously) to the author, who will
be asked to modify the paper as necessary. At any time, the scientific
editor may correspond further with the original or additional referees
or with the technical editor.
At present, our Editorial Board of Referees consists of 228 scientists
from 46 countries covering six continents. The Chairman of this Board
(George Newkome) maintains general contact with members. ARKIVOC now
has eight scientific editors, seven of whom handle general manuscripts;
two are in the United Kingdom (Chris Ramsden and Tom Gilchrist), two
are in continental Europe (Mike Begtrup and Joachim Schantl), two are
in the United States (Alan Marchand and Paul Krapcho), and one is in
India (G. S. Subba Rao). The eighth scientific editor (Eric Scriven)
deals with reviews and accounts. Spiros Grivas and Ramaiah Muthyala
are our technical editors. Accepted papers are forwarded by scientific
editors to the Publishing Editor (Eric Scriven), and, under his direction,
the manuscripts are given a uniform appearance and readied for online
display and search. HTML and PDF format manuscripts are prepared for
easy viewing, downloading, and printing.
Electronic and Hard Copy Publication of ARKIVOC
Issues of ARKIVOC are released onto the web site electronically as
soon as they are ready. The electronically released issues are formatted
precisely for convenient downloading and binding; thus, each issue has
an appropriate cover page, title page, and contents page. There are
no restrictions on (or charges for) downloading individual papers or
complete issues of ARKIVOC for scientific research purposes, for distribution
throughout the downloading organization, or for binding and placing
them in a library. However, any reproduction of ARKIVOC for sale or
for transfer to another commercial organization requires permission
from the ARKAT USA Foundation as publisher.
In due course, we hope to provide (for a fee) copies of the journal
issues ready for binding for the convenience of organizations (or individuals)
who so prefer.
Scientific Scope of ARKIVOC
ARKIVOC accepts submissions dealing with all branches of organic chemistry,
including physical organic, bioorganic, and organic materials chemistry.
The prime criteria for acceptance of manuscripts by ARKIVOC are soundness
and proper characterization of all compounds described (for detailed
instructions, see Web site). In addition to original papers, ARKIVOC
also publishes reviews and accounts (shorter, focused overviews). An
important objective of ARKIVOC is to ensure the permanent archival availability
of organic chemistry research results worldwide. Because of our cost-free
availability, ARKIVOC offers potentially wider dissemination of organic
chemical results than existing journals. ARKIVOC, which has no page
charges or costs for authors, offers equal opportunities for chemists
worldwide to make their results available to the widest possible audience.
Commemorative Issues of ARKIVOC
A secondary objective of ARKIVOC is to provide the opportunity to recognize
the achievements of chemists by means of commemorative issues. Such
commemorative issues are well known, but the chemists so honored currently
tend either to come from a small group of developed countries or to
receive dedicated issues in journals of relatively low circulation.
ARKIVOC seeks to honor distinguished chemists worldwide, particularly
those whose contributions have deserved wider recognition. Instructions
for suggesting names and the procedure for commemorative issues are
given on the web site. Suggestions can be made to Alan Katritzky, Chair
of the Commemorative Issues Committee of ARKIVOC. Progress with ARKIVOC
Substantial progress has been achieved with our journal. Volume 1, published
during 2000, comprises six issues containing 90 papers and totaling
over 1000 pages.
Our original objective of 100 papers totaling 1000 pages in year 2000
has thus been reached. We hope to achieve 200 papers with 2000 pages
in 2001. It is interesting to compare this success with the early years
of Tetrahedron. Tetrahedron's first three years were 1957
(384 pages for USD 17), 1958 (1138 pages for USD 51), and 1959 (1038
pages for USD 51).
Indexing and Abstracting of ARKIVOC
Each issue of ARKIVOC carries graphical abstracts of all papers in
that issue. It is planned that the text and structures in ARKIVOC will
be searchable electronically using authors' names and keywords. Chemical
Abstracts and Current Chemical Contents are already abstracting
Policy and Direction of ARKIVOC
ARKAT USA is managed by its Directors, in accordance with goals and
objectives set out in its charter. The promotion of ARKIVOC is one of
ARKAT USA's primary objectives. ARKIVOC has its own Control Board (Chair:
Charles Rees; Secretary: Chris Ramsden) consisting of the Coordinating
Editor, the Scientific Editors, the Technical Editors, Chair of the
Editorial Board of Referees, and Chair of the Commemorative Issues Committee.
A steering committee reporting to the ARKAT USA Board oversees day-to-day
activities of ARKIVOC and the Flohet conferences. Meetings of the steering
committee and available ARKIVOC Control Board members take place (often
at chemical conferences) at irregular intervals around the world; e.g.,
in 2000 such meetings were held in London (2), Florida, and Alexandria
(Egypt). Control Board members regularly send details of progress to
the Board Secretary, who coordinates these into a monthly report to
all Control Board members.
Other Activities of ARKAT USA
ARKAT USA exists to help scientists in general, and chemists in particular,
throughout the world and particularly in developing countries. Present
activities and those under consideration include the following:
- Organization of conferences.
- Provision of quality online educational resources to students,
to encourage interactive learning, help them with their course work,
and alleviate the acute shortage of qualified teachers for science
- Publishing useful reference materials for practicing chemists.
The first such publication, a dictionary of named reactions, compiled
by John Boulton and Purabi Devi, is now available in part from the
ARKAT USA Web site.
All those wishing to publish with ARKAT should visit the ARKAT USA
Web site for details.
We Need Your Help!
We hope that you will agree that ARKAT USA and the ARKIVOC journal
offer real help to chemists worldwide. If so, please help us in some
of the following ways (more details at http://www.arkat-usa.org):
- Submit a manuscript to our coordinating editor.
- Read and cite papers already published in ARKIVOC.
- Ask your library to download and bind the journal (no fee).
- Spread the word about ARKIVOC among your friends.
- Send comments or suggestions to any of the authors of this article.
- Please give ARKAT USA your support in our efforts to raise funds
for these projects.
- If you are affiliated with a corporation, please send us details
of whom we may contact for a financial donation and to discuss advertising
and product promotions on the ARKAT Web site.
The inception of ARKAT USA and ARKIVOC has been made possible by the
unpaid efforts of the ARKAT USA directors and the ARKIVOC editors and
referees and by an initial personal financial gift. We are now working
to put the organization on a selfsupporting basis, and we believe that
this goal can, indeed, be achieved to create a permanent ongoing organization
for the benefit both of chemistry and of humanity worldwide.
article has been contributed by Prof. Alan R. Katritzky (Department
of Chemistry, University of Florida, P.O. Box 117200, Gainesville, Florida
32611-7200, USA; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org),
Prof. Christopher A. Ramsden (School of Chemistry and Physics, Keele
University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, England, United Kingdom; E-mail:
Prof. Charles W. Rees (Department of Chemistry, Imperial College of
Science, Technology, and Medicine, London SW7 2AY, England, United Kingdom;
E-mail: email@example.com), and
Dr. Paul Thind (ARKAT Foundation, Schanzeneggstrasse 1, 8002 Zurich,
Switzerland; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).