A question about scientific publishing

I don’t really pay enough attention to know whether this is a new thing and I should just be used to it or not but I just received a strange editorial decision from an ACS journal (J. Med. Chem.).  The reviewers recommendations were:

1 – publish after major revisions [direct cost to author = $0]

2 – publish in JCIM [direct cost to author = $0]

3 – publish after major revisions [direct cost to author = $0]


Hardly a ringing endorsement of the paper but the editor’s decision is a bit troubling and I have to admit I didn’t even know it was something the ACS did.

Editors decision – transfer to ACS Omega [direct cost to author = $2000]

Is this just a feature of publishing that I need to get used to?  Are ACS editors in anyway incentivised (even indirectly via internal promotion of these pay-to-publish journals) to transfer papers in this direction?

This feels like two very different models of what scientific publishing is for shoe-horned into one organisation.  And on this occasion its an organisation carrying the name of a learned society which I think ought to favour one of those business models over the other.

I would be interested to know if this is a common experience which I should just get used to or if this something to be worried about?  Am I missing something?


A question about scientific publishing

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