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American Chemical Society Publishing Agreement Guide


An Explanation of the Paper

The paper is prepared to provide a better understanding of publishing agreements and their various legal aspects. A publishing contract tends to be broad in nature. It contains a number of provisions. Before signing any agreement, authors are advised to analyze and understand all the key points. According to Duplessis et al., a good policy is based on, among others, clarity (66). Under the Canadian Copyright Law, a publisher cannot control patents in the absence of a written document bearing the author(s) signature. In cases of disputes, the agreement is used to resolve any issue.

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In this report, the author provides an overview of publishing terms subject to Ontario laws. The policy to be used is ACS Journal Publishing Agreement. Canada’s Book publishing industry has an estimated worth of $1.9 billion. In each financial year, two thirds of the total revenues are generated in Ontario. The Ontario publishing society comprises of both well established and small foreign and Canadian owned printing firms (Duplessis et al. 97). According to ACS, an author is granted rights specific to each form of work. Under Ontario laws, writers have exclusive rights to translate and convert their work for public presentation purposes. In addition, an author has the right to produce sound recordings or films based on the literature. Based on the contact, a writer can also give the publisher a right to reproduce the work. Under Canada’s Ontario publishing laws, a copyright maintains validity from the time the work was produced or created. Exclusive rights can only be deemed invalid after the author(s) demise (Duplessis et al. 76). The paper provides an in depth analysis on Publications agreements in relations to Ontario laws. To facilitate a better understanding, the report provides a link between the legal principles learnt in class and those contained in printing contracts.

Objectives of the Paper

The primary purpose of this report is to serve as an analysis of ACS Journal Publishing Agreement (JPA). The paper will focus on explaining what the commitment between a publisher and author entails. The main objectives include:

  1. Explaining each clause of the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement and describing both their purpose and effects. In addition, the report will shed light on any legal terminologies. The main reason for this clarification is to provide a better understanding of the policy.
  2. Looking into the legal principles present in ACS Journal Publishing Agreement in relation to Ontario laws. The report will explain them and discuss their implications on the publisher and author contract.

The rationale of the analysis is to interpret ACS publications policy to allow both established and aspiring authors to understand the contract’s terms and conditions with ease.


Publication of written materials is a crucial building block in the advancement of a coherent and respected network of knowledge.1 The process acts as a direct depiction of a writer(s) quality and the bodies which support them. Due to this, it is essential for all parties involved in publishing such as authors, editors, and reviewers to make agreements based on high standards of ethical behavior.

Like other large and well established publication firms, ACS publisher is expected to maintain high work standards and provide the best agreements and publishing experience for it authors. To ensure provision of ethically sound contracts, the society operates on a well developed code of business conduct.2 All employees of the corporation and any other parties linked to it are required to carry out their activities based on the code. The business rule applies to all members in equal measure regardless of rank. According to the ACS manager, the code of conduct facilitates a sound interaction between publishers and authors. In addition, it deters possibilities of issues such as conflict of interest and violation of writers’ rights. The manager further stresses that the printing society is founded on sound values, transparency in all endeavors, and good governance.

To maintain high levels of ethical standards in ACS Publications, editors, reviewers, publishers, and authors have to play their part as required (American Chemical Society 5). Under JPA, editors are required to uphold fair play, confidentiality, and avoid conflicts of interest. Reviewers are expected to contribute to editorial decisions, acknowledge the articles or books source, and maintain high standards of objectivity. Authors are also required to uphold ethics by avoiding plagiarism and being original. ACS Publications strives to ensure all advertising, reprint, and commercial revenues of authors work do not influence editorial decisions.

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To effectively conduct an analysis of the policy agreement, the writer logged into the American Chemical Society official website portal. The reason for this was to get a current Publishing Agreement copy. In addition, the author visited the school library to get access to different materials with valuable information on Canadian Ontario laws. The policy contract found was an eleven page ACS Publications document. Once the needed articles were found, the writer analyzed them to gain familiarity with the principles and figure out their relation to the report.

It was necessary for the author to gain full understanding of the sections to explain each clause using their own words. Comprehension was only possible through a thorough study of the agreement. In addition, the author logged in to ACS Publications Division website. The reason for this was to learn more about copyrightable materials and publications. The process of analyzing the publishing agreement entailed going through each section of the document step by step. The systematic procedure was essential in facilitating better and easier understanding.

To write the legal principles section, the author used business class lecture notes. The information on the notes was compared to provisions stated in Canadian Ontario laws and ACS publications. All data from the three primary sources were related. The contract related to the law because the publications agreement is guided by legal rules which govern the relationship between an author and publisher.

To write the recommendations and lessons learnt, the author evaluated the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement from both the publisher and author’s perspective.

Business Relationship with Stakeholders

The American Chemical Society acts as the Agreement provider. On its part, the author is the beneficiary. Business relationship between the two parties is based on the desire and capability to provide the best publishing experience. ACS is responsible for meeting all the stipulated terms as stated in the contract. The author is required to present work that meets the agreement’s regulations (American Chemical Society 8). The new JPA Copyright Status contract contains different key points which portray the business relationship between an author and a publisher.

The policy points out the course of action for a writer with different editions of their copy. The contract provides important guidelines to be followed to avoid misunderstandings. Failure to follow the correct procedure can affect the final publication.

Description and Explanation of all the Clauses in the ACS Publication Policy Agreement

Book publishing contracts contain various key clauses. They include grant of rights, delivery, acceptance, and copyright. Others are royalties, subsidiary rights, and out of print. All of the sections are of great importance to writers. As a result of this, they should be viewed in a serious manner before signing a contract.

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The ACS Publications document is divided into four sections. Each segment contains various subdivisions providing more information on the primary fragment. The major clauses include introduction, copyright, permitted uses by author(s), retained and other rights, and works-for-hire.


ACS Journal of Publishing Agreement (JPA) is a replacement of the initial ACS Copyright status form. The change was made to provide authors with better printing privileges.3

The new agreement is different from the previous one in a number of ways. The distinction results because the policy gives writers up-to-the-minute rights on how to utilize their copies. In addition, the current agreement sets conduct regulation for all ACS authors.

Unlike the previous contract, the new JPA contains precise stipulations on what writers should do with diverse accounts of their manuscripts. Examples of different text versions may include submitted, accepted, and printed works. The current policy also sheds light on reassigning of exclusive rights. Authors have the right to sanction utilization of any supporting literature for which they possess the copyright (Duplesses et al. 120). In addition, the new ACS contract lengthens the primary terms and conditions of use to a writer’s work. However, this privilege is applicable to an author’s earlier published manuscripts with ACS.

The new JPA agreement contains more regulations on authors’ code of conduct. All the guidelines are found in most sections of the policy. In addition, the ACS contract points out two primary ways for authors to grant the public access to their materials. One of the approaches entails granting authors or their endorsers with a chance to allow instantaneous unobstructed online access to in print works. The second way of allowing the public to get final printed articles entails authorization of free distribution of copies. The process is made possible by use of Author-directed Links (American Chemical Society 5).

The links are provided to the writer by ACS once a manuscript has been published.

Section 1: Copyright

Submitted work

The clause contains one key requirement to be followed by all authors. According to the agreement terms, the primary writer is required to give ACS the exclusive rights ownership of the Submitted Work. However, all the co-authors if any need to concur and be aware of the reassignment. The writer should also transfer all versions of the manuscripts (American Chemical Society 4). In certain circumstances, the transfer can be considered unacceptable and invalid. The case happens when a presented document fails to be accepted by ACS. In addition, the transfer is deemed null in instances where a document is withdrawn before approval.

Supporting information

According to the agreement, any copyrightable patent or other literature granted to the organization is considered to be nonexclusive. The publishing firm and its authors concur that each party has the right to utilize supporting information. In addition, authors can permit utilization of their presented or published work in any version and for any rationale.

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In this clause, ACS publishers use the United States Code to define copyrightable work. Such work is clearly conceptualized under section 17. It is regarded as any authentic work secured in tangible form. The definition shares some similarity with that of Canadian Admiral Corp v Diffusion Inc. However, fixation in the United States takes place for a brief period of time. In Canada securing of an author’s work is considered to be a permanent endurance (Duplessis et al. 135). In both Canada and United States, Copyright is a form of intellectual property. The similarities in definitions and viewpoints are as a result of the treaties between the two states.

Section II: Permitted uses by Author(s)

Reprocessing and reprinting of manuscripts

ACS Contract allows authors to reprocess all or fraction of their submitted, accepted, or printed manuscripts. However, the writer is required to submit a dissertation in order to meet the criteria of degree-granting institutions. According to ACS publishers, the authorization of reuse is allowed to meet the Ethical Guidelines of Publication as stipulated in the contract. The moral doctrines of practice are developed by Editors in the Publications Department (American Chemical Society 6).

To ensure clarity, they are reviewed on a regular basis.

During publication, conflicts tend to arise. To avoid such cases, writers are advised to obtain written confirmation from ACS journal editors. In addition writers are required to make proper citation for each work. When authors’ use electronic format exposition, a direct link must be incorporated. As per the agreement, the link contains up to 50 e-prints of the final printed work, which are not charged. The e-prints are offered for a period of 12 months after the online publication.4 The link is made available on the author’s website or sent to clients via email. Users with subscription for the content enjoy flawless access of writers’ works. In addition, the 50 free e-prints allowance do not count in their access.

According to the agreement guidelines, authors can find all their manuscripts on request links at the ACS ChemWorx Publishing center. In addition, the contract provides a platform for authors to reuse any of their work in printed forms made of the writer’s own writings.

Reuse of figures, tables, artwork, and text extracts in future works

ACS Publisher provides a platform for authors to reprocess figures, text extracts, tables, artwork, and representations of a maximum 400 words. In addition, writers’ works for which the publisher has copyright for teaching purposes can be presented to various platforms such as university networks. However, the manuscripts need to meet key conditions to allow the reuse (American Chemical Society 5). The conditions include proper citation of published works, reuse is not meant to exemplify new stories which lack relation to the original printed work, and posting is not aimed at acquiring commercial gains.

To reprocess ACS figures, tables, artwork, text, and illustrations clients are advised make use of the Copyright Clearance Center Rights-link Program. ACS cannot authorize use of any works for which it does not own exclusive rights. Parties can only receive confirmation and license information from Rights-Link upon accepting ACS terms and conditions of service.

Reuse in teaching or in-house training

ACS stresses on importance of upholding integrity of scientific records. As a result of this, authors are advised to access published works via ACS Articles on Request Author-directed Link. In addition, writers as per the policy can reproduce their works for tutorial use form of handouts or as part of a packet (American Chemical Society 5). Such works are used by author(s) students. To grant reuse authorization, a set of provisions must be adhered to.

The conditions in accordance to the agreement include giving the desired credit to printed work. In addition, a link to the manuscripts must be availed using the ACS Articles on Request author-directed link.

To allow reuse in teaching or in-house training, electronic access must be made possible through a website protected by a password. The information should only be accessible to students undertaking the course and not the general public. Access to the material expires after the end of the course (American Chemical Society 6). In instances where the author charges a fee for use of the materials ACS publishers must be notified. The reason for this is to authorize the charging.

Presentation at conferences

ACS operations are based on the Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research. The principles play a key role in helping resolve potential clashes before the publishing process. When making presentations at conferences or meetings, ACS agreement stipulates that authors have the choice of presenting part or all of their work. In addition, writers can avail their accepted and submitted manuscripts in various forms. The modes can either be electronic or print (American Chemical Society 6). However, authors can only share published works in conferences and meetings if the process is done through ACS Articles on Request author-directed link. The manuscripts provided to those in attendance should not be reproduced or redistributed by the audience. To avoid this, authors are encouraged to inform recipients about the rule.

Sharing with colleagues

The process of sharing any of author’s works is guided by ACS Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research. According to the agreement, writers are free to send or share copies their submitted or accepted manuscripts to their colleagues in electronic formats. Sharing of published work is authorized in cases where ACS Articles on Request Author-directed link is used (American Chemical Society 6). In addition, sharing with colleagues is allowed if it is not done with the aim of gaining commercial benefits. Distribution should also not be made on systematic basis.

According to the agreement, authorized users of ACS Publications website have the right to share links to authors’ works. Clients can share or recommend links through different platforms. The forums include emails and other popular social networking sites such as Digg, Cite U Like, and Newsvine.

Posting submitted works on websites and repositories

According to the ACS agreement, examples of websites and repositories include authors’ personal websites, university networks, and third party or subject based repositories. Others are preprint servers, conference, and institutional websites. Authors have the right under ACS contract to post submitted work in digital formats to these websites and repositories (American Chemical Society 6). However, a set of stipulations must be adhered to enjoy the privilege. Writers’ must make sure they receive written verification through email or letter from editors confirming that posting does not interfere with publishing. Posting submitted works on websites and repositories should not be for commercial purposes. In addition, authors are encouraged to abide by ACS Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical research.

Submitted works contain notices from publishers. If such manuscripts have been accepted for publication by ACS, authors must attach the notice prior to posting. The notice informs recipients that the document is yet to be edited (Duplessis et al.102). However, it has been accepted by the company for publishing.

If any of the submission conditions stipulated in ACS Journal agreement are violated, an author’s work cannot be posted in any website or repository. When such cases arise, the author is provided with two options to cover for the violation. The first choice entails requesting a waiver from the pertinent institutional policy. The second probable alternative is sponsoring instantaneous public availability of the ultimate printed manuscript. The backing is done through taking part in free-based ACS Author Choice Program.

According to the ACS contract, authors are given the privilege of unrestricted web access to the final published manuscript. However, a one-time fixed payment must be made. The ACS Author Choice program allows writers to post copies of their published works to their personal websites and institutional repositories.5

Posting accepted and published works on websites and repositories

According to the ACS Publications contract, authors have the right to post any accepted or published pieces of their work on their websites or repositories in digital formats. However, the agreement has a set of conditions which must be met to make the posting a possibility. They include:

The posting must be authorized by the author(s) funding agency or major employer. To get permit from non-governmental organization, it is mandatory for writers to receive letter or email verifications from the ACS Journal editors. The confirmation often states whether the posting will affect the publication process.

When the public is granted access to accepted works earlier than twelve months since online in print, a waiver is requested. If a waiver cannot be acquired, writers are left with no choice but to subsidize accessibility of the final published work (Duplessis et al.117). The sponsorship is done via participation in ACS Author Choice Program.

When permit to use accepted works is not earlier than twelve months since online in print, the works may be sent to the authorized repositories or websites. However, the manuscripts should contain a notification from ACS Publications. The notice often states the copy is the accepted version of the final printed work. The posting of accepted and published works on websites and repositories should not be aimed at getting financial gains from recipients (American Chemical Society 7). In addition, authors are required to abide by ACS Code of Ethics.

Authors strive to make their accepted or published works accessible to the public. They can do this through the journal’s Author Choice plan. Writers are also free to post links of both printed and accepted manuscripts on the ACS journal website. In addition, the agreement allows for the links to be posted in author(s), university and employers organizations, and conferences websites. However, the contract prohibits redistribution via any of the forums for commercial purposes.

Section III: Retained author privileges

Retained rights

According to this clause, authors are granted the right to retain propriety rights of presented manuscripts. However, they cannot retain patents. In stances where employers wish to hold or claim exclusive rights, the writer is encouraged to seek legal advice (American Chemical Society 7). The reason behind this is to retain all what is rightfully theirs.

Moral rights

The segment grants writers’ acclaim and integrity for their effort and creativity as stated in Berne Convention.

Extension of rights granted to prior publications

The subsection extends all the rights of authors stated in earlier sections of the agreement. The writer’s service of contract and duties are extended to apply to their unpublished works in ACS journals.

Upon signing the ACS Journal Publishing Contract, the company or its agents takes the responsibility of storing all submitted authors works. Such information is often secured electronic records within the organization (American Chemical Society 7). ACS performs numerous activities and provides different services with the aim of offering authors the best publishing experience. According to this section of the agreement, ACS shares information with authors through several channels. They include emails and faxes. In addition, no personal information linked to the writer is revealed to third parties.

Section IV: Works-for-Hire

Section iv of the ACS agreement clarifies who should be the rightful owner of a piece of work. According to the contract, any submitted manuscript written by an author within the employment period as work-for-hire is considered to be the company’s property. The rule is in accordance with the United States Copyright Law. When making a deal with ACS Publications, both the author and employer must sign the Publishing Contract. In work-for-hire situations, the company provides ACS publishers with copyright for all submitted work (American Chemical Society 7). The reason for this is because they own the written copies. In spite of the manuscript being owned by the employer, both the organization and the author have equal rights and duties. The agreement applies to all parties in similar measure.

Under this section of the agreement, limitations on commercial use of written work do not apply. The company or employer can use all or part of the submitted, accepted, or published work for both financial and non-financial gains. In spite of the right to use manuscripts for monetary gains, companies can only distribute print documents of published works externally for promotional rationale. Employers do not have the right to resell the copies (Duplessis et al.161). In addition, promotions made should not involve ACS backing. In order to post printed copies on a public access website, companies must take part in ACS Author Choice Option. The employer must also pay a fee as stated in the contract.

Form B: U.S Government Employment

The section of the agreement states the authors who are eligible to sign Form B of the ACS contract. The clause requires that all authors be bona fide officials or employees registered under the United States Government. As a result of this, submitted works were created as part of their obligation to the government. According to the ACS agreement, such writings are entitled to United States Copyright.

The section of the contract also clarifies groups of people who do not fall under the bracket of United States Government employees. Such workers are those employed in the national laboratories. According to the ACS agreement, Form B of the contract can only be signed if the submitted manuscripts were not created by authors under a United States Contract. In addition, the form should also not be signed if the work was co-authored by at least one non-United States Government employee (American Chemical Society 8). All authors who formulated their work while under a government contract are required to fill Form A of ACS agreement. The same case applies to writers’ who are not Australian, British, Canadian or United States government employees. In instances where the submitted work is co-authored by privately employed authors, only private writers are eligible to sign Form A.

Form C: British, Australian, or Canadian Government Employees

The section of the ACS agreement states the parties or group of authors who are required to sign this part of the contract. According to the ACS publications, Form C can only be filled by writers’ who are or were bona fide government officials or employees of Australia, Canada, or United Kingdom. In addition, this part of the contract can only be filled by authors who formulated the manuscripts on behalf of the government (American Chemical Society 9). The three specified states tend to hold their own exclusive rights under the national law.

According to the ACS publications, the agreement’s section cannot be signed if the manuscript was co-authored by a non Australia, Canadian, or United Kingdom government worker. Writers who are not employees of the states should fill Form A of the policy.

Upon signing of Form C, authors’ grant ACS various non-exclusive rights. The privileges include the right to utilize and publish submitted manuscripts in any language or format. However, ACS has to maintain the author(s) names. In addition, links to the government have to be stated. Failure to acknowledge writers is a violation of terms stipulated in the contract.6 The right to authorize other parties to publish the author(s) work. However, the bodies granted the privilege must abide by acknowledgment rules. In addition, ACS is given the right to collect royalty fees.

Upon being granted all these rights by the author(s), ACS also gives the writer(s) some privilege. Publishers are approached by different clients for authors’ works. Publishers of this journal may be requested to grant permission for reuse of their authors’ works. When this happens, the firm may request permit from the authors or employers. However, permission is not sought in instances where parties wish to obtain the documents for classroom or library utilization.

ACS Publication Policy’s Guideline: Application of Legal Principles Covered in Class

Throughout the analysis of the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, many of the legal principles covered in class were observed. In this section of the report, the legal principles identified will be discussed. In addition, an evaluation on how these legal principles build a relationship between the author and ACS publisher will be made.

An Agreement

The legal principle states that a contract entails a concurrence. As a result of this, two parties must concur for the agreement to be signed and be a success. The entire ACS publication is an agreement between the publisher and the author(s). However, for the contract to be finalized and apply to the parties involved, it must be fully signed (Duplessis et al. 120). ACS publications agreement comprises of three forms with various clauses describing both publishers and author rights and obligations. It is the writer(s) duty to carefully analyze and go through all clauses. The reason for this is to understand and decide whether the contract is worth signing.


The legal principle stresses that a good contract should be complete and certain. All information in the entire agreement should be well detailed. In addition, no piece of it should be missing. Looking at the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, it abides by this legal principle. All the sections of the three forms are complete and certain. In addition, each form is well explained as to which authors should fill the specific sections. A complete contract is easy to understand and follow (Duplessis et al. 159). The legal principle is present in the entire agreement. All the rights and privileges are clearly stipulated in the three forms. In addition, the ACS agreement contains an appendix which clarifies and explains some of the phrases found in all sections of the contract.


The legal principle stipulates that parties should willingly enter into a contract with each other. ACS Journal Publishing Agreement is meant to benefit both the author and the publisher (American Chemical Society 3). The contract has already been developed. It is the author(s) duty to read, analyze and understand the agreement. The analysis helps the writer(s) to make a deliberate decision of signing the ACS contract. The legal principle prohibits coercing of parties into signing an agreement. In all the three forms that make the agreement, no section has compelling information to influence author(s) decisions. It is upon the writer(s) to make their choices based on their understanding of the terms and conditions. Writers who do not wish to work with American Chemical Society are free not to sign the publications contract.

Between Two or More Competent Persons

According to this legal principle, a contract can only be declared valid if it is between two or more parties. In ACS Publications scenario, groups involved in the agreement comprise of the author(s) and publishing group itself. The two sides must have a legal capacity to make contracts.7 ACS has a specific set of obligations. They include the development of legal agreements with a set of rights and obligations for authors. On its part, the writer(s) obligation is to read the agreement and sign all sections as required. ACS publications cannot make a valid contract by themselves. They need the author(s) or employers who bring in their manuscripts for publication.

Not Necessarily in Writing

The principle states that a legal contract can be prepared in both oral and written means. However, written contracts are the best. The reason for this is because they are enforceable. Besides, they cannot be easily tampered with once signed. In most case scenarios, each party involved in the agreement retains a piece of the contract (Duplessis et al. 112). A written contract shows there is trust between the parties involved. The ACS Journal Publishing Agreement comprises of forms A, B, and C. All sections in the three forms require written signatures from the writer(s) or employers who submit their works. Agreeing to sign the contract illustrates an author trusts ACS publishers to fulfill their rights and obligations as stated.

Expressed Terms

Expressed terms, as a legal principle, state that a contract’s terms and conditions should be well stipulated. Obligations of both parties should be clear in the agreement (Duplessis et al 118). The reason for this is to allow each party to get familiar with what is expected of them. Looking at the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, the legal principle applies in all sections. Each segment of the contract has a set of conditions to be met by the author(s) or their employers. Also, publisher’s duties are also stated in a precise manner. For example, section three of the agreement says that ACS Publications shall have the right to use any submitted, accepted or published works. The materials can be used for promotional or marketing purposes (American Chemical Society 6). However, the publisher is not allowed to change the scientific meanings or comprise the integrity of the contents. According to the legal principle, no terms or obligations should be concealed.

Rules of Construction of Terms

According to this legal principle, various conditions must be kept in mind when developing a contract. The terms include personal interpretation of the agreement, public policy, ethical issues, and enforceability.

Terms of personal interpretation are based on different aspects (Duplessis et al. 99). They include parties’ intentions, meaning of terms in the dictionary, and understanding of the public.

Public policy means that the agreement cannot go against clients fundamental values.

Ethical issues mean that the contract cannot go against common ethical dilemmas (American Chemical Society 7). For example, ACS agreement is not required to go against terms that will result in a compromise of the author(s) integrity.

Enforceability implies that the contract should not have any fundamental flaws.8

A thorough analysis of the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement shows the contact upholds the legal principle of rules of construction of terms. Intentions of ACS publications are well stipulated in all sections of the contract. In the introduction part of the agreement, for example, ACS states that the society’s intention is to provide the best publishing experience for all authors. In the final part of the contract, which is the appendix, ACS explains the definition of terms used in all the sections.

ACS Journal Publishing Agreement has maintained public policy, ethical, and enforceability terms. An evaluation reveals the agreement is free of any fundamental flaws. In addition, ACS terms are guided by sound Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research.

Legal Rights

Author(s) have the right to enjoy patents to individual levels of exploitation of their works. Each time a writer develops a creative piece of work, the author is entitled copyright for the product (Duplessis et al. 148). The author under the law has a privilege of deciding how works will be used. However, a writer can fail to become the sole owner of the work in cases where he or she produced it as part of duties for the employer. No formalities are required to become a holder of this legal right. The only requirement is for the creative work to be secured in a tangible form. Once that is done, the author or employer is granted legal protection.

An analysis of ACS Journal Publishing Agreement reveals ACS publications offer all their writers’ legal rights in the contract. The legal principle can be found in all sections of the agreement. In chapter one, for example, the contract states that an author has a right to integrity and acknowledgement or connection to the created documents. Also, a writer has the authority to stop others from making copies of the manuscript (American Chemical Society 8). Authors’ also have the right to reproduce their work in any language or format. In cases where other parties wish to reproduce an author(s) work, ACS must first seek permission from the writer(s) or employer(s). Granting authorization without enquiring is a violation of author(s) legal rights.

ACS publications agreement is based on the legal rights. In section two, for example, the principle of legal rights is evident. Authors are permitted to reuse or reproduce all or part of their submitted, accepted or published works. The reuse authorization is guided by ethical business codes. Writers also have the right to post their writings in websites and repositories (American Chemical Society 5).

The legal principle can also be found in section three of the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement. In this segment, authors have the right to retain exclusive rights. Furthermore, they are entitled to moral rights.

Equality Right

Equality right as a legal principle states that a contract should apply to all people in equal measure. An agreement should not work better for some and disadvantage others. The legal principle is found right from the introduction section to all the three segments of the contract. In the introduction part of ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, all authors are entitled to enjoying equal publishing rights. Writers also have similar obligations and conditions to meet.

The contract applies to all authors both established and developing. ACS publications uphold high ethical standards in their work (American Chemical Society 5). As a result of this, the integrity of all authors is maintained in equal measure. Under the ACS contract, authors should not violate any of the terms. The legal principle of equality rights about terms violations is found in section two of the agreement. Any writer who defies the rule of posting, sharing, or presentation of submitted work is subject to a penalty. Authors are free to choose between the two options found in the contract. In instances of violations, one can opt for a waiver from pertinent institutional policy or fund the process of availing published works to the public.


Under the legal principle, an agent is any person authorized to represent the actual party and develop a contractual relationship. An agent works to his or her level best to ensure a deal is made and finalized (Duplessis et al. 190). In the case of ACS publications, agents are required to sign the agreement on behalf of the author or employer. Just like the actual parties, the parties are required to read, analyze and understand the contract before signing.

The legal principle of Agent in ACS agreement can be found in Form C. Not all authors are eligible to fill the three forms, which make up the contract. For instance, Form C can only be completed if the manuscript was not co-written by a non- Australian, Canadian, or United Kingdom Government worker (American Chemical Society 9). In such cases, ACS Publications Agreement allows the form to be completed by privately employed authors. Such writers tend to play the role of agents.

Duties of a Principal

A principal is someone who authorizes other parties to act as their representatives in different junctures. The parties chosen are charged with the responsibility of representing the prime individual in cases related to the contract (Duplessis et al. 145). Authors or employers, just like persons in other different occupations, tend to be tied to a wide variety of things. Once an author(s) have completed signing the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, they are free to choose delegates. Representatives can work on behalf of the principals, for example, when ACS wants to seek permission to allow other parties reproduce the writer(s) works. The chief parties are required to provide clear instructions for their delegates to follow.9

Agency by Agreement-Formal Agreement

The legal principle states that there should be a formal agreement between an agent and a principal. The latter must prepare a legal document authorizing the representative to work on their behalf. The contract between the two parties should contain all the duties of the Delegate (Duplessis et al. 152). According to ACS Publications, an agency by agreement is essential. The reason behind this is because it allows publishers to know they are interacting with the right and legal representative.

Age of Majority

The age of majority is the age a person reaches to be considered an adult. Under the Ontario law, the legal age of majority is 18 years (Duplessis et al. 180). ACS Journal Publishing Agreement being a legal right requires the individuals signing the contract be above 18 years. The reason behind this is because people that age are considered to be minors who lack the capacity to make a contract. Besides, there are certain risks associated with signing Agreements with minors. For example, the law grants minors the right to void a contract at any time. According to the ACS Publications policy, agreements involving persons below 18years should be signed with the help of guardians.

Expressed Actual Authority

The legal principle states that the authority of an agent can be implied or expressed. According to the ACS Publications policy, the implied authority of an agent is not stated in any document. On its part, expressed rights of the representative should be affirmed in the agreement in writing (American Chemical Society 6). Actual authority stipulates that an agent should conduct all the legal activities as stated in the contract on behalf of the author. The Agents are in most cases used in scenarios involving authors considered as minors.

Agents by Necessity

The legal principle takes effect in instances where there is an urgent situation, and the author needs representation for a decision to be made. The ACS Publications Agreement stipulates that in such cases, writer’s agent should turn up and act on behalf of the author. The legal representative is required to be within reach at all times to help make the necessary decisions (Duplessis et al. 130).

Treat Your Friends as if They are to Become Your Enemy and You Treat Your Enemy as if They Will Become One of Your Friends

The legal principle facilitates securing of sound relationships between parties (Duplessis et al. 110). According to the code, people should treat their enemy as one day they will become friends. They should also consider the option of friends becoming enemies in future. ACS Publishers believe authors become their acquaintances once they sign the agreement. However, issues and conflicts tend to arise in the course of time. Some of the differences go unresolved. In such cases, the parties become enemies.

Apparent Authority

Apparent authority is the power outsiders think an agent possess due to the terms of the agreement. Once an author signs the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement and assigns a representative, some parties believe this individual has the right to make all decisions. However, ACS agreement stresses the case is not correct. Representatives are required to make choices that benefit the author and do not violate ACS contract terms (American Chemical Society 6).

Contracts can have Special Cases

The legal principle states that a contract is comprised of different elements and cases. According to the ACS Publications, specific cases include parole evidence rule, quantum merit, condition precedent, condition subsequent, and undue influence. All the cases apply within the entire contract period (American Chemical Society 8). For example, condition subsequent states that an agreement can be terminated if a party violates the terms.


The legal principle focuses on parties’ compensation. According to ACS Journal Publications Guide, authors have the right to reimbursement when risks to their materials occur. Publishers secure and safeguard all works submitted by authors (Duplessis et al. 116).

Civil Liability

According to this legal principle, the authority is required to work in best interest of the client. Besides, highest standards of duty must be observed. ACS Publications upholds the legal rule of civil liability. The agreement stipulates that ACS operates on a sound Code of Business Conduct. It also ensures all authors working with the society are aware of the rules and set standards.

Recommendations and Lessons Learnt

After a thorough review of the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, I was able to come up with a few recommendations. The author also notes that there were some valuable lessons learnt during the analysis.


Go further in supporting writers’ rights

The current ACS Journal Publishing Agreement is indeed different from the previous contract. The new policy has a set of new terms and conditions aimed at providing authors with the best publishing experience. In spite of the improvement, there are still a few issues that need to be changed. The new ACS Journal Publishing Agreement can still go further in supporting writes rights.

Grant permission to publish works in both OA and non-OA policy establishments

ACS Journal Publishing Agreement has various limitations. For example, it only permits originators to publish their works in institutional repositories with OA policy authorizations.10 They are not permitted to post for non-OA policy organizations. The current ACS Journal Publishing Agreement should be adjusted to do away with this limitation. Currently, there are few subject repository options for chemistry articles (American Chemical Society 6). The primary ones include Nature Proceedings, PubMedCentral, and arXiv. The restriction on the updated agreement limits access to important pieces of literature.

Be more open with NSF projects handling

According to the new ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, supplemental materials and data can be reproduced. The privilege is a positive move, which was not in the previous ACS Copyright Status Form. However, the publishers are not clear on their position on literature distribution. ACS should be more open on the issue and devise ways of handling NSF projects.

Allow authors to retain copyright

According to the new ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, authors are required to surrender exclusive rights for the final published works. ACS is a corporation that sponsors systematic inquest of chemistry linked topics. Furthermore, it is one of the largest professional institutions in the world. The major flaw observed when analyzing the contract is that authors cannot own their work once it is published by the society. Besides, writers can only post their material in repositories on limited cases (American Chemical Society 5). The move by ACS as per the agreement should be reviewed. The reason for this is because the act makes sharing of work almost impossible. The society should allow authors to retain copyright.

Increase the 50 free offprints awarded to authors

ACS Journal Publishing Agreement allows authors to share their work with colleagues. However, distribution is limited. The reason behind this is because writers are only awarded 50 free offprints. Once they are over, the author or colleague will have to pay some fees to enjoy the sharing privilege (American Chemical Society 7). The contract states that payment seizes after a period of twelve months. Scrapping off the levy is a good initiative. However, a recommendation would be for the society to review the time frame and shorten it. The reason behind this is because the chance to share comes to an end by the time the twelve months are over. Also, the 50 free offprints should be increased.

The new ACS Journal Publishing Agreement allows authors to post their work on different websites and repositories (American Chemical Society 5). The privilege is found in section two of the contract. When one analyzes it from a fast glance, the rights seem useful and beneficial to authors. However, an in-depth scrutiny reveals there are conditions to be met before a writer can post any work. Authors must seek authorization from the journal editors before they can post their articles. According to the ACS society, the permission is to ensure placement does not violate any of the set policies. A recommendation for ACS would be to do away with some of the conditions required in order to post works. Authors should be free to publish their articles without having to seek authorization from editors.

Lessons Learnt

Through analyzing the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, various lessons related to contracts have been learnt. The first primary lesson is that it is essential to go through agreements before signing. Each contract is different. The reason behind this is because they are produced by varying publication societies. Going through policies allows an author to sign a deal with the company they consider to be the best (Duplessis et al. 108).

Another lesson learnt when analyzing the ACS Journal Publications Agreement is that contracts involve two parties. In addition, sound policies need to be complete with all the information stated in a precise manner. All duties and obligations of both sides should also be well stipulated. The reason for this is to allow the one signing the agreement to be aware of what is expected of them. For an agreement to be deemed valid, it also has to be fully approved. Furthermore, a contract should be signed at free will (Duplessis et al. 95).

Application of ACS Journal’s Publishing Agreement to a Problem Scenario: A Case Study of Walt

In an attempt to demonstrate full understanding of the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement and the concepts learned throughout the class sessions, a scenario of a choice problem will be provided. The scenario is the following:

Walt is a developing author who is yet to get his first book published. For the past few weeks, Walt has been doing his research on various book publishing companies. The reason for this is so as to sign a deal with a firm that offers the best rights and publishing experience to the author. In today’s world, more and more people are embracing writing (Duplessis et al. 89). People write books, which range from comics, novels, to educational. In the course of Walt’s research on publishing and authors’ rights, he came across various findings.

Walt discovered there were various legal issues that face writers. One of Walter’s findings was that some authors’ overlook various legal aspects of writing a book or journal article. When publishing a manuscript, there must be a contract between the writer and the publisher, designer, and copy editor (Duplessis et al. 121). In addition, Walt discovered the publishing industry has undergone through big change within the past few decades. One of the most notable changes is that in the current times, new and developing authors are responsible for most of their writing, editing, promoting, and publication process compared to yester decades. When authors present their manuscripts, the publishers take the work to their legal department for evaluation prior to publishing.

Failure to consider the key legal issues leads to many authors’ being sued.11 Walt wants to get his books published. However he wishes to add some images and graphics to the manuscripts. Walt’s main concern is whether use of images sourced from the internet will be a violation of basic copyright law. According to the Ontario laws, an author of a book or manuscript is the rightful owner (Duplessis et al. 159). As a result of this, the writer can do whatever he or she wishes with the work. Walt wishes to use the images to enhance his story and avoid any legal trouble. As a scholar with extensive knowledge on copyright and publishing contracts, Walter can use the images and graphics and avoid being sued. In today’s time, writers’ can access public domain graphics and images from a wide variety of sources. The author can search for images which can be used on a free basis. In addition, Walt can seek a license in order to obtain the desired images and graphics. However, before applying for any license, authors must make sure they understand the permit conditions (Duplessis et al. 136). In case Walt fails to get an authorization or a public domain, he can opt to work under the Fair Use Doctrine. The Fair Use dogma under the Ontario laws is an exception to copyright breach. The policy permits a third party to use copyrighted work in specific cases.

In the course of his research on the best publishing company, Walt settled on ACS Publications. Walt considered the Company’s publishing contract to be best. In addition, his choice was influenced by the notion that the American Chemical Society is recognized globally. In addition, it is one of the largest scientific organizations. Upon signing the ACS Journal Publication Agreement, Walt wishes to uphold copyright of his work. In addition, he wishes to do whatever pleases him with complete published work. Walt is creator of his work. In addition the manuscript is original. As a result of this, he has the right to use the writing as he wishes. However, once he signs the ACS Journal Publishing agreement, he will have to abide by the Publishers rules.

Before signing any legal contract, is important to analyze the stipulated terms and conditions (Duplessis et al. 189). According to the ACS Journal Publication Agreement section one, once an author submits his or her work to the ACS society, he also transfers his copyright ownership to the company. The author can only uphold his exclusive rights if the submitted work is not accepted by the publishers. In spite of transferring the patent to ACS, Walt is entitled with the right to use and authorize utilization of his work. In addition, Walt can authorize reproduction and distribution of the manuscripts. However, for him to enjoy these privileges, he must adhere with ACS Journal Publishing Agreement regulations. No provision should be violated.

Upon publishing or in the course of printing, Walt wishes to control the posting of his works to any website or repositories. In spite of Walt being the creator of his work, he will need authorization of ACS publications to place his writings in websites and repositories. The contract has guidelines on specific websites and repositories in which the works can be posted. Some of the conditions Walt must adhere to include receiving permit from the ACS journal editors on when to post works. According to ACS, posting without authorization may interfere with the publication process.

Walt also wishes to post his works for commercial purposes in different websites and repositories. After signing the ACS Journal Publishing agreement, Walt cannot use works to acquire monetary gains. ACS society prohibits the use of manuscripts for commercial purposes in some scenarios (American Chemical Society 7). In addition, Walt is required to uphold the highest ethical standards as per the Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research. In cases where Walt is authorized to post any of his works, he must also abide to certain rules. For example, it is mandatory for him to put a notification stating the work is unedited. Failure to comply with the regulations is termed as violation of ACS Journal Publishing Agreement terms.

Walter can also not post his works on websites in any manner he wishes. According to the ACS Journal Publishing agreement, placement of final published work on publicly accessible sites can only be done via ACS Author Choice Program. In addition, authors must pay a fee.

Walt also wishes to be able to share his own work with colleagues by use of any available platform. The reason for this is because he considers the work his own. As a result of this, he can use his work as he wishes. An in depth analysis into the agreement, reveals Walt will be restricted from share his work as he pleases. ACS Publications Contract permits authors to share their work through one primary platform (American Chemical Society 5). The authorized and certified podium is ACS Articles on Request author-directed link. In addition, Walter is also restricted from allowing his colleagues to redistribute the manuscripts.

After analyzing the entire ACS Journal Publishing Agreement, Walt had queries on the importance of protecting copyright. According to Ontario Law authors of literary works play an intellectual role in the society. In addition, they shape course of civilization. The only way in which the creativity’s importance can be acknowledged is through copy right protection (Duplessis et al. 163). The legal protection offered by exclusive rights laws grants authors recognition for their work and effort. In addition, writers are awarded economic rewards for their creativity.

Upon completion of the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement Walt had queries on the duration in which a copyright lasts. According to the international standard for protection developed by Berne Convention, a copyright exists for as long as the author lives. In Canada, the exclusives rights are upheld for up to fifty years after the writer’s death (Duplessis et al. 150). In countries such as the United States and many other European nations, the duration slightly defers. In the United States, for example, copyright protection exists for a period of up to seventy years after the author(s) demise. After expiry of the periods, all the works by the writer are transferred to the public domain. Once in the public sphere, anyone can gain access and use the work on a free basis without fears of being sued.

In conclusion, the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement is thorough. In addition, it does not leave any piece of information unclear. As a result of this, it fulfils all the expectations of a sound policy.

Works Cited

American Chemical Society. ACS Journal Publishing Agreement User’s Guide. 2010. Web.

Duplessis, Dorothy, Steve Enman, Shannon O’Byrne and Philip King. Canadian Business and the Law. 5th ed. 2013. Ontario: Nelson College Indigenous. Print.


  • 1 – Printed works contribute to advancement of knowledge because the literature can be distributed to many readers across different areas and institutions. In addition, published works tend to be readily available for use through various platforms.
  • 2 – For a full description of ACS Publishers Ethical guidelines, see American Chemical Society p 7.
  • 3 – The current ACS Journal contract provides new publishing experience through introduction of new policies, which were not present in the previous one. More rights aimed at benefiting authors have been introduced in the current agreement.
  • 4 – For a full and detailed description of free-ups and public accessibility to published works, see American Chemical Society Publications User guide, pages 4-7.
  • 5 – ACS Author Choice is a free-based program, which allows authors or their sponsors to grant readers online access to published works.
  • 6 – Writers deserve recognition and acknowledgement because the work is out of their creativity and effort. More information on authors’ rights can be found in Duplessis et al.’s Canadian Business and the Law, 5th edition, 2013.
  • 7 – The reason why the law requires both parties to be capable of making contracts is to avoid cases of one group taking advantage of the other.
  • 8 – Flaws in a contract have a set of disadvantages to the persons signing the agreement. For example, such contracts can be misinterpreted and misunderstood.
  • 9 – Detailed information on the role of agents is essential is avoiding poor decision making and misunderstandings. More information on delegates’ roles can be found in Duplessis et al.’s text.
  • 10 – Submitted work is a version of the manuscript, which has been presented for review and publishing.
  • 11 – A majority of authors are sued because some use sections of other writers’ works without seeking permission. They fail to look at the possibilities and legal actions related to breaching of copyright laws.

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