Manuscript Submission Requirements Checklist

  • Cover letter
  • Title: Titles should be clear and concise; they must match between manuscript file and electronic submission.
  • Author list with affiliations: must match between electronic entry and manuscript file
  • Abstract
  • Manuscript File: Clean with no highlighting or comments and all changes accepted.
  • (Highly encouraged) Have a colleague in another field read as test for accessibility.
  • Tables/Schemes/Figures: Text should be clear and legible, with fonts no smaller than 8 pt.
  • Figures: must be labeled sequentially and match numbered references in article (manuscript and Supporting Information). Where appropriate, label all subsections by letter.
  • Supporting Information (if any) must be included in the electronic submission.
  • Table of Contents Graphic
  • References: no specific format required, but must be sufficient to aid referees in their reviewing duties.

Correspondence to the Editor-in-Chief should be addressed to:

Professor Wonyong Choi, Editor-in-Chief, ACS ES&T Engineering

Email: EIC@estengg.acs.org

Scope of the Journal

ACS ES&T Engineering publishes high-impact research and review/perspective articles in all areas of environmental technology and engineering through a highly rigorous peer-review process. It is a specialist journal that aims to serve as an international forum for research and innovation around materials-, technologies-, processes-, data analytics- and engineering systems that: manage, protect and remediate air, water and soil quality; treat wastes; recover resources; support effective decision-making within complex engineered systems; and are informed by mechanistic science and analytics that describe complex environmental engineering systems. Papers that present novel, innovative advancements will be considered across the continuum from lab-based discovery to field-based application; case-studies will not be considered at this time. Papers containing experimental and/or theoretical methods and knowledge grounded in engineering principles that are integrated with core knowledge from other disciplines are welcome. Specific topics may include (but are not limited to) the following environmental engineering areas:

  • Novel materials, technologies, processes, data analytical methods, and systems that:
    • evaluate, protect and remediate air, water, and soil quality; 
    • solve or address multiple emerging environmental issues at various nexuses (e.g. energy, material, sustainability, public health)
  • Novel separation, desalination, and resource recovery technologies
  • Environmental nanotechnology and biotechnology
  • Environmental catalysis for pollution abatement and cleaner sustainable processes
  • Redox processes for engineering applications
  • Waste management, treatment, valorization, and waste-to-energy
  • Environmental technologies developed for monitoring, sensing, and assessing environmental exposure & hazards
  • Macroscopic and microscopic mechanisms that inform environmental engineering systems
  • Novel analytical and simulation methods (e.g. data-driven science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data scraping) for environmental engineering applications


The Journal does NOT cover the following areas if they are presented as solitary topics and without making their connection to engineered systems or technological innovation clear:

  • Environmental policy and regulation as a solitary focus (i.e. papers about the impact of engineered systems on the environment and health, and policy/regulation implications are considered within scope as long as outcomes link to advancements around the engineered system as a central theme of the paper)
  • Characterization and monitoring of the environment as a solitary focus
  • Fate and transport of contaminants and biogeochemical cycling
  • Ecotoxicology and environmental health
  • Atmospheric chemistry and processes, climate change
  • Environmental chemistry as a primary focus (e.g. fundamental reaction mechanisms). However, studies involving environmental chemistry that is used to demonstrate or understand engineering technologies or engineered systems may be suitable.

Manuscript Types

ACS ES&T Engineering accepts the following manuscript types:  Research Article, Review, Perspective, Viewpoint, Correspondence/Rebuttal and Additions and Corrections. A full description of each manuscript type is shown below:


Research Article (flexible length typically up to 8,000 and a maximum of 10,000 word-equivalents; shorter articles as short as 3,000 word-equivalents also accepted).


Research Articles report innovative advances grounded in environmental engineering research that contribute new insights and knowledge applicable to the environmental challenges and opportunities we face today and tomorrow. Article length is flexible and should be determined depending on the nature of the work. Shorter length articles may report on innovative and novel environmental engineering research that is at the proof-of-concept stage and where results reflect a significant advancement. Justification for submission and publication of initial results should be described in the author’s cover letter.


Research articles consist of the following sections: Abstract; Introduction; Experimental/Methods; Results and Discussion; Conclusions; References. The Journal allows some flexibility in formatting and authors may add other sections or use alternative section titles (e.g. Environmental Implications, Engineering Significance instead of Conclusions) or may place the Experimental/Methods section after the Conclusions section. The Experimental/Methods section should include a level of detail that guides the reader on the experimental approach, and details should be placed in supporting information (SI). For example, it would be appropriate to state that analysis was conducted by GC/MS but the details of the protocol (solvent, flow conditions, temperature, etc.) would be in the SI.  Research articles are reviewed initially by editors and then, if appropriate, sent for full peer review. The Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors, listed in the ACS ES&T Engineering masthead, make final decisions about all research material published in ACS ES&T Engineering.


Review (length limit: up to a maximum of 15,000 word-equivalents). Reviews describe and discuss thoroughly documented developments and issues in environmental engineering research. Reviews should summarize prior research and should also provide insights into the reviewed themes through new analysis and organization of the published literature. Review articles are primarily invited by the editors. Unsolicited review articles may be submitted with permission from the editors.  Proposals for unsolicited review articles should be sent to the journal’s editorial office (eic@estengg.acs.org) and include: (1) a brief outline (length limit: 2 pages), with section headings and a short discussion of the proposed content in each section; (2) a list of existing key review articles on the subject published in the past 10 years, with a justification statement describing the contribution of this new review article to the field; (3) a summary of the authors' academic background and research areas with Google Scholar, Web of Science, or Scopus profile; and (4) a list of the authors’ publications related to the review topic. If the proposal is approved by the editors, the authors will be invited to submit a full review. All submitted review articles will undergo full peer review.


Perspective (length limit: typically 5,000 and up to 7,000 word-equivalents). These contributions are reviews of a field or area and are focused rather than comprehensive. Perspective papers will assess the current status of a chosen field with an emphasis toward identifying key progress being made and identifying future research that is needed to advance the field. Perspectives are invited only, and unsolicited perspectives are not considered. Perspective articles will undergo full peer review.


Viewpoint (length limit typically up to 1,000 to 1,500 word-equivalents + author affiliations + 5-10 references + 1 single-frame figure with 50-word caption OR a 350-word table). Viewpoints are short opinion-style manuscripts, written in the journalistic style of an opinion piece in a newspaper or magazine. They provide authors with a venue to comment on an issue of pressing importance to ACS ES&T Engineering's readership. Viewpoint articles should express an opinion of a clear scientific nature, based on rigorous scientific research in an environmental engineering discipline. They should not be wholly political or summary in nature. Viewpoints are not generally peer reviewed but are subject to editorial approval. Corresponding authors of accepted articles will also be requested to provide a short biography (up to 200 words) and headshot for inclusion at the end of the published article. Model release and copyright forms are required for author photographs and will be provided by the journal office.

Correspondence/Rebuttal (length limit: 1,000 word-equivalents each including citations). These manuscripts provide scholarly comment on papers appearing in the research section (Research Article, Review, Perspective, Correspondence/Rebuttal, and Additions and Corrections). Correspondence should be submitted within six months of the publication date of the original paper and must raise substantive scientific or technical questions. Correspondence that consists mainly of opinion will not be considered. The author(s) of the original paper will be given an opportunity to respond.  Correspondence on previously published Correspondence will not be considered, and personal invective will not be tolerated. Correspondence/Rebuttal may undergo peer review under the direction of the assigned editor.  The correspondence and the rebuttal will be published consecutively in the same issue.


Additions and Corrections (Errata). These contributions may be used by the authors of a paper to correct errors and omissions of consequence that are identified after publication. Readers who also detect errors of consequence in the work of others should contact the corresponding author of the paper in question. Additions and Corrections must be approved by all coauthors before submission.   All Additions and Corrections are subject to editorial approval, and corrections of minor errors or omissions will not be published.


Special Issues ACS ES&T Engineering has a required template that must be completed for all proposals for special issues. If you would like to propose a special issue, please contact the managing editor for more information (managing.editor@est.acs.org).

ACS Publishing Center

While these guidelines will provide basic information on how to prepare and submit the manuscript as well as other critical information about publishing, we also encourage authors to visit the ACS Researcher Resources for additional information on everything that is needed to prepare (and review) manuscripts for ACS journals and partner journals, such as:

  • Mastering the Art of Scientific Publication, which shares editor tips about a variety of topics including making your paper scientifically effective, preparing excellent graphics, and writing cover letters.
  • Resources on how to prepare and submit a manuscript to ACS Paragon Plus, ACS Publications’ manuscript submission and peer review environment.
  • Sharing your research with the public through the ACS Publications open access program.
  • ACS Reviewer Lab, a free online course covering best practices for peer review and related ethical considerations. 
  • ACS Author Lab, a free online course that empowers authors to prepare and submit strong manuscripts, avoiding errors that could lead to delays in the publication process.

ACS ES&T Engineering - Quality Expectations

Clearly articulating the importance of your research and the quality of presentation of your manuscript will have an important impact on the ease with which it can undergo peer review and the impression it gives to reviewers of its overall quality.  If your writing is rambling, fails to establish the purpose of the research, provides an incoherent discussion, puzzling figures, or inappropriate scales on graph axes, the technical merits of your research will be less easy to recognize.  Please articulate clearly the purpose of your work, write concisely and with clarity, and provide well thought-out and clearly presented figures and tables with appropriate considerations of the magnitude of error.  This will significantly increase the likelihood that we will publish your research.

Manuscript Preparation

Submit with Fast Format

All ACS journals and partner journals have simplified their formatting requirements in favor of a streamlined and standardized review-ready format for an initial manuscript submission. Read more about the requirements and the benefits these serve authors and reviewers here


Manuscripts submitted to ACS ES&T Engineering must follow these simple formatting standards:

  • The preferred format for manuscript files is a Microsoft Word document with the text and all graphics, including Table of Content art (TOC art), embedded within that single Word file.
  • Supporting Information should be submitted as a separate file(s).
  • Submissions must be complete with clearly identified standard sections used to report original research, free of annotations or highlights, and include all numbered and labeled components.
  • The text of all article types should be double-spaced in a single column with the lines numbered consecutively in a separate column at the margin. 
  • Figures, charts, tables, schemes, and equations should be embedded in the text. Separate graphics can be supplied at revision.
  • References can be provided in any style, but they must be complete, including all authors and titles.

Document Templates and Format

The use of manuscript templates is not required for ACS ES&T Engineering, but may be useful to consult to approximate how an article will compose.  


Additional generic instructions for submission of manuscripts and Supporting Information are available at the ACS Researcher Resources. General information on the preparation of manuscripts may also be found in the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication. For further support you can reach ACS via email at support@services.acs.org, or by phone at 1-800-227-9919 (USA and Canada) or 1-202-872-4357. 


Length limits. The length limits for each article type are listed in the Article Types section.  Article length can be determined by counting all text, excluding title page, references, and figure/table captions. Next, add 300 words for each small figure, scheme, or table that takes up part of a page. Large multipart figures, extensive tables, detailed maps or chemical pathways taking up a page or more should be counted as 600 words. At the discretion of the assigned editor, some figures or tables may be counted as more than 600 words.


Manuscripts that exceed the length limit will be un-submitted (returned to the Draft section in Paragon Plus) with a request to shorten, or they may be immediately rejected. To reduce length, make the Introduction and Discussion sections more concise. In addition make appropriate use of Supporting Information (SI; see below), which is also readily available to readers of the manuscripts on the ACS ES&T Engineering website.


Authors who believe that exceeding the length limit is essential must include a compelling argument in their cover letters. Ultimately, however, the decision about whether a manuscript that exceeds the recommended length is appropriate for review is made by the assigned editor.

Acceptable Software, File Designations, and TeX/LaTeX

See the list of Acceptable Software and appropriate File Designations to be sure your file types are compatible with ACS Paragon Plus. Information for manuscripts generated from TeX/LaTeX is also available. Please also see Appendix 3 for a list of copyright-compliant graphics programs and graphics websites for the creation of figures, TOC art, and front cover artwork.

Cover Letter

A cover letter must accompany every manuscript submission. During the submission process, you may type it or paste it into the submission system, or you may attach it as a file. The cover letter should list the authors and their affiliations, give the manuscript title, and provide complete contact information for all authors. If you have a non-preferred editor, you may explain your reason for making the request in your cover letter. The cover letter must also include a rationale for why your manuscript is appropriate for publication in ACS ES&T Engineering. The environmental impact and/or engineering significance must be described in the letter. A substantial fraction of submissions to ACS ES&T Engineering are not sent out for review because an editor concludes that the manuscript does not meet the journal’s standards for novelty, scientific merit, or environmental importance. The cover letter is your opportunity to convince the editor that this is not the case. Citations of previous related work published within ACS ES&T Engineering also can be useful to the reviewing editor.

Manuscript Text Components

Spell out all acronyms on first use in the abstract and in the body of the article. ACS ES&T Engineering does not allow footnotes, with the exception of an author information footnote on the title page and table detail/definition footnotes.

Elements of a Manuscript

The various sections of the manuscript are described in detail below:

  • Title and Authorship
  • Abstract and Keywords
  • Graphic for Table of Contents (TOC)/Abstract Art
  • Introduction
  • Experimental/Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Abbreviations
  • Acknowledgment
  • Funding Sources
  • References
  • Tables and Figures
  • Formulae and Equations
  • Chemical Structures
  • Web Enhanced Objects (WEO)
  • Supporting Information
  • Front Cover Artwork


Title. Use a brief, specific, and informative title. Keywords in titles assist in effective literature retrieval. If trade names are used, give generic names in parentheses.


Authorship. List the full first name, middle initial(s), and last name of each author. Omit professional and official titles. An author’s affiliation should be based on where they were when the work was performed. When the present address of an author is different, include the new information in a footnote. In a paper with more than one author, the name of the corresponding author, to whom post-publication inquiries should be addressed, carries an asterisk (*). Provide an email address for the corresponding author.


Many Funders and Institutions require that institutional affiliations are identified for all authors listed in the work being submitted. ACS facilitates this requirement by collecting institution information during the manuscript submission process in ACS Paragon Plus (Step 2 in Paragon Plus: Authors and Affiliations).


Include as co-authors all those who have made a substantial contribution to the work.  Addition or deletion of an author (s) after submission of the manuscript requires justification from the corresponding author and is subject to editorial approval.  Deceased persons who meet the criteria for inclusion as coauthors should be included, with an Author Information note indicating the date of death.


Abstract and Keywords.

Abstract.  A 150–200-word clear and concise abstract must accompany Research Articles, Review, and Perspective manuscripts. As a one-paragraph summary, describe the purpose, methods or procedures, significant new results, and implications. Define any abbreviations or acronyms used in the abstract. Include major quantitative data if they can be stated briefly, but do not include background material. Do not include reference numbers in the abstract.


Keywords. List up to five keywords at the end of the abstract page. Authors are encouraged to include keywords that do not appear in the title.


Graphic for Table of Contents (TOC)/Abstract Art. This graphic, required for a Research Article, Review, and Perspective manuscript, appears next to the abstract online and in all versions of the article.  It is also used in other situations in which a representative graphic is needed (e.g. social media). The selected image should give readers a quick visual representation of the essence of the paper. It should be simple and relatively free of text and technical characters, and make use of color for visual impact. Abstract art may include a photograph of a field site or a schematic portraying the central findings of the paper. Please consult a recent issue of the journal for examples. Guidelines for TOC/Abstract Art specifications are also available. Please also see Appendix 3 for a list of approved graphics programs that have acceptable copyright agreements in place for the commercial use of graphics drawn by the author.


All portions of the TOC graphic must have been created by the authors of the paper. Material not actually created by the authors cannot appear in TOC graphics even if the copyright owner of the material does not want credit.


Size requirement = 240-point width by 135-point height (3.25” x 1.75”; approx. 8.25 cm by 4.45 cm)


Additional specifications:

  • Images must be original (not previously published) and created by one of the authors of the paper.
  • No copyright, credit, permission, or attribution statements are allowed.
  • No captions or legends are permitted.
  • Photographs may not show any identifiable individuals unless a model release is provided for ALL identifiable individuals. Any photographs must have been taken by an author of the paper.
  • No copyrighted, public domain, Creative Commons license, ClipArt, or stock photo material may be used. 
  • No postage stamps, currency, or trademarked items (company or institutional logos, images, and products) may appear in the graphic.
  • No maps may be used.
  • TOC art is subject to final approval by the assigned editor.
  • Authors must certify in their cover letters that they have complied with this TOC art policy and confirm that the submitted image was created by an author and has never been published.



The introduction should clearly and concisely explain the motivation for the work, its importance and originality, where it fits in the development of the field and why it should be of interest to ACS ES&T Engineering readers. Discuss relationships of the study to previously published work, but do not reiterate or provide a complete literature survey. Current findings should not be included or summarized in this section. Introduction sections are typically around 500 words in length.


Experimental/Methods. Describe pertinent and critical factors involved in the experimental work but avoid excessive description. Details not essential for understanding the paper can be placed in Supporting Information (SI).  Specific experimental methods should be sufficiently detailed for others to repeat the experiments unequivocally. List devices of a specialized nature or instruments that may vary in performance or affect the quality of the data obtained (e.g. spectroscopic resolution), including the vendor. If the procedures are already published, provide citations to previous publications and expand only on differences in the current work. Authors must emphasize any unexpected, new, and/or significant hazards or risks associated with the reported work and this safety information must be included in the Experimental/Methods section. Authors of studies that include results that are compatible with open access data repositories (e.g., NCBI for genomic data) are expected to upload the data and give the accession information.


Results and Discussion. Be complete but concise. Discuss your findings, postulate explanations for the data, elucidate models and compare your results with those of others.  Avoid irrelevant comparisons or contrasts, any speculation unsupported by the data presented and verbose discussion. 


Conclusions. Concisely articulate the important findings of your work and their impact on the field of research, aiming for maximum brevity.


Abbreviations. Specialized abbreviations may be used provided they are placed in parentheses after the word(s) at first point of use.  Do not include a separate Abbreviations list.  Use SI units, and consult the The ACS Style Guide for lists of SI units and preferred forms of commonly used abbreviations.


Acknowledgment.  Include only essential credits to acknowledge financial or professional assistance to the conduct of research.  Sources of financial support must be acknowledged.  Omit academic and social titles.  Statements about author contributions to the work or equal contributions of work should be included as a separate statement.


Funding SourcesAuthors are required to report ALL funding sources and grant/award numbers relevant to their manuscript.  To meet this requirement, the submitting author must enter all sources of funding for ALL authors relevant to the submission in BOTH the Open Funder Registry tool in ACS Paragon Plus submission site, and in the manuscript under acknowledgments. See this page for complete instructions. 


References.  Literature references in ACS ES&T Engineering must be numbered in order of appearance, and the corresponding numbers placed at the appropriate locations in the text as superscripted numerals. The accuracy of the References is the responsibility of the authors, who are encouraged to avoid references to works that have not been peer reviewed. DOI numbers are helpful but not mandatory unless they are the only identifying information available (e.g. for recently published articles).  Excessive self-citation is not permitted.  Any references in publications that would be difficult for most reviewers to obtain or are unpublished should be uploaded into the ACS ES&T Engineering Paragon Plus submission site as Information for ‘Review Only’.


Examples of reference formats are available here. Authors can also consult The ACS Style Guide for additional information on reference style and format.


Tables and Figures.

Tables and figures should be carefully designed to maximize presentation and comprehension of the experimental data with superfluous information excluded.  Please see Appendix 3 for a list of approved graphics programs and websites that have acceptable copyright agreements in place for commercial use of graphics and images.


Tables. Tables should be simple, concise, and supplement, not duplicate, information presented in the text and figures.  Tables should be embedded in the text at the point of relevance, and be furnished with appropriate titles of one phrase or sentence. The title should be understandable without reference to the text.  Details or definitions should be placed at the bottom as footnotes. Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers (i.e. 1, 2, …). Double-space them with wide margins, ensure that each data entry is placed in its own cell, and prepare tables in a consistent format, preferably using a word processor’s table format feature.


Figures. Please see Appendix 2 for further details on how to prepare your figure graphics or Appendix 3 for a list of approved graphics programs and websites that have acceptable copyright agreements in place for the commercial use of drawn graphics and copied images. All figure graphics must be prepared and submitted in digital format and preferably embedded in the text at the point of relevance. Graphics should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers (i.e. 1, 2, ) and accompanied by a caption. It is also acceptable to submit separate TIFF, PDF, EPS (vector artwork), or CDX (ChemDraw file) files. If separate graphic files are submitted, they should be named in a manner clearly identifying their function (e.g. Scheme 1, Figure 1). Each separate graphic file must also include the caption for the respective graphic in the manuscript itself.


Each figure graphic should have good resolution, be clear, concise, and complete and use legible font. Colors may be used to enhance graphics. Graphics must meet the journal’s minimum quality standards or will be returned to authors for improvement. Any graphic (figure, chart, scheme or equation) that has appeared in an earlier publication should include a credit line citing the original source.  Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to re-use this material.


Special requirements for EPS and TIFF files graphics (both when embedded in a Word file and when submitted separately):

  • EPS files: All fonts must be converted to outlines or embedded in the graphic file. The document settings should be in RGB mode.
  • TIFF files: Black & white line art must have a resolution of 1200 dpi; grayscale art (a monochromatic image containing shades of gray) must have a resolution of 600 dpi; and color art (RGB color mode) must have a resolution of 300 dpi.


In addition, ACS Authoring Services can prepare your figures, tables and illustrations to the exact specifications of the journal on your behalf. This includes changes to file type, resolution, color, space, font, scale, line weights and layout (to improve readability and professional appearance).


Formulae and Equations. Chemical formulas should be embedded in the text at the point of relevance and should correspond to the The ACS Style Guide. Chemical equations should be balanced and numbered consecutively along with mathematical equations. Mathematical arguments should be as brief as possible.


Chemical Structures.  Chemical structures should be produced with the use of a drawing program such as ChemDraw.


Web Enhanced Objects (WEO)

The web editions of ACS journals allow readers to review multimedia attachments such as animations and movies that complement understanding of the research being reported.  WEOs should be uploaded in ACS Paragon Plus with ‘Web Enhanced Object’ selected as the file designation.  Consult the list of compatible WEO formats. 


Supporting Information.  Ancillary data and material of interest mainly to specialists is placed in Supporting Information to shorten the length of text in research manuscripts.  Please see the section on Supporting Information (SI) (Optional) for further details below.


Front Cover Artwork.  ACS ES&T Engineering features a different image on the front cover of each issue. The cover art image is usually related to work that is published in that particular issue of the journal.  Authors are encouraged to submit images to be considered for use on future front covers at the time of submission of their revised manuscript.


Images to be considered for the cover should be eye-catching, imaginative and original.  Unpublished images are encouraged.  Covers should be submitted as an electronic file in eps, tif, jpg, or png format (not pdf or ppt), and be approximately 8 inches wide and 11 inches high, with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (color) (2400 x 3300 pixels). The file should be sent as a layered file to enable art enhancement of individual elements. The top 3 inches of the cover image will be obscured by the journal logo, and the bottom 1 inch will be obscured by the ACS Publications bar. Authors should also include a 5-10 word caption that will appear on the front cover, and a short (less than 50 words) description of the cover that will be published alongside the image. Examples of previous ACS ES&T Engineering covers can be seen at https://pubs.acs.org/loi/aeecco.


If the image has been previously published, authors should include a signed permission form from the publisher to reprint the image in all media formats (print and electronic).  See Copyright and Permissions on the ACS Paragon Plus website for more information.  If your art is selected for front cover, ACS will send you information about how to request one complimentary 18” by 24” printed poster featuring your work.


ACS ES&T Engineering also offers authors a great way to promote their work through Supplementary Covers.  Submit your cover idea, artwork, and caption when submitting your manuscript revision in ACS Paragon Plus.  If your article is accepted for publication, your suggestion may be selected for use on one of the journal’s supplementary covers.


The corresponding author must reveal any potential and/or relevant competing financial or other interest (of all authors) that might be affected by publication of the results contained in the manuscript. Potential conflicts of interest and sources of funding of the research reported must be clearly stated at the time of manuscript submission and included in the Acknowledgments. If no potential for a conflict of interest is declared, the following statement will be published in the article: “The authors declare no competing financial interest.” See the ACS Ethical Guidelines for additional details.

Supporting Information

This information is provided to the reviewers during the peer-review process (for Review Only) and is available to readers of the published work (for Publication). Supporting Information must be submitted at the same time as the manuscript. See the list of Acceptable Software by File Designation and confirm that your Supporting Information is viewable.


If the manuscript is accompanied by any supporting information files for publication, these files will be made available free of charge to readers. A brief, nonsentence description of the actual contents of each file, including the file type extension, is required. This description should be labeled Supporting Information and should appear before the Acknowledgement and Reference sections. Examples of sufficient and insufficient descriptions are as follows:


Examples of sufficient descriptions: “Supporting Information: 1H NMR spectra for all compounds (PDF)” or “Additional experimental details, materials, and methods, including photographs of experimental setup (DOC)”.


Examples of insufficient descriptions: “Supporting Information: Figures S1-S3” or “Additional figures as mentioned in the text”.


When including supporting information for review only, include copies of references that are unpublished or in-press. These files are available only to editors and reviewers.


Research Data Policy

All ACS journals strongly encourage authors to make the research data underlying their articles publicly available at the time of publication.

Research data is defined as materials and information used in the experiments that enable the validation of the conclusions drawn in the article, including primary data produced by the authors for the study being reported, secondary data reused or analyzed by the authors for the study, and any other materials necessary to reproduce or replicate the results.

The ACS Research Data Policy provides additional information on Data Availability Statements, Data Citation, and Data Repositories.

Data Requirements


Use abbreviations and acronyms sparingly, and all usage should be defined at the first occurrence in the text. Whenever possible, use systematic nomenclature as recommended by IUPAC and IUBMB for chemical compounds and biomolecules. Names of organisms should comply with genetic conventions, with genus and species names written in italics and spelled out in full on first appearance.


Database Deposition. 

Advancing scientific discoveries can be enhanced when data and materials are made available and readily exchanged. ACS ES&T Engineering requires for all published articles that authors make materials, data, and protocols available to readers through deposition in a public database. In addition, ACS Publications’ figshare houses all Supporting Information within the HTML presentation of the paper and at acs.figshare.com. Authors may want to further investigate Dryad or institutional repositories for depositing data. Authors also agree to make available to interested academic researchers for their own use any materials reported in the manuscript that are not otherwise obtainable. Any restrictions to the availability of materials or information must be stated at the time of submission. The ACS Math Style Sheet and NMR Guidelines are available on ACS Researcher Resources.


Use of Human Subjects or Animals in Research.

The American Chemical Society Publications rules and ethical guidelines provide mandatory standards of practice in experimental studies performed using biological samples obtained from animals or human subjects. Studies submitted for publication approval must present evidence that the described experimental activities have undergone local institutional review assessing safety and humane usage of study subject animals. In the case of human subjects authors must also provide a statement that study samples were obtained through the informed consent of the donors, or in lieu of that evidence, by the authority of the institutional board that licensed the use of such material. The institution’s name and approved IRB number must be listed in the paper. Papers that include any aspect of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) or citizen science must include information on practices employed protects vulnerable populations.  


Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT)


CRediT is a high-level taxonomy used to identify and acknowledge the roles played by contributors to scientific scholarly output. During original submission and/or revision, there are 14 standard roles from which the submitting author can select to describe the specific contributions of each author. At this time, CRediT is optional for authors. Please note that author CRediT information will not transfer if the manuscript is transferred to a non-pilot journal. Click here to learn more about the ACS CRediT pilot.

Language and Editing Services

A well-written paper helps share your results most clearly. The English in all submissions must meet the journal’s minimum standards for publication. Manuscripts containing numerous errors in grammar and word choice can frustrate reviewers and make the review process challenging. ACS Publications’ English Editing Service is designed to help scientists communicate their research effectively. Although using such a service does not guarantee acceptance of a manuscript, they may help in clarifying the significance of your research as well as editing your manuscript for grammar, spelling and other language errors to your ideas are presented at their best.

Preparing Graphics

The quality of illustrations in ACS journals and partner journals depends on the quality of the original files provided by the authors. Figures are not modified or enhanced by journal production staff. All graphics must be prepared and submitted in digital format.


Graphics should be inserted into the main body whenever possible. Please see Appendix 2 for additional information.


Any graphic (figure chart, scheme, or equation) that has appeared in an earlier publication should include a credit line citing the original source. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to re-use this material.

Figure and Illustration Services

The impact of your research is not limited to what you can express with words. Tables and figures such as graphs, photographs, illustrations, diagrams, and other visuals can play a significant role in effectively communicating your findings. Our Artwork Editing and Graphical Abstract services generate publication-ready figures and Table of Contents (TOC) graphics that conform to your chosen journal’s specifications. For figures, this includes changes to file type, resolution, color space, font, scale, line weights, and layout (to improve readability and professional appearance). For TOC graphics, our illustrators can work with a rough sketch or concept or help extract the key findings of your manuscript directly for use as a visual summary of your paper.

Preparing for Submission

Manuscripts, graphics, supporting information, and required forms, as well as manuscript revisions, must all be submitted in digital format through ACS Paragon Plus, which requires an ACS ID to log in. Registering for an ACS ID is fast, free, and does not require an ACS membership. Please refer to Appendix 1 for additional information on preparing your submission

Prior Publication Policy

ACS ES&T Engineering considers only original work for publication that has not been previously published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Related work under consideration for publication in any medium must be cited in the manuscript and the Editor-in-Chief informed at the time of submission. In addition, an author must inform the Editor-in-Chief of prior dissemination of the content in print or electronic formats in the cover letter. Posting of pre-prints to a pre-print server such as ChemRxiv, bioRXiv, arXiv, or applicable repository for their discipline before the manuscript is accepted for publication is considered acceptable but requires citing of the pre-print. Authors may revise the preprint version of their manuscript up until a final acceptance decision has been issued. Please note the use of a pre-print server in the cover letter and provide a link to the preprint, and as appropriate, state how the manuscript has been adjusted/updated between deposition and submission.  All other prior/redundant publication is forbidden. Failure to alert ACS ES&T Engineering in your cover letter to any prior publication of your submission may be viewed as an ethical violation. Upon publication in ACS ES&T Engineering, authors are advised to add a link from the pre-print to the published paper via the Digital Object Identified (DOI) that is assigned to the published article. Some preprint servers, including ChemRxiv and bioRXiv, include this link for authors automatically after publication.

Editorial Policies


Authors submitting material that has been used in their thesis/dissertation must contact the Editor-in-Chief for approval. Authors will be asked to confirm that they alone hold the copyright to the work and to read and comply with the ACS dissertation policy, and the conditions and procedures laid out in the ACS Journal Publishing Agreement (JPA). Authors will also need to make arrangements with their degree-granting institution (and any repositories to which their thesis/dissertation has been or will be posted) to either delay posting of the thesis/dissertation or remove the material from the Internet until the final paper is published by ACS ES&T Engineering (i.e. the work is considered under embargo). Finally, they will need to properly cite the ACS ES&T Engineering article in any versions of the thesis/dissertation made publically available after the embargo period.


Authors wishing to include published ACS ES&T Engineering material in their thesis/dissertation should follow the guidelines of the ACS dissertation policy. They must contact the Editor-in-Chief for permission, and properly cite and link to the published ACS ES&T Engineering article. Permission requests for all ACS Journal materials are handled through the RightsLink service. Please see the RightsLink instructions for complete details:  https://pubs.acs.org/page/copyright/rightslink.html.


Proceedings of conferences and symposia.

Authors cannot publish presentations in proceedings (paper or electronic) that are copyrighted (except by ACS) and then submit them to ACS ES&T Engineering due to copyright concerns. If the proceedings are not copyrighted, publishing a short abstract without figures or tables is permissible. It is the responsibility of authors to notify ACS ES&T Engineering of any abstracts that have been published in any form.



ACS ES&T Engineering will consider for publication a paper or presentation that has been posted on a website available to the general public, provided that the site is the personal site of the author and is not connected to a commercial site. Authors must notify the journal at the time of submission if the material has been available on the Internet or equivalent electronic media and must remove the material from the site at the time of submission. When the paper is published, authors may provide an electronic link from that site to the ACS ES&T Engineering homepage. If the website is a commercial site not owned by ACS, the authors are advised that consideration of the paper may be endangered.



Authors must confirm that they alone hold the copyright to the report. If a government or funding organization requires posting of a related report, please contact the Editor-in-Chief and provide specific details.

Submitting Revised Manuscripts and Response to Reviewers

If you are submitting a revised manuscript or an authorized resubmission of a manuscript that was already peer reviewed, you must submit point-by-point responses to each of the comments of the reviewers. We recommend that you copy the reviewer’s comment into the text immediately prior to your response. You should also upload, as ‘Information for Review Only’, a version of the manuscript with changes highlighted to allow the editor to easily discern the revisions that have been made.

Resubmission of Previously Declined Manuscripts to ACS ES&T Engineering

If your manuscript is declined by ACS ES&T Engineering, read the decision letter carefully. Manuscripts are often declined because the editor determines that the subject matter is not appropriate for ACS ES&T Engineering or that the novelty or significance of the manuscript is insufficient.  If the author believes an error has been made, ACS ES&T Engineering has a process for appealing decisions on manuscripts, which is described in the Appeal Process section of this Guide. If you wish to submit a revised version of a declined manuscript to ACS ES&T Engineering, you must first contact the associate editor who handled your original submission to request permission to resubmit.


If you receive permission to resubmit, indicate in your cover letter that it is an authorized revision of a previously submitted manuscript, provide the original manuscript number, and state how the manuscript has changed. If the manuscript was reviewed, submit a detailed, point-by-point list of your responses to each of the comments of the reviewers or provide convincing reasons for declining to do so. The manuscript should be submitted online (see the Manuscript Submission section of this Guide, below), where it will receive a new manuscript number. During the submission process, mark “Yes” when asked if the manuscript has been previously submitted “in whole or in part.” Manuscripts that editors judge to be resubmissions, in whole or in part, of previously submitted manuscripts that do not comply with these rules will not be considered for publication. Moreover, failure to alert ACS ES&T Engineering  to a resubmission, even in part, is an ethical violation.

Providing Potential Reviewer Names

Please suggest 4 reviewers. Authors are encouraged to avoid suggesting reviewers from the authors’ institutions. Do not suggest reviewers who may have a real or perceived conflict of interest. Whenever possible, suggest academic email addresses rather than personal email addresses.

Manuscript Transfer

If your submission is declined for publication by this journal, the editors might deem your work to be better suited for another ACS Publications journal or partner journal and suggest that the authors consider transferring the submission. Manuscript Transfer simplifies and shortens the process of submitting to another ACS journal or partner journal, as all the coauthors, suggested reviewers, manuscript files, and responses to submission questions are copied by ACS Paragon Plus to the new draft submission. Authors are free to accept or decline the transfer offer. Once a transfer is accepted, authors will then complete the submission to the new journal in ACS Paragon Plus.


During the transfer submission process, authors will have the opportunity to revise the manuscript and address comments received from editors or reviewers. Requirements of the new journal may be different, so authors should also check the Author Guidelines for the new journal and make any needed revisions in order to conform to those requirements. Please keep in mind that the reviews, reviewer identities, and decision letter will all be transferred to the new journal. Authors are encouraged to identify changes made to the manuscript in a cover letter for the new journal.


Note that each journal is editorially independent. Transferring a manuscript is not a guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted, as the final publication decision will belong to the editor of the next journal.


Proofs via ACS Direct Correct

Correction of the galley proofs is the responsibility of the Corresponding Author. The Corresponding Author of an accepted manuscript will receive e-mail notification and complete instructions when page proofs are available for review via ACS Direct Correct (or via production of a list of corrections). Extensive or important changes on page proofs, including changes to the title or list of authors, are subject to review by the editor.


It is the responsibility of the Corresponding Author to ensure that all authors listed on the manuscript agree with the changes made on the proofs. Galley proofs should be returned within 48 hours in order to ensure timely publication of the manuscript.

Publication Date and Patent Dates

Accepted manuscripts will be published on the ACS Publications Web site as an ASAP (As Soon As Publishable, see below) publication as soon as page proofs are corrected and all author concerns are resolved. The first date on which the document is published on the web as an ASAP is considered the publication date.


Publication of manuscripts on the web as an ASAP may occur weeks in advance of the cover date of the issue of publication. Authors should take this into account when planning their patent and intellectual property activities related to a document and should ensure that all patent information is available at the time of first publication, whether ASAP or issue publication. ASAP manuscripts do not receive information on the designated journal issue number for final publication or page number information. This is only available once the manuscript is assigned to a final issue.


All articles published ahead of print receive a unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, which is used to cite the manuscript before and after the paper appears in an issue. Additionally, any supplemental information submitted along with the manuscript will automatically be assigned a DOI and hosted on Figshare to promote open data discoverability and use of your research outputs.

ASAP Publication

As Soon As Publishable (ASAP) manuscripts will be published on the “ASAP Articles” page on the web as soon as page proofs are corrected and all author concerns are resolved. ASAP publication usually occurs within a few working days of receipt of page proof corrections.  Following publication as an ASAP manuscript, manuscripts are then finally published in an issue and given page numbers.  Articles appear on the web approximately 10 days before the printed version is available for distribution. 

Post-Publication Policies

The American Chemical Society follows guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) when considering any ethical concerns regarding a published article, Retractions, and Expressions of Concern.

Additions and Corrections

Additions and Corrections may be requested by the author(s) or initiated by the Editor to address important issues or correct errors and omissions of consequence that arise after publication of an article. All Additions and Corrections are subject to approval by the Editor, and should bring new and directly relevant information and corrections that fix scientific facts. Minor corrections and additions will not be published. Readers who detect errors of consequence in the work of others should contact the corresponding author of that work.


Additions and Corrections must be submitted as new manuscripts via ACS Paragon Plus by the Corresponding Author for publication in the “Addition/Correction” section of the Journal. The corresponding author should obtain approval from all coauthors prior to submitting or provide evidence that such approval has been solicited. The manuscript should include the original article title and author list, citation including DOI, and details of the correction.


Articles may be retracted for scientific or ethical reasons and may be requested by the article author(s) or by the journal Editor(s), but are ultimately published at the discretion of the Editor. Articles that contain seriously flawed or erroneous data such that their findings and conclusions cannot be relied upon may be retracted in order to correct the scientific record. When an article is retracted, a notice of Retraction will be published containing information about the reason for the Retraction. The originally published article will remain online except in extraordinary circumstances (e.g. where deemed legally necessary, or if the availability of the published content poses public health risks).


If you believe you may need to retract your published ACS ES&T Engineering article, please email the Editor-in-Chief (eic@estengg.acs.org), copying the Managing Editor (managing.editor@est.acs.org), with an explanation of the reason(s) for retraction.

Expressions of Concern

Expressions of Concern may be issued at the discretion of the Editor if:

  • there is inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors;
  • there is evidence that the findings are unreliable but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case;
  • an investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication either has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive;
  • an investigation is underway but a judgment will not be available for a considerable time.


Upon completion of any related investigation, and when a final determination is made about the outcome of the article, the Expression of Concern may be replaced with a Retraction notice or Correction.

Sharing Your Published Article

At ACS Publications, we know it is important for you to be able to share your published work with colleagues in the global community of scientists. As sharing on sites known as scholarly collaboration networks (SCNs) is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s scholarly research ecosystem, we would like to remind you of the many ways you can share your published work, including:

  1.  Decide to publish your work Open Access (also see Open Access information in Appendix 1)
  2. Use the free ACS Articles on Request (e-prints) to point readers to your article (see e-prints section above)
  3. Share your work via scholarly collaboration networks (SCNs).  Your Journal Publishing Agreement (JPA) with the American Chemical Society enables you to share your published research with colleagues by


a) Depositing a copy of your accepted peer-reviewed manuscript to online repositories for non-commercial purposes

b) Promoting your research and related data on social media, at conferences, and through scholarly communication networks, or use in teaching or in-house materials

c) Sharing your article’s supporting information via the ACS Publications website.  ACS has partnered with Figshare so it’s easy for ACS authors to download, share, cite or embed your data. The "How Can I Share It" website offers an overview of available sharing platforms and outlines how and where you can share you publications responsibly.  The following resources can also help to increase the impact of your research: Altmetrics, ACS Certified Deposit

d) Using ACS Publications' easy way to share your newly published research with ACS Articles on Request (see E-Prints below)



When your article is published in an ACS journal or partner journal, corresponding authors are provided with a link that offers up to 50 free digital prints of the final published work. This link is valid for the first 12 months following online publication, and can be shared via email or an author’s website. After one year, the access restrictions to your article will be lifted, and you can share the Articles on Request URL on social media and other channels. To access all your Articles on Request links, log in to your ACS Researcher Resources account and visit the “My Published Manuscripts” page.


Article, journal, and commercial reprints are available to order.


We’ve developed ACS’ publishing and editorial policies in consultation with the research communities that we serve, including authors and librarians. Browse our policies below to learn more.

Ethical Guidelines

ACS editors have provided Ethical Guidelines for persons engaged in the publication of chemical research—specifically, for editors, authors, and reviewers. Each journal also has a specific policy on prior publication.

OFAC Compliance

As a U.S.-based non-profit organization, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is required to comply with U.S. sanctions laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). While these laws and regulations permit U.S.-based publishers like ACS to engage in publishing-related activities with authors located in sanctioned regions in many cases, ACS may be prohibited under U.S. law from engaging in publishing-related activities in some cases, including, but not limited to, instances where an author or the institution with which an author is affiliated is located in a particular sanctioned region or has been designated by OFAC as a Specially Designated National (SDN) pursuant to certain U.S. sanctions programs. ACS reserves the right to refrain from engaging in any publishing-related activities that ACS determines in its sole discretion may be in violation of U.S. law.


Safety Considerations

Authors must emphasize any unexpected, new, and/or significant hazards or risks associated with the reported work. This information should be in the Experimental Section of a full article and included in the main text of a letter. Statement examples can be found in the Safety Statement Style Sheet and additional information on communicating safety information from the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication is freely available here.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure

A statement describing any financial conflicts of interest or lack thereof is published in each ACS journal and partner journal article.


During the submission process, the Corresponding Author must provide a statement on behalf of all authors of the manuscript, describing all potential sources of bias, including affiliations, funding sources, and financial or management relationships, that may constitute conflicts of interest. If the manuscript is accepted, the statement will be published in the final article.


If the manuscript is accepted and no conflict of interest has been declared, the following statement will be published in the final article: “The authors declare no competing financial interest.”


In publishing only original research, ACS is committed to deterring plagiarism, including self-plagiarism. ACS Publications uses CrossCheck's iThenticate software to screen submitted manuscripts for similarity to published material. Note that your manuscript may be screened during the submission process.


Further information about plagiarism can be found in Part B of the Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research. See also the press release regarding ACS' participation in the CrossCheck initiative.

Authorship, Author List, and Coauthor Notification

Authors are required to obtain the consent of all their coauthors prior to submitting a manuscript. The submitting author accepts the responsibility of notifying all coauthors that the manuscript is being submitted.


During manuscript submission, the submitting author must provide contact information (full name, email address, institutional affiliation, and mailing address) for all of the coauthors. Because all of the author names are automatically imported into the electronic Journal Publishing Agreement, the names must be entered into ACS Paragon Plus. (Note that coauthors are not required to register in ACS Paragon Plus.) Author affiliation should reflect where the work was completed, even if the author has since left that institution. Authors may include a note with a current address if their institution has changed since the work was completed.


To expedite the processing of your manuscript, please format your author and affiliation information according the guidelines in this link: https://pubsapp.acs.org/paragonplus/submission/author-address-information.pdf.


Criteria for authorship can be found in Part B of the Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools do not qualify for authorship. The use of AI tools for text or image generation should be disclosed in the manuscript within the Acknowledgment section with a description of when and how the tools were used. For more substantial use cases or descriptions of AI tool use, authors should provide full details within the Methods or other appropriate section of the manuscript.


If any change in authorship is necessary after a manuscript has been submitted, confirmation is required that all of the authors (including those being added or removed) have been notified and have agreed to the change. To provide this confirmation, authors are asked to complete and sign an authorship change form and provide the completed form to the appropriate editorial office.


Authors with a single name: If you, or any of your coauthors, have only one name, please follow these steps for proper submission to ACS Paragon Plus:

  1. First (Given) Name Field: Enter an asterisk (*) into the "First (Given) Name" field.
  2. Last (Family) Name Field: Enter your single name into the "Last (Family) Name" field.

If your paper is accepted, the asterisk (*) will be removed from the published version of the paper.



Patent Activities and Intellectual Property

Authors are responsible for ensuring that all patent activities and intellectual property issues are satisfactorily resolved prior to first publication (ASAP or in issue). Acceptance and publication will not be delayed for pending or unresolved issues of this nature.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)

Authors submitting manuscript revisions are required to provide their own personal, validated ORCID iD before completing the submission, if an ORCID iD is not already associated with their ACS Paragon Plus user profiles. This ID may be provided during original manuscript submission or when submitting the manuscript revision. All authors are strongly encouraged to register for an ORCID iD, a unique researcher identifier. The ORCID iD will be displayed in the published article for any author on a manuscript who has a validated ORCID iD associated with ACS when the manuscript is accepted.


ORCID iDs should not be typed into the manuscript. ACS publishes only those ORCID iDs that have been properly verified and linked before the manuscript is accepted. After your ORCID iD is linked, it will be displayed automatically in all subsequently accepted manuscripts for any/all ACS journals. We do not publish ORCID iDs provided during proof review or via other communications after a manuscript is accepted for publication.


With an ORCID iD, you can create a profile of your research activities to distinguish yourself from other researchers with similar names, and make it easier for your colleagues to find your publications. If you do not yet have an ORCID iD, or you wish to associate your existing ORCID iD with your ACS Paragon Plus account, you may do so by clicking on “Edit Your Profile” from your ACS Paragon Plus account homepage and following the ORCID-related links. Learn more at www.orcid.org.

To obtain forms and guidelines for completing the Journal Publishing Agreement or obtaining permissions from copyright owners, and to explore a Copyright Learning Module for chemists, click here.

Funder Reporting Requirement

Authors are required to report funding sources and grant/award numbers. Enter ALL sources of funding for ALL authors in BOTH the Funder Registry Tool in ACS Paragon Plus and in your manuscript to meet this requirement.

Open Access Compliance

ACS offers options by which authors can fulfill the requirements for open access and deposition into repositories for funded research. Visit our ACS Open Science site to see how to fulfill requirements for specific funders and to find out if you are eligible to publish under a Read + Publish agreement between ACS and your institution. You can also find out more about Open Access Compliance and ACS Open Science initiatives.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

During manuscript submission, ACS journal authors have the option to submit a statement sharing information related to diversity and inclusion that is relevant for their paper. If supplying a diversity and inclusion statement, the corresponding author must provide this on behalf of all authors of the manuscript during the submission process. These statements include but are not limited to analysis of citation diversity and acknowledgment of indigenous land on which research was conducted. Statements expressing political beliefs are not permitted and may be removed by the journal office. All statements are subject to final review by the Editor.

  • Citation Diversity Statement:The citation diversity statement should appear in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript. ACS recommends including the following: (1) the importance of citation diversity, (2) the proportion of citations by gender and race/ethnicity for the first and last authors, (3) the method used to determine those proportions and its limitations, and (4) steps taken to by the authors to improve citation diversity in the article. We recognize that one limitation of the current methods is that it cannot account for intersex, non-binary, and transgender people, or Indigenous and mixed-race authors. (Adapted from BMES/Springer Guidelines)
  • Land acknowledgment:The land acknowledgment statement should appear in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript. The statement should link to the institutions’ formal land acknowledgments on which the research took place, if possible. Further guidance for creating these statements can be found here: https://nativegov.org/news/a-guide-to-indigenous-land-acknowledgment/.


Appendix 2: Preparing Graphics


Digital graphics pasted into manuscripts should have the following minimum resolutions:

  • Black and white line art, 1200 dpi
  • Grayscale art, 600 dpi
  • Color art, 300 dpi


Graphics must fit a one- or two-column format. Single-column graphics can be sized up to 240 points wide (3.33 in.) and double-column graphics must be sized between 300 and 504 points (4.167 in. and 7 in.). The maximum depth for all graphics is 660 points (9.167 in.) including the caption (allow 12 pts. For each line of caption text). Lettering should be no smaller than 4.5 points in the final published format. The text should be legible when the graphic is viewed full-size. Helvetica or Arial fonts work well for lettering. Lines should be no thinner than 0.5 point.


Color may be used to enhance the clarity of complex structures, figures, spectra, and schemes, etc., and color reproduction of graphics is provided at no additional cost to the author. Graphics intended to appear in black and white or grayscale should not be submitted in color.

Type of Graphics

Table of Contents (TOC)/Abstract Graphic

Consult the Guidelines for Table of Contents/Abstract Graphics for specifications.

Our team of subject-matter experts and graphical designers can also help generate a compelling TOC graphic to convey your key findings. Learn more about our Graphical Abstract service.


A caption giving the figure number and a brief description must be included below each figure. The caption should be understandable without reference to the text. It is preferable to place any key to symbols used in the artwork itself, not in the caption. Ensure that any symbols and abbreviations used in the text agree with those in the artwork.


Charts (groups of structures that do not show reactions) may have a brief caption describing their contents.


Each table must have a brief (one phrase or sentence) title that describes the contents. The title should be understandable without reference to the text. Details should be put in footnotes, not in the title. Tables should be used when the data cannot be presented clearly in the narrative, when many numbers must be presented, or when more meaningful inter-relationships can be conveyed by the tabular format. Tables should supplement, not duplicate, information presented in the text and figures. Tables should be simple and concise.


Each scheme (sequences of reactions) may have a brief caption describing its contents.

Chemical Structures

Chemical structures should be produced with the use of a drawing program such as ChemDraw.

Cover Art

ACS ES&T Engineering features a different image on the front cover of each issue.  The cover art image is usually related to work that is published in that particular issue of the journal.  Authors are encouraged to submit images to be considered for use on future front covers at the time of submitting their revised manuscripts.


Images to be considered for the cover should be eye-catching, imaginative and original.  Unpublished images are encouraged.  Covers should be submitted as an electronic file in eps, tif, jpg, or png format (not pdf or ppt), and be at least 8.19 inches wide and 10 inches high, with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (color) (2400 x 3300 pixels). The file should be sent as a layered file to enable art enhancement of individual elements. The top 3 inches of the cover image will be obscured by the journal logo.  Authors should also include a 5-10 word caption that will appear on the front cover, and a short (less than 50 words) description of the cover that will be published alongside the image.


If the image has been previously published, authors should include a signed permission form from the publisher to reprint the image in all media formats (print and electronic).  See Copyright and Permissions on the ACS Paragon Plus website for more information.  If your art is selected for front cover, ACS will send you information about how to request one complimentary 18” by 24” printed poster featuring your work.


ACS ES&T Engineering also offers authors to promote their work through Supplementary Covers. Submit your cover idea, artwork, and caption when submitting your manuscript revision in ACS Paragon Plus. If your article is accepted for publication, your suggestion may be selected for use on one of the journal’s supplementary covers. All art submitted for consideration for a supplementary cover will also be considered for a front cover.

Appendix 3: Approved Graphics Programs

Web Enhanced Objects (WEO)

The Web editions of ACS journals allow readers to view multimedia attachments such as animations and movies that complement understanding of the research being reported.


WEOs should be uploaded in ACS Paragon Plus with ‘Web Enhanced Object’ selected as the file designation. Consult the list of compatible WEO formats.

Approved Graphics Programs and Websites with Compliant Copyright Licenses for Commercial Use

To comply with copyright rules, the following websites and graphics programs have copyright license wording that is acceptable to allow commercial use of their images and created graphics.  It remains the responsibility of the author to obtain or purchase the correct copyright license agreement from the recommended vendors listed below.

  • iStock (standard license)
  • Frontier Media (authors own copyright and allow CC-BY license)
  • Adobe (standard license)
  • TurboSquid (royalty free license)
  • Cinema4D (www.maxon.net)
  • Pexels
  • Pickit
  • Freeimages.com
  • Autodesk 3DS Max 2015 software
  • Photoshop
  • Inkscape
  • Dreamstime.com
  • ChemDraw
  • PyMOL
  • Microsoft ClipArt
  • Wordclouds.com
  • Piktochart
  • 123RF.com
  • Blender
  • Mapchart
  • Brusheezy
  • openclipart.org (CC-BY - allows commercial use)
  • Shutterstock (standard license)
  • eLife Science (creative commons license)
  • Megapixel (royalty free license)
  • Protein Database
  • Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD)
  • gettyimages.com
  • Protter
  • Shade 3D
  • 3D Max
  • QGIS software (uses GNU General Public licenses)
  • "R" software (uses GNU General Public license)
  • SVG Map v 1.5
  • GIMP
  • Avogadro Software
  • 3D Sketchup Software
  • Solidworks
  • ArcGIS
  • Affinity Designer (v 1.7, Serif Europe Ltd.)
  • dreamgenerator.com
  • XCrySDen
  • National Gallery of Art/NGA Images. With the launch of NGA Images, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC implements an open access policy for digital images of works of art that the Gallery believes to be in the public domain. Images of these works are now available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Gallery for authorization to use these images as long as credit is given to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. The images are available for download at the NGA Images website (images.nga.gov).