American Chemical Society Launches CRediT Pilot

18 Journals Chosen in Initial Use of the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT)

As of June 14, 2022, ACS Publications has launched a pilot of the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT) program in 18 of their research journals. CRediT is a high-level taxonomy used to identify and acknowledge the roles played by contributors to scientific scholarly output.​ As of February 2022, CRediT has been formalized as an ANSI/NISO standard.​ 

Most immediately the objective of the pilot is to allow the American Chemical Society (ACS) to determine how best to handle the operational steps for full implementation of CRediT. The spectrum of titles included in the pilot includes ACS’ newest open access titles, including JACS Au, letters journals and review journals, with an eye towards understanding the workflow aspect. Seeing which groups emphasize specific areas of contribution (software, visualization, etc.) may also provide deeper editorial insights. 

In selecting titles for inclusion in the pilot, ACS was curious to see if authors in the various sub-disciplines in chemistry will incorporate contribution versus at rates similar to those seen in other disciplines. Part of the plan for the pilot is a form of A/B testing; comparing author uptake across various journals according to specific type or category. The society will also gain insights as to whether incorporating the degree of contribution poses any kind of a challenge or barrier to authors. 

What might be the benefit to authors in ACS journals? Beth Craanen, Assistant Director, Editorial Services | Global Editorial Operations, ACS hopes that this will amplify the collaborative and open nature of scientific research through greater transparency, shifting the spotlight away from a simplistic count of published articles by a single individual and repositioning the spotlight to reflect the contributions of a network of colleagues.  

CRediT encourages open science and promotes increased transparency in published content.​ It assists researchers in easy identification of potential collaborators, it assists funders in identifying who played what part in specific research outputs, and in tracking the various outputs from grantees, and it assists editors and funders in finding specific peer reviewers for articles or grants.

In using CRediT, submitting authors have the opportunity to properly acknowledge the work of their collaborators, reflecting their contribution through any of the following 14 roles:

  • Conceptualization
  • Data Curation
  • Formal Analysis
  • Funding Acquisition
  • Investigation
  • Methodology
  • Project Administration
  • Resources
  • Software
  • Supervision
  • Validation
  • Visualization
  • Writing - original draft
  • Writing - review and editing

Such specific attributions will appear at the end of the article in the “Author Contributions” section of both the HTML and PDF versions of the article.

ACS’ pilot is expected to run through the end of September 2022. Their Publications Division provides additional information about the pilot here