Only two decades ago, the European publishing landscape for chemistry was characterized by fragmentation and a large number of chemistry journals owned and published by European chemical societies. Most of these journals had little impact, and their economic performance was less than satisfactory. While discussions about this unfortunate situation and a possible consolidation of efforts had come up every now and then, it was only in the early and mid-nineties of the last century that such developments actually occurred and bore fruit. From the start it was recognized that the prerequisite for success was quality and that it would be necessary to expand into disciplines other than inorganic and organic chemistry probably sooner rather than later. However, the amalgamation of the existing journals into new journals jointly owned by chemical societies was difficult, as the national pride of society members in their national journal, and in some cases the need to change the language of publication to English, had to be overcome. But finally, upon the encouragement of Jean-Marie Lehn, the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker and Wiley-VCH took the initiative. The first member of what would become a large family of European chemistry journals, Chemistry—A European Journal, covering all areas of chemistry, saw the light of day in 1995. Only three years later the journal was officially owned by the national chemical societies of Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Eight months later Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland joined the owners, and a month later Sweden. The contract with Austria was signed in 2000, and today 14 European chemical societies are the joint owners of this journal, which has in the meantime developed into a highly successful journal publishing full papers, communications and a variety of review-type articles with a current Impact Factor of 5.330.
This group of 14 societies adopted the name Editorial Union of Chemical Societies (EUChemSoc) for its further publishing activities, all of which are being pursued together with Wiley-VCH, the group's long-time partner in society publishing; and there has been a lot of activity. In 1998, the European Journal of Organic Chemistry and its counterpart, the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, were founded. These journals replaced a large number of society journals and have now developed into leading journals in their fields. Only two years later, ChemPhysChem and ChemBioChem joined the journals family, followed by ChemMedChem in 2006 and ChemSusChem in 2008. Also here, existing society journals, such as the Journal de Chimie Physique et de Physico-Chimie Biologique of the former Société Française de Chimie or the journals Il Farmaco and Annali di Chimica of the Società Chimica Italiana were transformed and used as a basis for the new products. In all cases, the flagship journal of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, Angewandte Chemie, was used as a carrier journal in the start-up phases. And, watch out, a new project is already in the pipeline and will be announced soon!
The success of this approach of combining the competence of various chemical societies to create new platforms for publishing chemical research results was soon picked up in other parts of the world. The Asian Chemical Editorial Society (ACES) was created, and its first product, Chemistry—An Asian Journal, was launched in 2006. Today, eleven Asian societies are co-owners of the journal. The Asian and European initiatives work closely together and mutually support each other's top journal.
However, the name EUChemSoc for the group of the European owner societies quickly turned out to be less adequate than originally anticipated, in particular after the former Federation of European Chemical Societies (FECS) changed its name into European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences, abbreviated as EuCheMS. As a consequence of this similarity in names and also to make the purpose of this partnership, namely to publish top-notch chemistry journals, more visible, the partner societies decided to change the name of their alliance to the Chemical Publishing Society Europe.
ChemPubSoc Europe is the new name for the well-established and successful group of 14 European chemical societies that are the owners and co-owners of and responsible for the continuously growing portfolio of highly successful and relevant chemistry journals. Whenever you see the name ChemPubSoc Europe on the cover of a journal, you can be sure that you hold a premier source of chemical information in your hands—made in Europe for the world!