The American Chemical Society (ACS) is taking steps to turn most of its academic journals into online-only publications.

According to a letter seen by Nature — sent to ACS associate editors by Susan King, senior vice-president of ACS Publications in Washington DC — the move has been prompted by the "accelerated decline in demand for print subscriptions and the diminishing financial return from the print format". King foresees a "move beyond print to an electronic-only scientific publishing environment".

To save money, most ACS journals will, from July, begin printing two pages of reduced text sideways on each page. At the same time, subscribers will be offered incentives to switch to online-only access. In 2010, ACS members will no longer be able to buy print subscriptions of journals.