The nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the publisher ofScience, announced that it will launch the organization’s first online, fully open-access journal early next year. The new journal, called Science Advances, will give authors another outlet for papers that they are willing to pay to make immediately free to the public.
The move marks a shift for AAAS, which has long been a target of complaints from some advocates of open-access publishing. They argue that the nonprofit organization, best known as the publisher of the high-profile subscription journal Science, has been slow to embrace open access, and over the past decade opposed certain proposals to require journals to make government-funded research papers immediately available for free. AAAS and other publishers have generally argued that such policies would imperil a business model that has served the scientific community well for more than a century.
In recent years, however, the conflict has reached something of a resolution. Science and many other subscription journals have adopted a policy of making research papers freely available after 12 months; at the same time, many publishers have launched scores of new open-access journals, which charge authors a fee. For instance, the publishers of Nature, another high-profile subscription title that is considered Science’s main competition, in 2011 launchedScientific Reports, an open-access title.
Like Science, the new journal will span all scientific disciplines, from social sciences to biology to engineering. To cover publishing costs, Science Advances will charge a per-paper fee expected to be within the range of what other open-access journals charge, typically about $1200 to $5000. Within 5 years, the journal aims to ramp up to publishing a few thousand papers annually, and be breaking even on the balance sheet.
Papers submitted to Science or its sister journals, Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling, that are rejected can be automatically considered for Science Advances without more reviews. (Science each year publishes just 800 to 900, or about 6%, of some 14,000 submissions.) Science Advances will also accept new submissions.