Science Advances

Science  12 Feb 2014:
pp.
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251654

The mission of the nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the publisher of Science, is to advance science for the benefit of all humankind. Science contributes to that mission by communicating the very best research across the full range of scientific fields to an extremely broad international audience. The research enterprise has grown dramatically in the past few decades in the number of high-quality practitioners and results, but the capacity for Science to accommodate those works in our journal has not kept pace. Its editors turn away papers that are potentially important, well written, of broad interest, and technically well executed. Although other journals provide publishing venues for more papers, many authors still desire to be published in Science, a journal known for its selectivity, high standards, rapid publication, and high visibility.

To help meet this need, as well as expand the current content of Science so as to include even more diverse topics in science, engineering, technology, mathematics, and the social sciences, AAAS will be launching, in early 2015, a digital-only journal, Science Advances. Like Science, this new publication is designed to encourage transformative research and serve a wide readership. Our view at AAAS is that science is becoming more integrated and interdisciplinary, and therefore we prefer to provide one additional broad journal rather than a number of disciplinary titles, each with more limited scope, that would all have to be searched to find the papers of most interest. Also like Science, this new journal will aim for rapid publication. To contain costs for Science Advances, the journal will publish original research and review articles only, although select papers in Science Advances may be highlighted in Science through News and Commentary coverage.

To ensure the greatest accessibility for authors and readers, the new journal will be open access, with publication funded through author processing charges. With this publishing model, the number of papers that can be published is limited only by the quality of submissions. With digital-only publication, all papers will be posted as soon as they are ready for publication. Although Science has long participated in various global efforts to give researchers in the world’s poorest countries free access to peer-reviewed results, Science Advances will allow AAAS to serve a much larger community of Internet-connected scientists who desire to keep current with the latest scientific results.

The editorial model for Science Advances will be similar to what is used for many society journals. A lead editor will be supported by a large number of associate editors who will be eminent active scientists. Administrative work will be handled at Science headquarters to efficiently process reminders to reviewers and keep manuscripts moving briskly through to a decision. Papers favorably reviewed at Science, Science Translational Medicine, or Science Signaling but declined for lack of space can be considered automatically for publication in Science Advances. This can occur through a cascading process without further review or further effort on the part of the authors. The goal is to speed publication, alleviate the burden on the reviewer community, and reduce the risk to authors of having to resubmit elsewhere.

Science Advances will distinguish itself from Science by its editorial model, the immediate access to papers for all readers, and the fact that acceptance for publication is limited only by the quality of the paper. In the coming months, we look forward to recruiting the lead editor, associate editors, and inaugural papers that will launch a new resource of high-quality research for the scientific community.

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