New members of the family

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Science  01 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6268, pp. 7
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf1338

Some publishers add new journal titles more often than I buy new shoes. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the publisher of Science, certainly cannot be accused of that, having grown to only four journal titles in 136 years. Yet many members of the scientific community have encouraged AAAS to expand its repertoire, arguing that the Science family of journals is high quality, well curated and edited, and worth supporting because they enable the mission of a nonprofit scientific society that is governed by scientists working to further the best interests of the scientific community. It is thus with some pride that I describe the launch in 2016 of two new journals: Science Robotics and Science Immunology.

“Editors can launch journals, but it takes excellent authors to make them successful.”


Science Robotics will welcome cutting-edge advances from researchers working in human health, space, ocean, land, atmosphere, industrial, and service environments. These advances could arise from breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, systems design, materials science, new sensors, power systems, propulsion systems, advanced actuators, enhanced reliability and durability, or even in the science of human-robotic interfaces and interactions. I am pleased to announce that Professor Guang-Zhong Yang from Imperial College London has agreed to serve as Editor for this new journal.

Immunology is in a period of unprecedented evolution and expansion, and Science Immunology will showcase new trends in this exciting field. Previously underappreciated, the influence of the immune system is vast, touching aspects of health and disease that are just beginning to be understood. The immune system is mobile and pervasive, and integrates with all bodily systems and organs. New tools are revealing the extent of this influence with exceptional precision and reach. Science Immunology will welcome articles that explore these exciting developments, in any organism—particularly humans.

The Science family of journals also seeks to become “author-centric” publications, moving toward a process that gives authors maximum flexibility in deciding which journal is most suitable for their paper. A robotics paper could be submitted to Science Robotics if the target audience is the robotics community or to Science or Science Advances if it is important that the paper reach an audience broader than the robotics community. To target the medical research community, a medical robotics manuscript might be best presented in Science Translational Medicine. While Science will remain our highest-impact journal, Science Advances, an open access title launched in February 2015, may be the best venue for results that are of immediate interest to broad audiences in and beyond the academic community. An immunology paper will have a number of suitable options within the Science family—Science, Science Immunology, Science Advances, Science Signaling, or Science Translational Medicine—depending on the topic and the intended audience. We will make it easy to submit a paper to multiple Science journals by allowing authors to indicate their priority order of journals at the time of initial submission, with reviews being transferred between Science journals if the authors so desire.

What value do two more journals bring to the already crowded scientific publishing landscape? Although the number of publications is growing, what isn't increasing is the researcher's time. By expanding the Science journal family, authors will have more opportunities to publish under the Science umbrella, where their papers benefit from careful peer review and editing, broad dissemination, and high visibility. Carefully curated content published in Science journals helps busy researchers find which papers to prioritize from the flood of information available. Editors can launch journals, but it takes excellent authors to make them successful. If your research might fit with Science Robotics or Science Immunology, please watch for the first calls for papers, coming soon!

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