With a new program, the American Association for the Advancement of Science is partnering up with academic institutions around the world to launch peer-reviewed open-access journals. Two Chinese universities have signed up so far.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is looking to advance more than science at the moment: It’s taking direct aim at science’s distribution methods, too.
Last year, AAAS, best known for its Science family of journals, announced a program called Science Partner Journals, which has the goal to offer free online distribution of high-quality open-access journals distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. The program maintains the rigorous peer-reviewed structure that science journals are known for, while making knowledge distributed through these journals available for the benefit of a wide number of people.
“With the launch of the Science Partner Journal program, we look forward to an exciting new chapter of collaboration with top international research organizations,” AAAS Publisher Bill Moran said in a news release last year.
Thus far, the program has teamed with two Chinese universities—the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU)—on the release and distribution of their academic journals. In both cases, the publications, CAST’s Research and NAU’s Plant Phenomics, are newly created and in the midst of getting off the ground. Research, which aims to create a way for Chinese scientists to collaborate with their global counterparts, is currently accepting submissions; Plant Phenomics, which offers a home for academic research on phenomics-enabled plant biology, will begin doing so next month.
The move reflects a broader initiative by AAAS to move into a “digital-first” mindset with its content strategy, something it started a few years ago in part by launching an open-access journal of its own in 2014. More recently, the association has been experimenting with a registration-driven paywall on its popular Science magazine website, which targets general-interest consumers.