Want to use the Open Journal of Astrophysics? Get an Orcid ID!

We’re getting ready to launch the Open Journal of Astrophysics site so for all the folks out there who are busy preparing to submit papers let me just give you advanced warning how it works. The website is currently being tested with real submissions, but these have so far been canvassed from the Editorial Board for testing purposes: the journal is not yet available for general submission, and the site is not yet public. Once we’re sure everything is fully functional we will open up.

Anyway, in order to submit a paper you will need to obtain an ORCID ID. In a nutshell this is a unique identifier that makes it much easier to keep track of researchers than via names, email address or whatever. It can be used for many other things other than the Open Journal project so it’s a good thing to do in itself.

You can register for an ID here. It only takes seconds to do it, so do it now! You can find out more about ORCID here. When you have your ORCID ID you can log into our Open Journal website to submit a paper.

The Open Journal is built on top of the arXiv which means that all papers submitted to the Open Journal must be submitted to the arXiv first. This in turns means is that you must also be registered as a “trustworthy” person to submit there. You can read about how to do that here. When you have succeeded in submitting your paper to the arXiv you can proceed to submit it to the Open Journal.

As an aside, we do have a Latex template for The Open Journal, but you can for the time being submit papers in any style as long as the resulting PDF file is readable.

To submit a paper to be refereed by The Open Journal all you need to do is type in its arXiv ID and the paper will be imported into the Open Journal. The refereeing process is very interactive – you’ll like it a lot – and when it’s completed the paper will be published, assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and will be entered into the CrossRef system for the purpose of gathering citations and other bibliometric data.

We will be issuing a general call for submissions very soon, at which point we will also be publishing general guidance in the form of an FAQ, which includes information about copyright etc. In the meantime, all you need to do is get your ORCID ID and get your papers on the arXiv!

26 Responses to “Want to use the Open Journal of Astrophysics? Get an Orcid ID!”

  1. Bryn Jones Says:

    Good. Requiring an ORCID identifier for an author to submit a paper is exactly right. It would be good if the Open Journal of Astrophysics had some way to record the ORCID identifiers of all coauthors.

    It’s interesting that the new journal will require an ArXiv submission before submitting to the journal. I never uploaded a paper to the ArXiv before acceptance – every submission I made, and every paper I had a significant role in, was submitted to the ArXiv after acceptance (even for conference proceedings articles that were not refereed).

    • I do agree with you that it’s a weird feeling… but if you look how other open journals operate (f1000 or peerJ) you would find that the papers are available since submission, then they get into the review process and updated accordingly. Which, from my point of view, it accelerates science by making discoveries available sooner and avoid people of submitting half-done work to get a improver version after the referee response. As the different versions of the manuscript will be available I believe people will be more careful with what they submit.
      I don’t know how Open Journal of Astrophysics will do regarding the referees report, but I would love to see in our field an open review system as in the two platforms I mentioned above. Open for everyone to see and to cite.

      • Phillip Helbig Says:

        I think that there are good reasons for referees to remain anonymous, at least if they choose to, before the paper is accepted. After acceptance, it might be a good idea to publish the names of the referees along with the paper. There are cases in otherwise reputable journals of referees, for whatever reason, not doing their job properly. This would allow folks to keep an eye out for known shoddy referees. I think it would also put pressure on referees to do a good job. There might be some disadvantages as well, but they should be weighed against the advantages.

        I do think it is more important, though, to first concentrate on the submission process and so on and only later, if at all, think about changes to the refereeing system.

      • Why are we so scared to open the referees report? why too to show how a paper evolves since the submission? If referees are to be anonymous, why not the authors too? Completely anonymous process is also common practice on some computer science journals.

        From my point of view, open review and referee would add a new value to the referees, a way to measure all the job we’ve been doing and get credit for such. In addition, it will remove all the possibility of corruption, senior people won’t be able to frustrate grant applications of a young researcher because she or he criticise a paper – people would know!

      • telescoper Says:

        In fact we don’t have a “referee report” as such. What happens is that the referee marks up the manuscript electronically to raise issues and these must be answered by the author before it is accepted. The refereeing system is not through a series of reports, but through an online dialogue concerning such issues.

        I would prefer if all these dialogues were published openly, but I accept that not all authors/referees will be happy with that at this time. What we want to do is change behaviours, however, and I hope that the many virtues of doing this in the open will quickly persuade people to abandon current practice.

      • Phillip Helbig Says:

        There are reasons for referees to be anonymous which don’t apply to authors. There might be other reasons for authors to be anonymous, and perhaps reasons for referees not to be, but this doesn’t change the fact that there are reasons for referees to be anonymous which don’t apply to authors.

        You can credit referees by publishing their names along with the paper after submission. OK, you don’t see the number of papers they have rejected, but you could add a percentage next to each referee’s name. But this is not necessarily a good idea. Some referees might reject more papers because there are more bad papers in their discipline. There is a lot of bullshit going on in the field of bibliometry. We shouldn’t extent such bullshit to referees.

        “In addition, it will remove all the possibility of corruption, senior people won’t be able to frustrate grant applications of a young researcher because she or he criticise a paper – people would know!”

        Sure they could. What would people know? How would this work in practice? If I criticize a paper of someone who decides my grant application, does that mean he has to approve it or fear being charged with corruption?

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Peter, dialogue between an author and an anonymous referee, the dialogue being visible to the editorial board, is an excellent way to go.

  2. Phillip Helbig Says:

    “As an aside, we do have a Latex template for The Open Journal, but you can for the time being submit papers in any style as long as the resulting PDF file is readable.”

    I don’t know what the legal issues are, but it would certainly be in very bad taste to use LaTeX templates from competing journals.

    • Bryn Jones Says:

      Yes. It would probably be an abuse of copyright to use LaTeX templates from existing journals.

      In any case, it is not that difficult to create your own class or package files. I was asked to write an article for a journal about the history of astronomy that required submission in Word format. I found writing an article in a word processing package distracting and awkward, particularly because my historical notes were in LaTeX. So I created my own LaTeX class file that mimicked the appearance of the journal pages.

      • telescoper Says:

        I don’t think that’s true. Publishing in the Open Journal is no different from posting on the arXiv.

      • Phillip Helbig Says:

        I’m pretty sure there is a difference. It would be like submitting a paper to MNRAS using the ApJ template. Whether or not it is illegal, it looks lazy.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Some of us are connoisseurs of bad taste…

  3. Phillip Helbig Says:

    “It’s interesting that the new journal will require an ArXiv submission before submitting to the journal. I never uploaded a paper to the ArXiv before acceptance – every submission I made, and every paper I had a significant role in, was submitted to the ArXiv after acceptance (even for conference proceedings articles that were not refereed).”

    I’ve said this a hundred times. I hope it doesn’t fall on deaf ears. Some people don’t want their stuff on the arXiv before it has been accepted. Some institutes don’t allow it. There are even some people who can’t submit papers to arXiv. Sometimes, but not always, this is for good reasons. Note also that registration at arXiv does not imply that one is allowed to submit there. Neither does being endorsed. (IIRC, endorsement is necessary except for us old hands who had submitted before the endorsement system was set up, but it is not sufficient.)

    Can it really be that hard to have an alternate submission mechanism?

    I think it is a good idea if all papers are at arXiv after acceptance, provided that the Journal enables this for authors who can’t do so for themselves.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      This is indeed a major decision that OJA has made. There are issues either way, but policies can always be changed; the important thing is to be flexible in response as the research community learns new ways.

  4. University of Sussex colleagues can find out more about ORCID at a Mobile/Technologies event this Thursday. http://www.sussex.ac.uk/library/about/projects/mtw2015

  5. Phillip Helbig Says:

    “As an aside, we do have a Latex template for The Open Journal, but you can for the time being submit papers in any style as long as the resulting PDF file is readable.”

    If you have your own template, why not require submitters to use it?

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Conversely, why require it?

      • Phillip Helbig Says:

        Essentially all journals require some sort of uniform style. OK, maybe that is not a reason the new journal should, but 20-point comic sans is not the way to go, folks. As to using the template of another journal, apart from possible legal issues, it just looks stupid and amateurish. The journal will need to fight an uphill battle for acceptance, and should thus make a good impression. People will submit with LaTeX (you might not want to put up a webpage called “submission in LaTeX”, though), you have a template, so there is no reason not to use it.

        Even if you don’t have the resources to enforce it, some sort of sensible style guide would be a good idea as well.

      • Yes.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Phillip, nobody is going to use 20-point comic sans in their pdf’s. I ask you, does it really matter if papers have mildly different formats? Why should researchers have to jump through yet another hoop? Why should they not be free to make their own decisions how their own work will look?

      • The main issue we have is that the markup tool is much easier to use on single-column layouts….

      • Phillip Helbig Says:

        I don’t think that single-column layout is a problem. But the journal already has its own LaTeX template, which is heavily based on an existing astronomy template. (Whether too heavily is a question for legal eagles.) I seriously doubt that this is a hoop for any astronomer.

      • Bryn Jones Says:

        Perhaps a solution to markup with multiple columns would be to have two options in the LaTeX class file, one for a fancy two-column format and the other for a basic one-column format. The one-column format could be used for markup purposes, the two-column for most purposes?

      • Phillip Helbig Says:

        This is what many journals do (even if they don’t use LaTeX). Ideally, one should just enable the two-column option and reprocess the file, but of course one might have to tweak the placement of figures and so on.

  6. […]  If you don’t have one already, get an ORCID ID! […]

  7. […]  If you don’t have one already, get an ORCID ID! […]

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