The Open Journal of Astrophysics and NASA/ADS

As I’m working on the Open Journal of Astrophysics project quite a lot these days I’m probably going to be boring a lot of people with updates, but there you go.

First is now transferred to the new platform here. It doesn’t look like much now but there is a lot sitting behind the front page and we will get the new site up and running when we’ve got various administrative things approved.

Another thing I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post concerns the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System which (for the uninitiated) is a Digital Library portal for researchers in astronomy and physics, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under a NASA grant. The ADS maintains three bibliographic databases containing more than 14.0 million records covering publications in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, and (of course) the arXiv e-prints. In addition to maintaining its bibliographic corpus, the ADS tracks citations and other information, which means that it is an important tool for evaluating publication impact.

One of the issues that we’ve had with the handful of papers published so far by the Open Journal of Astrophysics is that, because it is an overlay journal, the primary location of the papers published is on the arXiv, alongside other content that has not been refereed. Up until recently searching ADS for `All bibliographic sources’ would return OJA papers, but `All refereed articles’ would not. I’m glad to say that with the help of the ADS team, this issue has now been resolved and OJA papers now show up as refereed articles, as demonstrated by this example:

I know that this was a particular worry for early career researchers who might have been deterred from submitting to the Open Journal of Astrophysics by the fear that their publications would not look like refereed publications. They need worry no longer!

Incidentally, that image also shows that citations are tracked through the CROSSREF system, in which OJA papers are registered when published and issued with a DOI. All this happens behind the scenes from the point of view of an author, but it involves a lot of interesting machinery! A discussion on facebook the other day led to an academic publisher stating that one of the greatest costs of running a journal was registering publications for citation tracking. In fact it costs a maximum of $1 per article (see here). The industry is relying on academics not understanding how cheap things actually are.


10 Responses to “The Open Journal of Astrophysics and NASA/ADS”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Well arranged, keep going, good luck!

    Am I right in thinking that the Irish equivalent of the IOP does not publish journals, and can therefore back you without compromise?

    • Actually the Institute of Physics in Ireland is part of the IOP. Membership is individual, however, not institutional so I don’t see any conflict.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        A considerable proportion (how much?) of the IOP’s income derives from journal publication, so that the IOP does have a conflict of interest supposing that most of its members support initiatives like OJA.

        If you really want to go for it, start an arXiv for the biomedical sciences…

      • There is a biorXiv already, but take-up is so far modest. It should be trivial to set up an overlay journal on it.

  2. “I’m probably going to be boring a lot of people with updates”

    Au contraire, monsieur! Like putting a paper on arXiv before acceptance, discussing the journal before it goes public* is a good way to get constructive comments which can be integrated into the final product.

    * My all-time favourite headline refers to Richard Branson’s company making its appearance at the stock exchange: “Virgin goes public”.

  3. Are you sure that the first link is correct?

  4. I’ve found ADS to be very well run and the staff are always friendly and fix problems very quickly. There is a huge amount of stuff which goes on behind the scenes, and sometimes mistakes are made, but it is enough to point them out and get them corrected.

    Yes, Google Scholar often finds more stuff, but some of it is bogus, some is duplicated, and some is just wrong. I am still looking for a human contact to fix an obvious automatic mistake (even though I have selected to have updates confirmed). Any ideas?

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