Archive for the Open Access Category

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on September 23, 2021 by telescoper

Time to announce another publication in the Open Journal of Astrophysics. This one is the tenth paper in Volume 4 (2021) and the 41st in all. We actually published this one a couple of days ago but I’ve been so busy with start-of-term shenanigans that I didn’t get time to announce it until this morning.

The latest publication is entitled Consequences of constant elevation scans for instrumental systematics in Cosmic Microwave Background Experiments. The authors are Daniel B. Thomas & Nialh McCallum of Queen Mary, University of London, and Michael Brown of the University of Manchester.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay which includes the abstract:

You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so. You can find the arXiv version of the paper here. This one is also in the folder marked Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics, though it is obviously of relevance to Cosmology and Non-Galactic Astrophysics too.

Open Access and the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access, YouTube with tags , , on September 18, 2021 by telescoper

Here is the video recording of the Invited Colloquium at the International School Daniel Chalonge – Hector de Vega I gave via Zoom on15th September 2021, introduced by Prof. Norma Sanchez.

In the talk I give a review about the absurdity of the current system of academic publishing, about what Open Access publishing means, and give a short introduction to the Open Journal of Astrophysics, an arXiv overlay journal.

I’m sorry if the recording is a bit choppy but that’s an occupational hazard with Zoom recordings and rather limited broadband!

The talk itself lasts about an hour, but was followed by an interesting discussion session so although the full video is rather long (2 1/2 hours) I’ve put it all there on Youtube.

You can download the video here. A PDF of the slides may be found here. You can also view the slides on slideshare:

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on September 16, 2021 by telescoper

Time to announce another publication in the Open Journal of Astrophysics. This one is the ninth paper in Volume 4 (2021) and the 40th in all.

The latest publication is entitled Black Hole Shadow Drift and Photon Ring Frequency Drift. The authors are Emmanuel Frion (Helsinki), Leonardo Giani (Queensland) and  Tays Miranda (Jyväskylä).

Here is a screen grab of the overlay which includes the abstract:

You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so. You can find the arXiv version of the paper here. This one is also in the folder marked Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics; although primarily in general relativity and quantum cosmology (gr-qc) it is cross-listed in astro-ph so it eligible for publication with us.

The end of the summer has been heralded by the arrival at OJAp HQ of a number of revised versions so I expect to be publishing a few more papers in the next few weeks!

Reminder of talk today!

Posted in Open Access with tags , on September 14, 2021 by telescoper

The AAS goes for Gold

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on September 2, 2021 by telescoper

Yesterday there was a big announcement from the American Astronomical Society (AAS) , namely that all its journals will switch to Open Access from 1st January 2022. This transition will affect the Astronomical Journal (AJ), the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ), Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL), and the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series (ApJS). Previously authors were able to opt for Open Access but from next year it will apply to all papers.

The positive aspect to this change is that it makes articles published by the AAS freely available to the public and other scientists without requiring the payment of a subscription.

On the other hand, these journals will require authors to pay a hefty sum, equivalent to an Article Processing Charge (APC), that increases with the length and complexity of a paper. AAS journals have in the past levied “page charges” from authors for standard (non-OA) publications. In the new regime these are merged into a unified scheme. Here is a summary of the rates.

What’s on offer is therefore a form of Gold Open Access that switches the cost of publication from subscribers to authors. In my view this level of APC is excessive, which is why I call this Fool’s Gold Open Access. Although the AAS is a not-for-profit organization, its journals are published by the Institute of Physics Publishing which is a definitely-for-profit organization.

The Open Journal of Astrophysics charges neither subscribers nor authors; this form of Open Access is usually called Diamond or Platinum Open Access.

The terminology surrounding Open Access is confusing not least because its usage is evolving. In the current jargon, “Gold” Open Access refers to publication that is free to access at the journal. The principal alternative is “Green” Open Access, which means that free access is offered through depositing the paper in some form of repository separate from the journal. Some astronomical journals allow authors to deposit their articles on arXiv, for example, which is probably the main way in which astrophysicists achieve Green Open Access.

Nowadays “Gold” Open Access refers to anything that is made available freely by a journal regardless of whether an APC is charged or not. The Diamond Open Access provided by the Open Journal of Astrophysics is thus a special case of Gold Open Access. A classification in which Diamond and Platinum are subdivisions of Gold must confuse the heck out of chemists, but that’s where we are at the moment. At least it’s not as bad as in astrophysics where the only terms used to describe chemical elements are hydrogen, helium and “metals”…

While I am glad to see the AAS move its journals into Open Access configurations, I can’t agree with the level of APC. The Open Journal of Astrophysics may be relatively small but it has plenty of capacity for growth while remaining entirely free. The more people realize that it costs tens of dollars rather than thousands to publish a paper the more likely it is that they’ll see the moral case for Diamond Open Access.

Talking About Open Access

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff on September 1, 2021 by telescoper

By way of a sequel to my Colloquium in the same series earlier this summer, a fortnight today (on 15th September 2021) I will be doing another talk for the Ecole Internationale d’Astrophysique Daniel Chalonge – Hector de Vega. This won’t be an actual science talk but instead will be about Open Access publishing in general and about the Open Journal of Astrophysics in particular.

The talk is of course free but you need to register here to get the Zoom link. It’s at 4pm Paris Time (which is 3pm Irish Time).

 

Preprints in Applications – a plea to the ARC!

Posted in Open Access, Science Politics with tags , on August 25, 2021 by telescoper

I was astonished to discover (via this article) that the Australian Research Council has placed a ban on preprints veing cited in funding applications, and that many applicants have had applications rejected solely on the basis that they referred to preprints in them.

It beggars belief that anyone who actually understands modern scientific practice could come up with such a stupid idea. I can only surmise that the people who run the Australian Research Council are so out of touch with actual research that they don’t understand not only the silliness of this rule but also the damage being caused by it.

I have been on grants panels in the UK many times, and have reviewed many applications for other agencies too, and I can’t think of any that didn’t refer to preprints. It can take a year or more for a paper to appear in a traditional journal and in many fields research moves so quickly that citing results ahead of (formal) publication is the only way to present a true picture of ongoing research. Any author who doesn’t cite other authors’ preprints is either out of touch with ongoing research or presented an unbalanced view of the literature. I would further argue that, at least in astrophysics, any applicant who doesn’t have a clutch of preprints on the topic of the application can’t be sufficiently active to justify grant funding.

Results made available in preprints may not have been refereed but that is no reason to ban them altogether. Any experienced reviewer will know how to treat them. And don’t forget there are plenty of wrong results in the refereed literature too. I’d prefer a policy that banned applicants whose papers were not published in an Open Access form…

There is a petition here urging the Australian Research Council to revise its preprint policies. I urge you to sign it (as I have done). Be quick, though, as the deadline is 31st August 2021.

And in case you think this is a matter for Australians only, I disagree. Science is collaborative and many of the collaborations span many different countries. It is in all our interests to ensure that our Australian cousins don’t get held back by inane policies like this.

UPDATE: Nature has now covered this story.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2021 by telescoper

Time to announce another publication in the Open Journal of Astrophysics. This one is the eighth paper in Volume 4 (2021) and the 39th in all.

The latest publication is entitled A Detailed Description of the CAMSPEC Likelihood Pipeline and a Reanalysis of the Planck High Frequency Maps. The authors are George Efstathiou and Steven Gratton of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay which includes the abstract:

You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so. You can find the arXiv version of the paper here. This one is also in the folder marked Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics.

This is a long and detailed paper, running to 92 pages in PDF form. Our Editorial process relies on referees being willing to volunteer their time to read and comment on submissions and this one in particular required a great deal of effort. I am always grateful to referees but in this case I am even more grateful than usual the diligence displayed during and the many useful comments received. I know who our reviewers are and they know who they are, but shall remain anonymous!

Happy 30th Birthday to the arXiv!

Posted in Biographical, Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on August 14, 2021 by telescoper

I was reminded yesterday that today, 14th August, is the 30th anniversary of the start of the arXiv so I thought I’d send a quick birthday greeting to mark the occasion. In case you weren’t aware, arXiv is a free distribution service and an open-access archive containing (currently) 1,928,825 scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.

There was a precursor to the arXiv in the form of an email distribution list for preprints, but arXiv proper started on 14th August 1991. It was based at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) with a mirror site in SISSA (Trieste) that was used by those of us in Europe. In the beginning, arXiv was quite a small-scale thing and it wasn’t that easy to upload full papers including figures. In fact the SISSA system was run from a single IBM 386 PC (called “Babbage”). As it expanded, the running of arXiv was taken over Cornell University. You can read more about the history here.

You have to remember that journals didn’t generally have electronic submission in those days: you had to send paper manuscripts in the post to the Editorial office. Likewise many of us carried on sending out paper preprints for some time after the arXiv was set up. Younger researchers should be grateful they don’t have to put up with the absolute chore of producing papers the old-fashioned way!

The astrophysics section of arXiv (“astro-ph”) started in April 1992. Although astrophysicists generally were quick to latch on to this new method of distributing preprints, it took me a little time to get onto arXiv: my first papers did not appear there until February 1993; my first publication was in 1986 so there are quite a few of my early papers that aren’t on arXiv at all. In 1993 I was working at Queen Mary & Westfield College (as it was then called). I was working a lot with collaborators based in Italy at the time and they decided to start posting our joint papers on arXiv. Without that impetus it would have taken me much longer to get to grips with it.

In case you’re interested, my first paper to appear on the arXiv was this one on 23rd February 1993 but it was followed a day later by two others, this one and that one. I don’t remember very well, but this was an exercise in catching up and all three of those papers were actually published in journals before we put them on arXiv. It was only later that we got into the habit of posting papers on arXiv at the same time as submitting to a journal, which I think is the best way to do it!

The Open Journal of Astrophysics would not have been possible without the arXiv but in a wider sense the astrophysics community has a very great deal to thank the arXiv for, but remember that it is funded by donations and is run on a shoestring. If you agree that it’s a tremendously useful asset for your research then please consider making a donation.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on August 13, 2021 by telescoper

Back from my short trip, I now have time to announce another publication in the Open Journal of Astrophysics. This one was published at the end of last month, but owing to the holiday season there was a delay in activating the DOI and registering the metadata  so I have delayed posting about it until just now. It is the seventh paper in Volume 4 (2021) and the 38th in all.

The latest publication is entitled A Differentiable Model of the Assembly of Individual and Populations of Dark Matter Halos. The authors are Andrew P. Hearin,  Jonás Chaves-Montero, Matthew R. Becker and Alex Alarcon, all of the Argonne National Laboratory.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay which includes the abstract:

You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so. You can find the arXiv version of the paper here. This one is also in the folder marked Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics.

We’ve had a bit of a surge in submissions over the last few weeks – no doubt due to authors using their “vacation” to finish off papers. August is not the best month for finding referees, but we’ll do our best to process them quickly!