Archive for The Open Journal of Astrophysics

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics!

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on October 2, 2020 by telescoper

Time to announce another new paper in the Open Journal of Astrophysics. The latest publication is by Amy Louca and Elena Sellentin, both of the Sterrewacht Leiden in the The Netherlands, and is entitled The impact of signal-to-noise, redshift, and angular range on the bias of weak lensing 2-point functions. This is another one for the Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics folder.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay:

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.

We actually published this one a few days ago but there was a slight delay registering the metadata and also I was very busy, so this post is a little late. With this paper, we have published as many papers so far in 2020 as we did in 2019 so with several more in the pipeline this looks like being our busiest year

Arguing the Case for Preprints

Posted in Open Access with tags , , , , on September 23, 2020 by telescoper

This is Peer Review Week 2020 as part of which I am participating tomorrow afternoon (Irish Time) in a live panel discussion/webinar called Increasing transparency and trust in preprints: Steps journals can take.

Working in a field like astrophysics, where the use of preprints as a means of disseminating information and ideas is well established, I’m always surprised that some people working in other disciplines don’t really approve of them at all. See for example, this Twitter thread. Still, even in the biosciences, preprints have their advocates and there are signs that attitudes may be changing.

That is not to say that things aren’t changing in astrophysics too. One of the interesting astronomical curiosities I’ve acquired over the years is a preprint of the classic work of Burbidge, Burbidge, Fowler and Hoyle in 1957 (a paper usually referred to as B2FH after the initials of its authors). It’s such an important contribution, in fact, that it has its own wikipedia page.

Younger readers will probably not realize that preprints were not always produced in the electronic form they are today. We all used to make large numbers of these and post them at great expense to (potentially) interested colleagues before publication in order to get comments. That was extremely useful because a paper could take over a year to be published after being refereed for a journal: that’s too long a timescale when a PhD or PDRA position is only a few years in duration. The first papers I was given to read as a new graduate student in 1985 were all preprints that were not published until well into the following year. In some cases I had more or less figured out what they were about by the time they appeared in a journal!

The B2FH paper was published in 1957 but the practice of circulating preprints persisted well into the 1990s. Usually these were produced by institutions with a distinctive design, logo, etc which gave them a professional look, which made it easier to distinguish `serious’ papers from crank material (which was also in circulation). This also suggested that some internal refereeing inside an institution had taken place before an “official” preprint was produced and this lending it an air of trustworthiness. Smaller institutions couldn’t afford all this, so were somewhat excluded from the preprint business.

With the arrival of the arXiv the practice of circulating hard copies of preprints in astrophysics gradually died out, to be replaced by ever-increasing numbers of electronic articles. The arXiv does have some gatekeeping – in the sense there are some controls on who can deposit a preprint there – but it is far easier to circulate a preprint now than it was.

It is still the case that big institutions and collaborations insist on quite strict internal refereeing before publishing a preprint – and some even insist on waiting for a paper to be accepted by a journal before adding it to the arXiv – but there’s no denying that among the wheat there is quite a lot of chaff, some of which attracts media coverage that it does not deserve. It must be admittted, however, that the same can be said of some papers that have passed peer review and appeared in high-profile journals! No system that is operated by human beings will ever be flawless, and peer review is no different.

Nowadays, in astrophysics, the single most important point of access to scientific literature is through the arXiv, which is why the Open Journal of Astrophysics was set up as an overlay journal to provide a level of rigorous peer review for preprints, not only to provide a sort of quality mark but also to improve the paper through the editorial process.

As for increasing transparency and trust in preprints, I think I’ll save some suggestions for tomorrow’s webinar. A good start, however, would be for journals to admit their own limitations and start helping rather than hindering the dissemination of information and ideas.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics!

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on September 15, 2020 by telescoper

A day may come when I don’t write a blog post every time we publish a new paper in the Open Journal of Astrophysics, but it is not this day…

Today’s new publication is by Liliya Williams (of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) and David Zegeye of the University of Chicago and is entitled Two-component mass models of the lensing galaxy in the quadruply imaged supernova iPTF16geu.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay:

You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so.

Incidentally, you may notice that Scholastica have added MathJax to the platform to render mathematical expressions in the abstract.

You can find the arXiv version of the paper here.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics!

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2020 by telescoper

Another new paper  has been published in the Open Journal of Astrophysics! This is another for the folder marked Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics and is entitled Low-scatter galaxy cluster mass proxies for the eROSITA all-sky survey.

The authors of this paper are Dominique Eckert of the University of Geneva, Alexis Finoguenov (Helsinki), Vittorio Ghirardini (MPE Garching), Sebastian Grandis (LMU), Florian Käfer (MPE Garching), Jeremy Sanders (MPE Garching) and Miriam Ramos-Ceja (MPE Garching).

For those of you unfamiliar with eROSITA, it is an X-ray instrument that was built at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, where several of the authors work.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay:

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.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics!

Posted in Maynooth, Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on August 24, 2020 by telescoper

So another new paper has been published in the Open Journal of Astrophysics! This one is in the folder marked Astrophysics of Galaxies and is entitled Massive Star Formation in Metal-Enriched Haloes at High Redshift. I should explain that “Metal” here is the astrophysicist’s definition which basically means anything heavier than hydrogen or helium: chemists may look away now.

The authors of this paper are John Regan (of the Department of Theoretical Physics at Maynooth University), Zoltán Haiman (Columbia), John Wise (Georgia Tech), Brian O’Shea (Michigan State) and Michael Norman (UCSD). And before anyone asks, no I don’t force members of staff in my Department to submit papers to the Open Journal of Astrophysics and yes I did stand aside from the Editorial process because of the institutional conflict.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay:

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.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics!

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on August 4, 2020 by telescoper

Another new paper has been published in the Open Journal of Astrophysics! This one was actually published last Friday but it being the Bank Holiday weekend I just got round to blogging about it today. This is another one for the Cosmology and NonGalactic Astrophysics section. It’s called Cosmic event horizons and the light-speed limit for relative radial motion and is a sort of pedagogical review of the subject aimed at dispelling some common misconceptions about radial velocities and horizons. The author is Markus Pössel of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy at Heidelberg.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay:

I’ve taken the liberty of adding the background teaser image in full here, as it is rather groovy:

You can click on the image to make it larger.

You can find the arXiv version of the paper here.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 29, 2020 by telescoper

To celebrate yesterday’s news, I have great pleasure today in publishing another paper in The Open Journal of Astrophysics.

A reason to be especially pleased with this article is that this is our first publication in the Solar and Stellar Astrophysics category of astro-ph. It’s good to be spreading out beyond cosmology and extragalactic astrophysics which is where most of our papers appear.

The intriguing title of the latest paper is The one that got away: a unique eclipse in the young brown dwarf Roque 12. There’s also a blog post by one of the authors that tells the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of this paper.

The authors of the paper are Aleks Scholz (University of St Andrews, UK), Dirk Froebrich (University of Kent, Canterbury, UK); Koraljka Muzic (University of Lisbon, Portugal) and Jochen Eislöffel (TLS Tautenburg, Germany).

Here is a screen grab of the overlay:

You might notice that we now have the volume number appearing on the overlay, a change we requested recently from Scholastica.

You can find the arXiv version of the paper here.

The Open Journal of Astrophysics is now in the Directory of Open Access Journals!

Posted in Open Access with tags , , on July 28, 2020 by telescoper

One of the things I did during the recent Covid-19 campus closure was to complete an application for the Open Journal of Astrophysics to be indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOJA).

I did apply late last year but there was an issue with the registration of the ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) which had not been done correctly when it was issued by the National Library of Ireland. That was easily fixed but DOAJ requires unsuccessful applicants to wait six months before applying again.

Getting listed on DOAJ is by no means trivial. The criteria are rather strict and the application form rather lengthy. All of which means that I was delighted to learn today that my application was successful this time, and we’re now listed.

To prove it here is our entry:

Apart from the intrinsic usefulness of being indexed, being listed on DOAJ is one of the criteria for being an acceptable Open Access publisher for some funding agencies, including those who have signed up for Plan S.

I also imagine that our being on DOAJ might convince new authors to submit to us!

All I have to do now is figure out how to add our papers and metadata to the DOAJ and find the time to do it.

P. S. The Directory of Open Access Journals also has a WordPress blog which you can find here!

The Open Journal of Astrophysics & INSPIRE

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on July 1, 2020 by telescoper

After a busy morning I’ve got time for an update or two about the Open Journal of Astrophysics.

As well as the NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) many papers in astrophysics are also indexed by INSPIRE HEP the analogous information management system for high energy physics. Here is the logo for the latter:

Being indexed in INSPIRE  is particularly relevant for authors of papers in astroparticle physics and cosmology, but papers in other areas of astrophysics are also listed on INSPIRE HEP. I am given to understand that, e.g., postdoc selection committees often look at INSPIRE for bibliometric information about applications so this is potentially important for early career researchers.

I am very grateful to staff at Inspire for ensuring that all our papers are now fully indexed in INSPIRE HEP as refereed articles with metadata fully consistent with NASA/ADS. The back catalogue having been dealt with manually we can now set up a feed to ensure that future papers are indexed automatically by NASA/ADS and Inspire HEP.

It is worth noting that because our papers are only published online we do not use the standard referencing style of volumes and pages. We have volumes: Volume 3 is 2020, Volume 2 is 2019, and everything before that is Volume 1. Each paper published in a given year is allocated an numerical id which is just an integer.

For an example of this style, see here.

The main thing for proper cross-referencing and citation is the Digital Object Identifier, which is displayed on the overlay for each paper.

The final thing I wanted to say is that I’m now reliably informed that the correct name to be use for the form of Open Access Publishing offered by the Open Journal of Astrophysics is not Green (which has come to mean author self-archiving of papers) but Diamond Open Access, which means that neither authors nor readers are charged.

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics!

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , , on June 25, 2020 by telescoper

Proving further the point that the The Open Journal of Astrophysics is definitely fully open we have published yet another paper. This one was actually published yesterday, which means that we had two in two days..

This one is in the Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics section and is entitled Source Distributions of Cosmic Shear Surveys in Efficiency Space. The authors are Nicolas Tessore and Ian Harrison, both from the University of Manchester. The paper is concerned with the extraction of cosmological information from cosmic shear surveys.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay:

You can find the arXiv version of the paper here.