Press Release

Astronomical & Astrophysical Journals Going Electronic Only

By SpaceRef Editor
June 2, 2014
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The American Astronomical Society (AAS) and IOP Publishing (IOP) have decided that all AAS research journals published with IOP will become electronic only and will no longer print paper editions. This transition will take effect with the 2015 subscription year and affects the Astronomical Journal (AJ) and the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ), Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL), and Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series (ApJS).

The decision to move to electronic-only publishing was spurred by changes in the way that information in the astronomical sciences is being created, distributed, and consumed. Print publications are simply unable to accommodate the growing amount of content that is “born digital.” Moving to an electronic-only delivery mechanism aligns with the AAS’s forward-looking approach to the dissemination of scholarly knowledge. The Society began distributing its journals online in the mid-1990s, well before the Internet became a mass medium. Electronic-only publication will allow for further development of them outside of the constraints of print.

Chris Biemesderfer, AAS Director of Publishing, explains: “Over the past decade the number of print subscribers to the AJ and ApJ has dwindled, while the number of electronic-only subscribers and the amount of content published in the journals have both increased. The electronic versions of our journals have been the versions of record for 15 years, and since the mid-1990s our priority has always been to place our time and effort into the digital journals’ ongoing development, as exemplified by spinoff services such as the Astronomy Image Explorer []. This latest decision will enable us to provide even better service to our authors and readers.”

Individuals and libraries that currently subscribe to the print and electronic versions of the AJ, ApJ, ApJL, and/or ApJS will be offered an electronic-only renewal for 2015.

Sharice Collins / Kerry Kroffe
IOP Publishing
+1 215-627-0880 / +1 773-315-3519 /

Rick Fienberg / Chris Biemesderfer
American Astronomical Society
+1 202-328-2010 x116 / +1 202-328-2010 x118 /

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Its membership of about 7,000 individuals also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research and educational interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.

IOP Publishing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Institute of Physics (IOP), a scientific society whose worldwide membership of around 50,000 comprises physicists from all sectors. IOP Publishing provides journals, eBooks, magazines, conference proceedings, and websites for the scientific community. We combine the culture of a learned society with global reach and highly efficient and effective publishing systems and processes. Any financial surplus earned by IOP Publishing goes to support science through the activities of IOP.

SpaceRef staff editor.