A&A Subscribe to Open FAQs
- Published on 08 October 2021
Why is A&A transitioning to open access?
Since its launch in 1969, A&A has been publishing pioneering, peer reviewed scientific content. The transition to open access will expand access to its high-quality research to a worldwide audience – furthering the field of astronomy and astrophysics in the interests of advancing open science and serving our community.
What is Subscribe to Open (S2O)?
- Subscribe to Open (S2O) is a subscription open access model that relies on library contributions to make content open access for the benefit of the research community.
- If subscriptions are not renewed, content remains behind the paywall and only subscribers have access.
Why should I continue to subscribe under a S2O model?
- The only way to guarantee access for your researchers to A&A is to subscribe.
- If support is insufficient because institutions decide to cancel their subscription or delay their subscription payments significantly, the content from that year will be published behind a paywall, and only the subscribers will still have access.
- Your current subscription payment will show your commitment to the long-term sustainability of open access.
- Renewal is annual, using current subscription workflows and channels.
- Publishing a high-quality journal like A&A has a cost. EDP Sciences relies on subscription income to publish the journal. Only if publications expenses are covered can the content be made open access.
Are there additional benefits for subscribers?
Following consultation with A&A subscribers, we are pleased to offer new benefits for S2O subscribers in 2023:
- “Early-Bird” discount on 2023 subscriptions. If you renew your subscription or send your new order before the 15th December 2022, the subscription price will remain at the 2022 rate. From 16th December 2022, the 2023 rate will be applied, with a 2% increase on the 2022 subscription price.
- Reserved access to accepted articles ahead of publication. A&A gives online access to the unedited preprint version of accepted papers several weeks ahead of publication. Online access to accepted papers is reserved for subscribers.
- Discount on page charges. Authors who are not located in an A&A member country, but whose institutions subscribe to A&A, will benefit from a discount on page charges (details to follow).
- Please note, page charges are not the same as Article Processing Charges (APCs).
Are there charges to publish in A&A?
A&A is a community journal sponsored by a board of member countries. While subscriptions fund the publishing costs of the journal, the editorial costs are funded both by the contributions from member countries, and page charges for authors of non-member countries. More detailed information on page charges is available here.
- There are no charges to publish in A&A if the first author is affiliated with an A&A member country.
- As of 17 October, 2022, page charges are waived if the first author is affiliated with one of the countries in Group A of Research4Life.
- A moderate fee otherwise known as “page charges” will be charged to first authors from other countries to cover editorial costs.
- In 2023, first authors from non-member countries, but whose institutions subscribe to A&A, will benefit from a discount on page charges (details to follow).
In addition, under the S2O model, if A&A receives enough subscriptions to go open access in a given year, all articles will be published open access that year. No additional charges (article processing charges) apply.
What is the financial structure of A&A?
A&A is a community journal sponsored by a board of member countries. While subscriptions fund the publishing costs of the journal, the editorial costs are funded both by the contributions from member countries, and the page charges for authors of non-member countries.
This division of costs between authors and readers makes it possible to offer low subscription prices, while at the same time removing barriers to publishing for authors from A&A sponsoring countries, and allowing authors from non-sponsoring countries to publish for a modest charge.
If the S2O model is successful, editorial costs will continue to be funded by A&A member contributions and page charges, while subscriptions will be used to cover the open access publication of the journal. Authors from sponsoring countries can therefore publish in open access free of charge, while authors from other countries remain liable for page charges to fund the editorial process of their article (note: page charges are paid to A&A directly and not to the publisher).
For detailed information on page charges https://www.aanda.org/for-authors/author-information/page-charges
What are the revenues used for?
EDP Sciences and the Board of A&A are committed to financial transparency relating to the S2O programme. As a commitment to this pledge, Astronomy and Astrophysics released its first Transparency Report in November 2022 to make a broad range of financial information publicly available.
Read the 2022 Transparency Report.
I can share my work on arXiv so why should I publish in A&A?
Preprint servers such as arXiv play a vital role in bringing research into the astronomy and astrophysics communities as quickly as possible. However, content uploaded to this service has not undergone rigorous peer review and the editorial oversight offered by a professional publisher such as EDP Sciences. In addition, preprints don’t offer the content selection and curation processes that make a scholarly journal a reliable and trusted addition to library collections.
In summary, publishing your article in A&A increases the value and impact of your work by making your article more trustworthy, easier to find, read, and cite, whilst ensuring that the version of record is preserved in perpetuity.
Will A&A be compliant with the open access requirements of institutional or funder mandates?
The Subscribe to Open model is supported by Coalition S, see https://www.coalition-s.org/coalition-s-endorses-the-s2o-model-of-funding-oa/
If A&A receives the subscription renewals required year after year and is published in full open access, articles will be published in open access with a CC-BY license, and authors will be fully compliant with funder mandates such as Plan S.
If subscription income is not sufficient and A&A is not published in open access, authors wishing or required to publish in open access can pay an APC (article processing charge) to have their article published in open access. See https://www.aanda.org/for-authors/author-information/open-access for more information.
In addition, Plan S funded authors can be compliant with such mandates via the “green route”, and deposit their author accepted manuscripts, in a preprint repository with a CC-BY license and without embargo. See the A&A open access page.
What happens if my institution or others don’t renew?
If support is insufficient e.g. because institutions decide to cancel their subscription or delay their subscription payments significantly, the content from that year will be published behind a paywall, and only the subscribers will still have access. Authors will be able to pay a fee for an Open Access Option to make their online article perpetually, universally, and freely accessible.
What will be made open access and when?
If all subscription renewals have been received, A&A will publish its newly accepted content open access, from that time and for a duration of one year.
The opening of each year’s content is contingent on sufficient participation from library customers.
An article published open access with a CC-BY license remains open access forever.
UPDATE 03/05/2023. The A&A Board of Directors and EDP Sciences are pleased to announce (03/05/2023) that A&A will continue to be published open access in 2023, for a second year, under the terms of this transformative model. See the press release for more information.
UPDATE 04/04/2022. The A&A board of directors and EDP Sciences are pleased to announce that A&A has now received the required level of support and will be published open access in 2022 under the terms of this transformative model. From 4th of April 2022, newly accepted A&A articles will publish under a CC-BY 4.0 license allowing authors to retain the copyright and others to share and adapt the content. Content already published or accepted before the 4th of April will be released in free access (freely accessible to all, but not under a CC-BY license). See press release for more information.
UPDATE 03/02/2022. We are currently in the first year of the open access transition for A&A. A percentage of subscribers have not yet renewed their subscription for 2022. Effective publication in open access is contingent on most 2022 subscriptions being renewed. The decision on whether A&A can effectively publish in open access will be communicated as soon as possible.
If your paper is accepted before this time, you will receive the usual publication form that includes copyright transfer and open access options. If you do not wish to pay for open access you should just tick the copyright transfer option.
Providing the transition to open access can be effectively made in the coming weeks, content already published will be released in free access (freely accessible to all, but not under a CC-BY license).
Can I cancel a S2O subscription and request a refund?
For S2O journals like A&A, cancellation is not possible after the decision has been announced regarding publication of the year’s content in open access (regardless of order date). Before the announcement, cancellation is only possible within 6 weeks of receipt of an order.
The decision to open the content is taken once a year in the first quarter, based on continued subscriptions. In 2022, the decision was announced on 4 April 2022.
What license applies to the Subscribe to Open content?
A&A authors whose articles are accepted, will be asked to sign a Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 licence on acceptance of their article. Authors retain the copyright of articles published in open access in A&A even though they release the work under the CC-BY 4.0 license.
How can an institution join the Subscribe to Open programme if they don’t currently subscribe to A&A?