For those who haven’t seen it yet, there are two new journals, the American Institue of Physics’ (AIP) AIP Advances and American Physical Society’s (APS) Physical Review X (PRX). Both are representative of a recent trend for traditional publishers to move to open access, online-only publishing models. Another example would be Nature Communications, a journal recently launched by the Nature Publishing Group.
AIP Advances supposedly focuses on applied physics with the promise on rapid publication. A quick look at the papers in their first issue confirms this claim to some extent. There are fourteen papers and the average time between submission and acceptance was around 6 weeks. The longest time was 9 weeks and the shortest just one week. Given that most papers were reviewed during the Christmas break, this is certainly an achievement. It will be interesting to see whether they can keep up this speed once they receive more submissions. The sample size is so far not large enough to allow a clear picture of the eventual content of AIP Advances. The term “applied” does certainly not fit all of the papers in the first issue. The fee for publication in AIP Advances is 1350 USD.
While the first issue of AIP Advances just appeared, PRX has only just issued their call for papers will announce their first call for papers later this month. Issue one is expected to appear in (northern-hemisphere) fall 2011. The scope of PRX is as broad as Physical Review Letters itself, so all fields of physics are covered, including some which formerly might not have fit into the more traditional APS Physical Review publications, especially interdisciplinary research. This sounds a little bit like the scope of Nature Communications and I can imagine that the APS is trying to position PRX to counter the success of both Nature Communications and the increasingly popular New Journal of Physics, which also has an open access model. Publishing in PRX will hit your (or your funding agency’s) wallet for 1500 USD.
In addition, there is now the option to choose open access for most APS journals. The papers will be published under the Creative Commons license. The fees are 1700 USD for Physical Review papers and 2700 USD for Physical Review Letters.
EDIT: In my original post, I had foolishly assumed that the AIP was part of APS publishing. Gene Sprouse, the APS editor in chief has kindly pointed out this mistake to me.