Elsevier launches a new open access physics journal

Results in Physics cover imageResults in Physics”, is currently being launched (volume 1, issue 1 is “In Progress”, with 4 articles currently available) by Elsevier and is available through their ScienceDirect Platform.  The journal is an open access title that functions on the author-pays model (the fee to authors is around $1,500 per article).

One of the most interesting things, to me, about this new journal is how Elsevier is positioning it.  Traditionally, a new journal will justify itself through the unique focus it brings and this is usually expressed through the content that it aims to publish.  If you read through the “Aims & Scope” information  for “Results in Physics”, you will not find any mention of subject coverage (is it optics, condensed matter, quantum information, electrohydrodynamics…the answer, apparently, is “yes”) other than “all aspects of physics”.  What you find instead is a brief statement about how “traditional publishing processes are changing”, how peer review remains an important process but really needs to be more efficient.  In search of that efficiency (and apparently in response to authors’ desires) Elsevier has created a “family cluster” of journals in physics (and “Results in Physics” is the new open access, author-pays sibling in this “family”); what they seem to mean by this is you approach the “family” unit to grant publication of your article and if “dad” says no, you can then (without resubmitting or reformatting – this is the efficiency) ask “mom”, or “little sister”, even the only intermittently dependable “uncle”…and at the end of the line, presumably, when all else has not resulted in the hoped for publication, you can submit to the new author-pays, open access member of “the family”.

Of course, just because “Results in Physics” functions on the author-pays model does not mean anything will be published here; to the contrary, articles that eventually appear in the new journal will be peer reviewed and must be scientifically sound, in compliance with international research and publishing ethics, be a valid contribution to the existing literature and of educational value to the specific community and readers, and be written in clear, concise and correct English.  The bottom line, as Elsevier states, is that, “Results in Physics provides authors a speedy way to publish their peer reviewed science.”  This is an interesting way to envision and justify a new journal.  I am glad to see some experimentation, in any case.  I guess we can keep our eye on this, and see how it develops.

2 thoughts on “Elsevier launches a new open access physics journal

  1. “Of course, just because “Results in Physics” functions on the author-pays model does not mean anything will be published here;”

    I am not sure this statement is supported by the evidence. You will note the first paper published in the journal claims to solve the Navier–Stokes Clay Mathematics Institute Millennium Problem (http://www.claymath.org/millennium/Navier-Stokes_Equations/), for which the prize is $1 million.

    As a researcher in fluid mechanics and applied mathematics, I was, of course, shocked no one told me about this great advance in the field. But, after a close examination of the paper, I can see why. It does not solve the problem as claimed, and it could never pass peer-review in any other journal. I guess that doesn’t matter when you slip the publisher a cool $1500.

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