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AAS Informational Email 2007-09

AAS Informational Email 2007-09
May 4, 2007

Dear Colleagues:

I wrote to you just before the Seattle meeting that we were reconsidering the publishers of our journals, the Astrophysical Journal the main Journal, the Letters, and the Supplements and the Astronomical Journal. We have since had a short, intense, and very professional process to issue a Request for Proposals to publish our Journals, to evaluate the proposals, and to select a vendor.

I am very pleased to announce that IOP Publishing, operated by the Institute of Physics, will be the new publisher of our journals. I am optimistic that our new partnership will lead to a healthy evolution of our journals in the electronic age.

Let me summarize this with two key points: cheaper and color downloads!

The complex RFP defining our journals and our aspirations for them was put together by a team consisting of AAS representatives and outside independent consultants. The proposals were then evaluated by another team, first for technical merit, completely independent of cost, and only then for costs. In the final stage, site visits with finalists were arranged. IOP Publishing emerged as the choice in large part because of their current leadership in electronic publishing and their manifest enthusiasm to move forward toward greater enrichment of technical publishing with more connectedness among journal articles: cross-references and links to images, and other data bases. The global vision of IOP Publishing also emerged as a factor. All of this, and we expect page charges to decrease.

Our Society owes a debt of gratitude, to which I certainly add my own personal thanks, to the people who accomplished this. Special commendation goes to our Executive Officer, Kevin Marvel, who oversaw the process in a highly professional way, and to our Editors-in-Chief, Ethan Vishniac and Jay Gallagher, and Pub Board Chair Mike A'Hearn, who were deeply engaged in this effort. Appreciation also goes to our consultants, especially to Bob Milkey who came out of his recent retirement as Executive Officer to lend his perspective.

IOP Publishing will begin accepting manuscripts for publication in the Astronomical Journal in September of this year and will commence publishing the Astronomical Journal with the January 1, 2008 issue. Contingent on a successful transition for the Astronomical Journal, the Astrophysical Journal Part I, Part II Letters and Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series are planned to begin production with IOP on January 1, 2009.

IOP Publishing is a not for profit publisher wholly owned by the Institute of Physics ( It is one of the largest and most dynamic publishers of physics information in the world. The publishing activity dates back to 1874 and today the company publishes a wide range of journals, magazines and community websites. Its author and readership is international, and its performance was recognized by the Queen's Awards for Export Achievement in 1990, 1995 and 2000. IOP Publishing is a member of ALPSP, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (

Mailed to AAS members from 7 May 2007.

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