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On the Future of the AAS Journals

[The message below is posted at the request of Kevin Marvel, 
Executive Officer, American Astronomical Society.]

On the Future of the AAS Journals 5-1-2007

The American Astronomical Society has selected IOP Publishing 
(http://www.iop.org/aboutus/IOP_Publishing/page_3141.html) as the 
publisher for the Astronomical Journal, Astrophysical Journal 
Part I, Part II Letters and Astrophysical Journal Supplement 
Series. Publication of the Astronomical Journal will transfer to 
IOP January 1, 2008 and transfer of all versions of the 
Astrophysical Journal is planned for January 1, 2009.

All effort is being made to make this transition as smooth as 
possible, with minimal impact on our authors, subscribers and 
readers. Despite our best efforts, some problems may occur. The 
AAS stands behind its journals and values its authors and 
subscribers. The Society will do its best to resolve any problems 
or issues and work with IOP Publishing to ensure the efficient 
production, publication and circulation of the AAS journals. The 
AAS has established a special email address for the library and 
subscriber community so we can be aware of any particular 
concerns or issues of importance to the library or subscriber 
community. It is:  journals.transition@aas.org.

Some have wondered if this change in publisher will result in a 
change in policies related to the AAS Journals. It will not. Our 
publication and copyright agreement will remain the same. Our 
pricing policies and licensing agreement for online content will 
remain the same. Our current basic subscription packages will 
remain the same while some new options will become available. No 
subscriber will be forced to change their subscription type. Our 
access policy to archived materials will remain the same (free 
after two years). No change in management of the journals from a 
policy standpoint will take place. Journal content will continue 
to be indexed as it has been by third-party indexers.

The goal of the Society is to publish the highest-quality, 
widest-read journals at the lowest possible rates; both page 
charge rates to our authors and subscription rates to our 
subscribers. It is the Society's current plan to hold page charge 
rates flat during the transition and only minimally increase 
subscription rates if necessary. The Society has a long history 
of reasonably managed price increases on subscriptions and has 
actively reduced the page charge rate to authors in recent years. 
Cost savings in all stages of the production process are sought 
and the savings is passed back to our subscribers and authors in 
the form of reasonable rates. Additionally, proceeds from the 
journals do not fund Society activities. Finally, the Society has 
established and regularly enlarges an archive reserve fund to 
ensure the long-term value to the scientific community of the 
intellectual content produced by our authors.

I welcome direct communication from our author, reader and 
subscriber communities on any matter.

Kevin B. Marvel, Executive Officer
American Astronomical Society