Building on a strong foundation

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Science Advances  21 Apr 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 17, eabi7814
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abi7814
Ali Shilatifard

Just over 5 years ago, Science Advances launched with great expectations. Small at the start—five deputy editors and about 30 associate editors—the journal received 1865 submissions the first year. Our focus was to publish groundbreaking Research Articles and Reviews on a range of topics in an open-access format, providing content to a broad audience. Over the years, small but mighty has morphed into large and strengthening. To support journal growth, the board has now expanded to 38 deputy editors, active scientists who are leaders in their fields, and more than 250 scientists and engineers as associate editors (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/editorialboard). In 2020, the journal received 17,056 and published over 2100 papers. It is clear that Science Advances is well established and advancing brilliantly.

As Science Advances matures, new content options continue to bring value to readers. In 2020, to provide rapid access to emerging research on SARS-CoV-2, the journal launched its first release platform. More than 50 papers were published on the platform from basic research on the virus to applied studies such as a technique to measure mask viability. The latter paper is in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.

For 2021, based on suggestions and discussions with our deputy editor group, we are launching two new article types—Research Resource and Focus. These will complement the journal’s current article types: Research Articles, Reviews, and Editorials.

Research Resource articles describe a validated technique, tool, or informational database without substantial analysis that results in a new research insight. Research Resource articles follow the same format as Research Articles and undergo the same review process. Additional details can be found on the Advances website.

Focus articles allow Science Advances a way to highlight important research areas in an easily accessible format. They will be written in a lively tone and provide enough context so that readers unfamiliar with the topic can grasp the concepts. There will be two types of Focus articles: One type will discuss key research findings that will be published in Science Advances. The other will highlight hot or emerging areas in a specific discipline or provide insights into critical areas of research. Each Focus article type has a strict 1500-word limit (including abstract, main text, references, and figure legends). Managing Editor Laura Remis and Assistant Managing Editor Susan Reiss will work with the deputy editors and their respective groups to identify, solicit, schedule, and publish Focus articles. The 26 March issue contains our inaugural Focus article.

As we continue the work of building Science Advances as a reputable and high-impact open-access journal for the community, we are also very keen to hear from our readership on how we are doing. We are always open to constructive suggestions that will allow us to improve serving our community and fulfilling AAAS’s mission in scientific publications/communications.


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