As part of EDP Sciences' ongoing commitment to furthering open science, this news update is the fourth in our "Road to Open" series, highlighting the sponsor-funded “Diamond” open access model. The series offers a monthly showcase of advancements at both the journal and publisher level, focusing on successful implementations of open publishing models and the journals that are demonstrating their sustainability. Join the conversation on social media with #RoadToOpen.

Paris, France, 03 May 2024: Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) is delighted to announce the continuation of its open access publication for the third consecutive year under the Subscribe to Open (S2O) model. As other astronomy journals have shifted to open access via the Gold (APC) route, A&A has persistently opted for this subscriber-based approach to maintain immediate open access, ensuring minimal disruption for both authors and subscribers. This decision underscores A&A's commitment to ensuring the broad accessibility of its high-quality research to the global scientific community, while also securing the journal's sustainability and financial stability.

The Board of Directors of A&A and EDP Sciences have reiterated their support for the S2O model despite the ongoing challenges in sustaining subscription levels. This commitment ensures that an additional year of A&A’s high-quality scientific content remains freely accessible to all, without imposing article processing charges (APCs) on authors. Authors retain copyright ownership and align with open access mandates from institutions and funders. This commitment to the S2O model reflects the journal’s choice of an equitable open access path. The continued support from subscribers is critical to ensure an economically viable publishing solution amidst the evolving challenges of scholarly publishing.

Since becoming open access under the S2O model, A&A has published over 4,500 open access articles, which have been downloaded over 13.5 million times. With corresponding authors from 54 countries, the journal has fostered significant international cooperation and dialogue. In 2022 alone, these articles achieved a collective citation count of 155,685, contributing to the journal’s impressive Journal Impact Factor of 6.5.* As the only journal under an S2O model in a landscape dominated by Gold OA astronomy journals, A&A has become increasingly attractive as a publishing destination and seen a steep increase in articles published.

Dr. Arūnas Kučinskas, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of A&A, reaffirmed the journal's commitment to open science and its service to the astronomical and astrophysical communities. "For over half a century, A&A has pioneered the publication of important, peer-reviewed scientific research," he noted. "Continuing our journey with the S2O model allows us to provide an efficient, sustainable publishing framework that keeps our contributions accessible to everyone. The model not only fosters collaboration and innovation within the scientific community but also represents a cost-effective alternative to other open access models."

Dr. Anne Ruimy, Publishing Director at EDP Sciences, expressed gratitude to library partners and supporting institutions that have enabled the continuation of open access for A&A. She highlighted the critical need for ongoing support for S2O journals. "We anticipate that increased familiarity with S2O among institutions and readers will streamline the renewal process, thus supporting the ongoing publication of high-quality content under this transparent and sustainable model," she stated. "Furthermore, the S2O model, by not introducing volume incentives, directly addresses the challenges posed by paper mills and reinforces our commitment to preserving the integrity and credibility of the research we publish."

The S2O model remains an equitable and transformative approach to open access publishing, with A&A actively evaluating and adapting the model to ensure its future viability. Enhancements and subscriber-only benefits introduced in previous years continue to add value to the journal's offerings, with plans for further adaptations of the S2O model in the coming years. This approach emphasises equity, allowing A&A to serve as a leading example of open and accessible scientific communication.

*figures from March 2024


For further information, contact:

Charlotte Van Rooyen

Director of Marketing and Communications, EDP Sciences

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About Astronomy & Astrophysics

Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) is a peer-reviewed community journal that publishes original research in astronomy and astrophysics. The journal is an international consortium governed by a Board of Directors who set the policies for A&A including general guidelines for publishing, the selection of the Editors, the various financial aspects, as well as membership of new countries.

The Editors are astronomers that are independent of any government or administrative body associated with the journal. A&A promotes diversity and equity in science and embraces open, inclusive, and fair practices that reflect the culture and values of the worldwide community of astronomers. Educational initiatives sponsored by A&A and EDP Sciences, such as the Science Writing for Young Astronomers (SWYA) workshops, educate and develop early career astronomers.

About EDP Sciences

Founded in 1920 by a distinguished group of French learned societies including eminent scientists like Marie Curie, Paul Langevin and Louis de Broglie, EDP Sciences today publishes high-quality scientific journals, conferences proceeding, books and magazines in a broad range of scientific, technical, and medical disciplines. As well as A&A, EDP Sciences is successfully publishing its Mathematics portfolio  in open access through the S2O model.

About A&A’s Subscribe to Open Model

Subscribe to Open (S2O) is an innovative subscription model endorsed by cOAlition S, using traditional subscription mechanisms to support open access. Institutions subscribe as usual, and provided subscription targets are met, the journal remains openly accessible, promoting equitable knowledge distribution.

In 2024, A&A will continue to offer unrestricted access to its articles, with annual evaluations based on subscription renewals.

For more information, see the A&A S2O FAQs .