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FAQs – AAS journals transition to open access

FAQs – AAS journals transition to open access

IOP Publishing (IOPP) is proud to support the American Astronomical Society (AAS) as it transitions its entire journal portfolio to gold open access (OA).  IOPP has worked in partnership with the AAS, a leading nonprofit professional society for astronomers, to publish their prestigious journals since 2007.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which AAS titles will be included as part of this transition?

The Astronomical Journal (AJ)
The Astrophysical Journal (ApJ)
The Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL)
The Astrophysical Journal Supplements (ApJS)

Is The Planetary Science Journal included in this transition?

The Planetary Science Journal is already a Gold Open Access journal.

When will the journals move to gold OA?

From 1 January 2022, all articles in the AAS journal portfolio will be immediately free to read.

What business model will be adopted for the AAS gold OA journals?

AAS gold OA journals will be fully supported by authors paying Article Publication Charges (APCs).  Authors will retain copyright for Gold OA articles, which are immediately made freely available upon publication and are published under a CC-BY license.

Will AAS journals be included in IOPP transformative agreements as gold OA?

The AAS journals will not be included in any transitional agreements that IOP Publishing has in place currently or negotiates in the future.

How will the transition affect the licenses for those libraries and institutions currently subscribing to the AAS journals?

Price offerings for all of our customers will be amended from 1 January 2022, to reflect that AAS titles will no longer form part of our subscription packages.  This is just one part of several elements that need to be factored in when setting our pricing for 2022 packages.  Further details will be communicated in the usual way when renewal discussions begin later in the year.

What will the APCs be for the journals?

The AAS calculates article publication charges using an approach that counts “digital quanta”, units of information in digital form that the author supplies. Digital quanta can include words, figures, tables, data components, and figures within a figure set.

As of 1 January 2022, article publication charges will be assessed to authors according to the tiered rate structure below, with the tiers set by the number of quanta in the publication.

Number of quanta 2022 rates
ApJ, ApJS and AJ
Tier 1 ≤ 30 quanta $1,149
Tier 2 31 – 50 quanta $2,599
Tier 3 51– 100 quanta $4,499
Long-article surcharge > 100 quanta $250
ApJL (rates include $450 handling fee)
ApJL Tier 1 ≤ 40 quanta $2,400
ApJL Long-article surcharge > 40 quanta $400


Note that the Planetary Science Journal will maintain its own, separate rate structure

Will there be waivers and discounts available for researchers who cannot afford APCs?

AAS will be increasing its waiver and discount budget for eligible researchers who do not have the funds available to pay APCs. For further details, please see here

For further information, please contact IOP Publishing’s Customer Service team: