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With effect from January 2018, the publishing model of Space Science Reviews has changed. Rather than publishing conventional volumes and issues at fixed intervals, the journal has moved to an electronic-only continuous article publication (CAP) model. This editorial explains to readers, authors and librarians what the change means.
Under the new publishing model articles can be published online in their final form, with final citation details, as soon as they have been copyedited, typeset and proofread. Articles are added in small, regular batches to the current ‘open’ issue of the journal, which will grow over time until it is ‘closed’ after which a new issue is opened. The Online First queue has thus become obsolete. A further benefit of CAP is that articles will be visible in Web of Science immediately.
Space Science Reviews will now publish each year one volume of eight issues (publication months February, March, April, June, August, September, October, December). Tables of contents are ordered by the date articles are published. Readers who have subscribed to our table of contents (ToC) alerts will now receive alerts when new articles are added to an issue.
As a further aspect of the new system, articles are no longer paginated sequentially by issue. Indeed, in the digital era page numbers are not necessary as you can link directly to an article. Therefore, every article starts with page number 1. Sequential page numbers are thus not used for article citation but every article has a citation ID number, called the ArticleCitationID. The ArticleCitationID replaces the page numbers in the citation line, which now includes the journal citation title, year, volume number, ArticleCitationID, and the doi number. For example, the first (earliest) article published in volume 214 should be cited as: Greco, A., Matthaeus, W.H., Perri, S. et al. Space Sci. Rev. (2018) 214: 1. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-017-0435-8.
Corrections are handled according to our existing article corrections policy. The switch to continuous publication means that corrections can be published more quickly, however. Space Science Reviews uses CrossMark, which means anyone reading an article electronically can immediately check whether they have the most up-to-date version.
The CAP model has been prompted and enabled by the ongoing trend of researchers primarily using the online version of journal articles. Thus we have taken this opportunity to move the journal to an electronic-only format and no longer publish print issues.
An essential element of Space Science Reviews has been the publication of topical volumes. These papers will now be published in the form of electronic Topical Collections.
The primary reason for changing the publishing model was to provide a better service to readers and authors by ensuring that a ‘version of record’ of an accepted article that has final citation details is made available as quickly as possible. In doing so, we will avoid the risk of building up a backlog of articles on Online First which has now become redundant. Moreover, as journal readership has moved online and the use of search engines has increased, the importance of publishing individual articles quickly has also grown and is now becoming expected by the community. Thus we are pleased to announce these enhancements to the readers and authors of Space Science Reviews.