The Tree of Life: AAAS and SnapChat collaborate to develop SnapScience to publish scientific papers transiently

“Kent Anderson, the newly appointed Publisher of AAAS (see has announced his first action as Publisher – a partnership between AAAS and Snapchat (

Anderson said “Although I will not officially assume the role of Science publisher until 3 November, this was too important a task to not carry out immediately. AAAS has always been looking for new ways to reduce the public availability of scientific publications. AAAS approached Snapchat a few months ago and in secret developed a new App “SnapScience” which allows the transient publication of scientific articles. Article longevity can be set to 1 minute, 5 minutes or 15 minutes.”

Anderson followed this with “This kind of thing I had always hoped to do in my role as president of the Society for Scholarly Publishing but the technology was just not available. Snapchat has developed the perfect platform for the future of AAAS and scholarly publishing in general with its ability to allow readers a glimpse of a scientific article but not allow them to keep it or reread it or redisplay it.”…”

Open letter to the AAAS – Google Docs

“This is an open letter concerning the recent launch of the new open access journal, Science Advances. In addition to the welcome diversification in journal choices for authors looking for open access venues, there are many positive aspects of Science Advances: its broad STEM scope, its interest in cross-disciplinary research, and the offering of fee waivers. While we welcome the commitment of the Association to open access, we are also deeply concerned with the specific approach. Herein, we outline a number of suggestions that are in line with both the current direction that scholarly publishing is taking and the needs expressed by the open access community, which this journal aims to serve….

Swing and a miss by the AAAS for open access

“The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest scientific organisation, recently announced their latest journal, the fully open access ‘Science Advances‘. While superficially this seems like a good move for them, digging into the details reveals many inherent flaws with the journal, that at worst portray the AAAS as a money-grabbing organisation and enemies to the real progress of science, and at best naive about the current state of scholarly publishing and the direction that the open access movement is pushing it in.

To that end, an open letter has been sent to senior members of the AAAS, including the Editor-in-Chief, and newly appointed Publisher of Science and strongly open access public figurehead (cough) Kent Anderson (of Scholarly Kitchen fame).  It was edited and generally made considerably more punchy and better-worded by an army of crowd-sourced editors – it really was collaborative writing at it’s finest, and amazing to watch in real time! The letter quickly received media attention in The Scientist, as well as a couple of other outlets that I’ve lost the links to. The two major points the letter makes are the charges associated with licensing and additional page lengths, both of which are not evidence-based judgements. All the details are in the letter, including recommendations for progress.”

Open Letter to the AAAS about Science Advances

“We feel that the proposed APCs and licencing scheme are detrimental to the AAAS and the global academic community. As such, we recommend that Science Advances:

Offers CC BY as standard for no additional cost, in line with leading open access publishers, so authors are able to comply with respective funding mandates;
Provides a transparent calculation of its APCs based on the publishing practices of the AAAS and explains how additional value created by the journal will measure against the significantly high prices paid by the authors;
Removes the surcharges associated with increased page number;
Releases all data files under CC0 (with CC BY optional), which has emerged as the community standard for data and is used by leading databases such as Figshare and DataDryad.

We hope that you will consider the points raised above, keeping in mind how best to serve the scientific community, and use Science Advances to add the AAAS to the group of progressive and innovative open access scholarly publishers. We hope AAAS will collaborate with the academic community to facilitate the dissemination of scientific knowledge through a journal committed to fully embracing the principles of Open Access….”