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Environmental Health Perspectives

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EHP Site Announcement

17 August 2016

Beyond Advance Publication

For a number of years, EHP has posted accepted manuscripts online as what we termed Advance Publications. The concept here was simple—to get the content online as quickly as possible in an effort both to get authors the attention they deserve and to get readers the information they need. This product has served our community well, but it is not without its flaws.

To name a few, Advance Publications have not been copyedited, so references and citations may be incorrect or unclear, or in some cases missing altogether. And the language of the manuscript may also be unclear or difficult to follow at times, making it hard for readers to fully grasp the concepts being described. The Advance Publications are also presented as PDFs of the authors’ own Word documents, making them appear unfinished—which they are.

Creating Advance Publications is not free for EHP; it requires time and resources. This would be a worthwhile endeavor if the product were long lasting, but it is not—the files are discarded when the final publication is released. So expending time and effort to create these postings is not the best use of limited resources.

We at EHP feel there is a better approach. This approach goes by multiple names in the world of scientific publishing: continuous publication, single-article publication, or article-by-article publication. Essentially, instead of posting an interim version of the manuscript and holding the final version for an upcoming issue, we only publish an article once, as soon as copyediting, composition, and author proof corrections are complete. This means that once the process is fully implemented, the final publication goes online within weeks of acceptance, instead of months, and there is no need to post incomplete content.

Continuous publication isn’t a new concept, but execution of it has been difficult in the past, so many journals are not there yet. But we feel the time is right for EHP to move in this direction. As a first step, we are discontinuing Advance Publications so we can concentrate our resources on our new continuous publication plan. This means that all papers accepted on or after 22 August 2016 will not receive Advance Publication and will instead only be published in their final form. This change will not increase the time it takes an article to move from submission to final publication, but articles will not appear online as quickly as they have in the past until continuous publication is fully implemented. And the time from acceptance to final publication is expected to decrease steadily throughout 2017. Our peer review and acceptance processes and notifications will not change, and DOIs will still be assigned shortly after acceptance. Authors can continue to use the DOI to cite the paper for promotions and grantee reports between acceptance and final publication.

Watch this space for more updates on continuous publication in the months ahead. We have some exciting changes planned for 2017 and beyond, which should benefit all authors and readers of the journal. As always, we appreciate your support, and welcome your feedback.


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