I just got invited to sign the letter to AAASwith concerns regarding their upcoming open/anti-open access journal Science Advances. There are multiple fatal flaws with this journal, as highlighted in the letter. Top among them are the wrong open access Creative Commons license and a frivolous $1500 charge for articles that exceed 10 pages. Extra fee for going over the length limit in an online journal? I wonder if Jeffrey Beall should add Science Advances to his list of predatory publishers.
I didn't sign the letter because I hope that AAAS will listen and improve the policies of the new journal. In fact, I have no doubt that AAAS will proudly ignore all of the recommendations. I signed only to raise awareness of what AAAS is doing and to discourage scientists from submitting work to Science Advances.
Why am I so certain that AAAS will make nothing good out of Science Advances? Well, that's because they just hired Kent Anderson as the Publisher of Science. I call Kent the Glenn Beck of science publishing. Over on his blog, he routinely makes paranoid asinine arguments about open access and any attempt to fix and improve peer review and science communication. Every time I read a post of his, I cringe and then imagine him co-hosting a show with Beck, called "How Obama will put you all in concentration camps with open access mandates."
It seems that Kent Anderson, AAAS, and Science Advances are all perfectly aligned to make sure that there is no advance in science publishing and communication in their empire. That's just fine. Plenty of other innovative journals and leaders around, working hard to make AAAS irrelevant. Please sign the letter and make sure to never publish with AAAS.