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  JASA-EL to Become an Independent, “Gold-Level,” Open-Access Journal
Charles C. Church
   The Good, the Not-So-Bad, and the Beautiful
As most members of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) are aware, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Express Letters (JASA-EL) is open access and devoted to providing rapid (averaging 40 days from submission to first decision and 73 days to acceptance) dissemination of important new research results and technical discussion in all fields of acoustics. It has been an open-access publication from the beginning, originally as Acoustic Research Letters Online (ARLO). JASA-EL has been published as a special section of JASA since 2006. However, although papers appearing in JASA-EL were and are freely available online to everyone whether mem- bers of the Society or not, the copyright of most articles was held by the ASA.
The world of scientific publishing has changed consider- ably since those early days, and it continues to evolve in exciting and sometimes unpredictable ways. One of the changes that will affect ASA publications is the desire for a more open kind of open access. In this case, “more open” means, among other things, that the copyright licensing of papers should allow for ease of sharing and reuse, such as with Creative Commons CC BY licens- ing. As described on the Creative Commons website (see, “This license lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you [i.e., the author(s)] for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materi- als.” JASA as a hybrid journal currently gives authors the option to pay for gold open access with Creative Commons CC BY licensing for regular articles, but this licensing for the most part hasn’t been available to JASA- EL authors. As editors of a Society whose members are at once skilled professionals and prolific authors, we agree that ASA publications should also offer a full open-access
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journal among its suite of publications. Therefore, the officers and executive council of the Society have decided that JASA-EL will transition to an independent gold-level open-access journal on January 1, 2021.
The Good
Precisely what does “gold-level open-access” mean for authors publishing in JASA-EL? Simply put, after Janu- ary 1, 2021, authors of papers appearing in JASA-EL will retain the copyright for their article and will also grant a Creative Commons copyright license denoted by “CC BY.” As noted above, the CC BY license means that no permission need be granted to others wishing to reuse or adapt all or any part of a paper as long as proper attribu- tion is given to the original article.
Several additional changes will also be made to reflect the fact that JASA-EL will now be independent of JASA. Perhaps most significantly, as a separate journal, articles in JASA-EL will no longer be published in the print or online editions of JASA. JASA-EL articles will be available only online at the JASA-EL website (see This means JASA-EL will have more opportunities to promote authors’ papers on the journal website, such as featuring papers in a special Editor’s Pick section. Also, JASA-EL will have its own cover, and a selected article from the issue will be specially featured. Another new and exciting possibility we are considering is making video abstracts available to authors for JASA-EL articles. Our publisher, American Insti- tute of Physics (AIP) Publishing, publishes video abstracts regularly for the American Association of Physics Teachers (see so this option should be available rela- tively soon after the transition.
There will be additional, new (for JASA-EL) manuscript types. In the past, all submissions were labeled as “let- ters” for obvious reasons, and this will continue to be the default for most manuscripts. Perhaps the most note- worthy “new” type will be “erratum.” Previously, errata
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