A Partnership retrospective: AAAS’ Science Partner Journal Program and Hindawi

August 22, 2019 marked the anniversary of the first article published by Research, AAAS’ first Science Partner Journal (SPJ). The SPJ program was established in late 2017 to meet the growing chorus of requests from international associations wishing to partner with AAAS to establish a publication outlet for their institution, founded on the same publishing best practices as the Science family of journals.

After extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders, the SPJ program was designed to combine the high-touch support and visual elegance for which Science titles are known with the efficiency and scalability of a commercial publishing program. Each title is editorially independent, published in collaboration with top-tier associations and institutions and represent a wide range of scientific disciplines. A lynchpin of this approach , is AAAS’ partnership with Hindawi, along with other third party service providers.

AAAS selected Hindawi as a production and hosting partner to establish a working relationship with a company that both is well established in the open access space and is investing heavily in open source development. Their white-labeled platform with design flexibility and stem to stern workflow solutions only made the decision easier. 

Since selecting Hindawi as a partner, the relationship has been a collaborative and iterative one, evolving to meet the changing needs of the program

Since selecting Hindawi as a partner, the relationship has been a collaborative and iterative one, evolving to meet the changing needs of the program. One such change occurred when the program grew to two journals and paperflow increased, at which point it was decided to add a materials checking stage to our production process. This was done as it became apparent that extra help was needed to secure correct file formats for published articles, freeing up resources at editorial offices.

Other updates have included more frequent and customized production reports, executing a DOI change nearly six months into publishing article content, and multiple speedy integrations with third party services, such as TrendMD and Altmetrics. We have valued the teamwork and partnership focus of our contacts at Hindawi, who have been notable in the success of the SPJ program. 

AAAS established the SPJ program to align with the AAAS mission, advancing science globally for the benefit of all by providing supporting technological infrastructure, larger market exposure, and editorial best practices to each editorially independent title in the program. 

We have selected our technology and service partners with this same mission in mind. The team are looking forward to growing the SPJ program bolstered by the economies of scale and market know-how provided by these partners and are eager to have a front-row seat to the developments and opportunities that the new Hindawi platform, based on open source infrastructure, will afford.


Hannah Heckner is Associate Director, Product Development and Science Partner Journals at Science Magazine. This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). The illustration is by Hindawi and is also CC-BY.