Astronomy and Astrophysics is a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering theoretical, observational, and instrumental astronomy and astrophysics. It is one of the premier journals for astronomy in the world. The journal is published by EDP Sciences in 16 issues per year. The editor-in-chief is Thierry Forveille (Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Grenoble). Previous editors in chief include Claude Bertout, James Lequeux, Michael Grewing, Catherine Cesarsky and George Contopoulos.
Astronomy and Astrophysics was formed in 1969 by the merging of several national journals of individual European countries into one comprehensive publication. These journals, with their ISSN and date of first publication are as follows:
The publishing of Astronomy and Astrophysics was further extended in 1992 by the incorporation of Bulletin of the Astronomical Institutes of Czechoslovakia, established in 1947. Astronomy and Astrophysics initially published articles in either English, French, or German, but articles in French and German were always few. They were eventually discontinued, in part due to difficulties in finding adequately specialized independent referees who were also fluent in those languages.
The original sponsoring countries were the four countries whose journals merged to form Astronomy and Astrophysics (France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden), together with Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. The European Southern Observatory also participated as a "member country". Norway later withdrew, but Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland all joined. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia all joined as new members in the 1990s. In 2001 the words "A European Journal" were removed from the front cover in recognition of the fact that the journal was becoming increasingly global in scope, and in 2002 Argentina was admitted as an "observer". In 2004 the Board of Directors decided that the journal "will henceforth consider applications for sponsoring membership from any country in the world with well-documented active and excellent astronomical research". Argentina became the first non-European country to gain full membership in 2005. Brazil, Chile, and Portugal all gained "observer" status at this time and have since progressed to full membership.
All letters to the editor and all articles published in the online sections of the journal are open access upon publication. Articles in the other sections of the journal are made freely available 12 months after publication (delayed open-access model), through the publisher's site and via the Astrophysics Data System. Authors have the option to pay for immediate open access.
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