Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) is a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering research in astronomy and astrophysics. It has been in continuous existence since 1827 and publishes letters and papers reporting original research in relevant fields. Despite the name, the journal is no longer monthly, nor does it carry the notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The first issue of MNRAS was published on 9 February 1827 as Monthly Notices of the Astronomical Society of London and it has been in continuous publication ever since. It took its current name from the second volume, after the Astronomical Society of London became the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). Until 1960 it carried the monthly notices of the RAS, at which time these were transferred to the newly established Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1960–1996) and then to its successor journal Astronomy & Geophysics (since 1997). Until 1965, MNRAS was published in-house by the society; from 1965-2012 it was published by Blackwell Publishing (later part of Wiley-Blackwell) on behalf of the RAS. From 2013, MNRAS is published by Oxford University Press (OUP).
The journal is no longer monthly, with thirty-six issues a year divided into nine volumes.
MNRAS publishes peer-reviewed articles on original research in astronomy and astrophysics. Two sorts of article are carried by MNRAS: papers, which can be of any length, and letters, which are published more quickly but are limited to five pages in length. Letters used to appear on pink pages in the print edition of the journal, but are now only published in full in the online edition with a contents list in the print edition. Editorial control of the journal is exercised by the RAS through an editorial board of professional astronomers; As of July 2012[update], the editor-in-chief is David Flower (University of Durham).
The stated policy of the RAS is "to focus on high quality papers through rigorous peer review and, as far as practicable, to provide free publication." Authors are not charged for publishing in MNRAS, with the costs of publications being met by subscriptions. MNRAS provides a form of open access by providing authors with the option to pay for publication, allowing free access by anyone without charge (hybrid open-access model). Fellows of the RAS are given free online access to the RAS journals as part of their membership benefits. Downloadable PDF versions of MNRAS articles are made available 36 months after publication (delayed open-access model), on both the journal website and the Astrophysics Data System. MNRAS also permits self-archiving by authors on personal webpages, in institutional repositories, and on the arXiv server (green open access). Also, authors are provided with a link to a perpetually freely accessible PDF file, the idea being that the file itself should not be hosted by the author nor by anyone except the publisher, while the link to it can be freely distributed. This is the modern equivalent of offprints, paper copies of the article which used to be provided to the author to distribute, freely, as he saw fit. Authors do not assign copyright to the RAS or OUP, but are required to grant an exclusive licence to publish the article prior to its publication.
The following persons have served as Editor-in-Chief (formerly titled Managing Editor or simply Editor):
The journal is abstracted and indexed in: