WASHINGTON, July 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Beginning 18 July, 2017, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the nonprofit publisher of the journal Science, will evaluate metered access to select content from Science's award-winning news department.
In the first six months of this evaluation, which will follow a phased approach, starting with a 5% reader exposure and increasing each month, no payment will be requested.
Instead, as a step through which to learn more about its readership, individuals accessing more than three free Science news articles per month will be asked to sign up for a daily newsletter to continue receiving free news. Should these individuals read eight additional news articles in the same month, for a total of eleven, they'll be asked to register as a "News Subscriber," and to provide limited demographic information.
Metered access will only apply to News from Science content posted on our daily news site (http://www.sciencemag.org/news). News and feature articles appearing in the print version of Science – and available online on the journal's site (http://science.sciencemag.org) – will continue being exclusively available to AAAS members and Science subscribers.
Every day, the news department at Science publishes penetrating news and analysis on science and politics – from the road to a Zika vaccine to science's role in election campaigns. The sophistication of Science's news coverage appeals to both scientists and non-scientists.
"We have a dedicated readership that comes to read news from Science because they can't find coverage of equal depth and quality elsewhere," said Tim Appenzeller, Science's News Editor.
While some of this content is published only in the print issue of the journal and behind a paywall on the journal's website, most of it has been freely available online, supporting the mission of AAAS to communicate science broadly, for the benefit of all people.
Evaluation of a metered access approach comes as AAAS, like many media organizations today, finds itself seeking to continue to provide the high-quality content for which it has been known – and to the most people possible.
"For over 30 years," said Science editor-in-chief Jeremy Berg, "AAAS has advanced science for society's benefit, in part by publishing thought-provoking analysis of news at the intersection of scientific research, policy, technology, and medicine. Publishing this content involves research, editing and archiving of articles, developing illustrations that depict key concepts for a variety of audiences, and widely disseminating this material. These efforts boost the visibility of scientific research and provide multiple gateways for access."
The metered access evaluation will provide AAAS with more information about its readers, particularly those who visit the News site most regularly, which will in turn help the organization to secure stronger and more relevant advertising in support of continued, high-quality publication.
In 2018, the experimental metered access may transition to a metered, or "soft," paywall, for select content.
Throughout this experiment, the AAAS Publishing office will carefully monitor feedback, seeking to create great user experiences for both light users, as well as those who more frequently visit the site. "We recognize our content-reader-revenue environment as an ecosystem, currently stable but with an uncertain future," said Bill Moran, Publisher, Science family of journals. "We believe that with the iterative development of a metered paywall we can optimize this ecosystem to make it more productive and robust than ever."
About the American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science (www.sciencemag.org) as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert! (www.eurekalert.org), the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS. See www.aaas.org.
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