In January 2017, the publishing models of the European Respiratory Journal (ERJ) and European Respiratory Review (ERR) changed. Rather than publishing conventional complete online issues at fixed intervals, the journals have moved to a continuous publication model. This page is a guide for readers, authors and librarians to what the change means.
What has changed, and what hasn’t?
The central aspect of the new publishing model is that articles can be published online in their final form, with their final citation details, as soon as they have been copyedited, typeset and proofread. Articles are added in small, regular batches to the current “open” issue of the journal, which will grow over time until it is “closed” and replaced by a new open issue. In the case of the ERJ, new issues are opened monthly; in the case of the ERR, this happens every 3 months. Tables of contents continue to be organised thematically, rather than being ordered by the date articles are published.
The overall number of articles published by both journals is not changing, apart from a brief increase in the publication rate immediately after the changeover, as the queue of articles waiting to be published is cleared.
Ancillary to this there are a number of other changes to the journals. The largest of these is the discontinuation of ERJ In Press, which is longer required given that articles are published immediately in a journal issue. Article PDFs see a number of minor layout changes, including a clearer “Cite this article as” section. PDFs also no longer have “left” and “right” pages, in order to improve page-to-page on-screen scrolling.
Why has the switch been made?
The primary motivation for this change was to provide a better service to readers and authors by ensuring that a “version of record” of an accepted article is made available as quickly as possible. As journal readership has moved online, and the use of search engines has grown, so the importance of publishing individual articles quickly has grown relative to that of publishing large groups of articles at fixed intervals.
Not being tied to a particular date has the added advantage of allowing article publication to coincide with a specific event, such as a conference.
We do, however, believe that a predictable publication schedule has value for readers who wish to browse rather than search. Articles are not published one at a time, the moment they are ready: we publish them in frequent batches at the same time each week (ERJ) or every 2 or 3 weeks (ERR).
Who else does this?
A large number of publishers and societies now publish continuously online. These include The BMJ, the journals of the Royal Society, and journals from societies such as the American Society for Microbiology and the British Institute of Radiology, as well as newer journals such as PLoS Medicine and eLife. Outside academia, a large proportion of newspapers and magazines are updated continuously online – and of course, ERS publishes ERJ Open Research continuously!
What about articles already published on ERJ In Press?
The ERJ In Press page will remain active until all the articles on it have been re-published into a “live” issue. We envisage that this will happen by the end of March 2017.
What about print issues?
Print issues of the ERJ remain available to subscribing libraries, and the ERJ and ERR are available in print to some categories of ERS member. Rather than being published at the beginning of an online issue’s life, the print edition is compiled at the end. For instance, a January issue of the ERJ will be printed in early February and will arrive with subscribers in mid- to late February. Despite this apparent delay, articles can appear in print more quickly after acceptance than was previously the case, because of the reduced time to “final” publication of an article online.
Print issues of both the ERJ and ERR still contain all articles accepted for the journals. There are currently no plans to publish “online exclusive” articles in the way that Breathe does. As it has been for some time, the online journal is the “version of record”, with articles tied in to the wider scientific publishing environment through identifiers such as DOIs, ORCIDs and CrossMark, and links to online supplementary materials, datasets, funding information and author tools such as Kudos.
Can I still receive email alerts?
Yes. Two types of alert are available: “new content” alerts, which are sent every time new articles are published online; and “issue” alerts, which are sent every time an issue is completed. Initially, all existing alert users were migrated to the “new content” alerts. However, you can change your alert preferences at http://erj.ersjournals.com/alerts or http://err.ersjournals.com/alerts
How do I cite my article?
An article’s final citation is available immediately upon online publication. Citation information is presented alongside the web and PDF versions of the article, as well as in the printed issue.
For ease of indexing and browsing, the journals are still divided into “volumes” and “issues”. However, page numbers have been replaced with a 6-digit (ERR) or 7-digit (ERJ) article identifier, based on the manuscript’s submission number. For instance, article ERJ-00226-2018, published in May 2018, would be cited as:
Eur Respir J 2018; 51: 1800226
Similarly, article ERR-0229-2018, published in January 2019, would be cited as:
Eur Respir Rev 2019; 27: 180229
Are there still be page numbers?
The PDF version of each article is page numbered internally, starting from page 1. Articles are not page numbered sequentially through a volume or issue, as this would necessitate re-paginating them when the issue closes, and could create ambiguity in citations.
How are article corrections handled?
Corrections are handled according to our existing Corrections policy. The switch to continuous publication means that corrections can be published more quickly, however. The ERS journals use CrossMark, which means anyone reading an article electronically can immediately check whether they have the most up-to-date version.
This page was updated on 4 January, 2017