Open [Reviews] for Climate Justice

By Shannon Wolfman, inaugural Global Climate Change Fellow, Annual Reviews.

This year’s Open Access Week theme “Open for Climate Justice” is especially relevant for me. My task is to maximize the value of the climate change content published across all 51 of our journals, and this task is deeply entwined with our progress on OA.

Without equitable access to knowledge, we can’t expect equitable solutions to the climate crisis. Without scientists’ voices in the climate change conversation, we can’t expect effective mitigation and adaptation. That’s why the editors of the Annual Review of Environment and Resources have committed the journal to directly addressing climate change, outlined in their open access piece entitled “The Great Intergenerational Robbery” and amplified in this Chicago Tribune op-ed.

Our reviews provide a bird’s eye view of a research topic, outlining what is well-supported and what is controversial, and highlighting major questions that remain. This approach is especially valuable in the complex, cross-disciplinary climate change space. One aspect of my role is to ensure that the climate change work published in all of our journals is integrated and accessible. Another aspect is to link those review articles to the journalist-written coverage of climate change in our free-to-read online science publication Knowable Magazine. We also host public Knowable events and just launched Knowable en Español.  

The year ahead is pivotal for Annual Reviews. After pioneering the open access business model “Subscribe to Open”,  we now plan to convert every 2023 volume of our 51 journals in the life, biomedical, physical, and social sciences to open access. Tearing down paywalls will substantially increase the usage of reviews and will allow interested readers beyond the research community access to expert knowledge on climate change and many other topics. This affirms our nonprofit mission to “synthesize and integrate knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society”.

Taking on this new role has been an exciting new avenue for me, and while challenging, the knowledge that I am playing an active part, however small, in the response to climate challenge is energizing and meaningful. I get to work with some of the world’s leading researchers on projects that ensure equitable sharing of our multidisciplinary scientific reviews and that seed broader discussions across science, policy, business, and civil society. OA to scientific knowledge isn’t sufficient for achieving climate justice, but it is necessary.

Annual Reviews Acquires The Charleston Advisor

Annual Reviews has acquired The Charleston Advisor, a widely used and respected collection development tool.

“We are pleased to welcome The Charleston Advisor to Annual Reviews,” said Richard Gallagher, Publisher, and Editor-In-Chief. “It is a good fit with our mission to synthesize and integrate knowledge and expands our horizons by providing high quality reviews of products and services for library teams at academic and research institutions, a new group of readers for us.”

Founded in July 1999, The Charleston Advisor publishes detailed product reviews of proprietary and freely available web-based resources for the library market. Reviewed product types include databases, pricing tools, scholarly journals, collections. Over 1,130 searchable expert reviews, peer-reviewed by the library community, are currently available to help optimize library services.

“During our search for the ideal buyer of this unique publication, we prioritized finding an organization that values librarians as partners and one that appreciates the value of reviews,” said Rebecca Lenzini, Publisher, and Editor-In-Chief of The Charleston Advisor. “We found our match in Annual Reviews and are looking forward to working with them on a smooth change in ownership.”

The publication was inspired by Katina Strauch, Founder of The Charleston Conference and Against the Grain, who served as Head of Technical Services at the College of Charleston at that time. “As a collection development librarian charged with recommending resources to purchase for teaching faculty and students, I saw the need for a resource that peer reviewed and evaluated available products according to library professional standards as well as product information from producers.”

Annual Reviews Statement on Business with Russia

In response to the attack on Ukraine, Annual Reviews has discontinued all business with Russia and Belarus until further notice. We are not pursuing contract renewals or new contracts in Russia and Belarus. Articles already commissioned from authors in Russia will continue be handled according to standard Annual Reviews editorial procedures. 

For Ukraine, the paywall on all 51 Annual Reviews journals was removed on 3 March, 2022, making Annual Reviews content openly available there.

These measures align with those set out by fifteen other academic publishers in a joint statement on 31 March 2022, reproduced below:

We the undersigned jointly condemn the war in Ukraine and call for a stop to any more senseless loss of life. We are shocked and saddened by the humanitarian crisis.

We have taken the unprecedented step of suspending sales and marketing of products and services to research organizations in Russia and Belarus. We join other organizations globally that are acting to bring about an end to this aggression and to restore peace.

As individual organizations, we are working to aid affected colleagues and contractors, while contributing to broader relief efforts that are providing safety and support for those in peril including Ukrainian researchers.

We remain committed to the ideals of science and scholarship as a global community. Our actions are not targeted at Russian researchers, but rather at research organizations in Russia and Belarus. This is why we continue to publish and distribute manuscripts from authors in these countries in the independent way set out in the COPE guidelines for research which states: “Editorial decisions should not be affected by the origins of the manuscript, including the nationality, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, or religion of the authors.” 

Given the rapidly changing situation we will continue to evaluate our positions on an ongoing basis.

ACS Publications
Apple Academic Press
Cambridge University Press & Assessment
De Gruyter
Emerald Publishing
Future Science Group
IOP Publishing
Karger Publishers
Springer Nature
The Geological Society
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
Thieme Group
Wolters Kluwer

Support for Ukraine

The Board of Directors, Editors and staff of Annual Reviews extend our thoughts and deepest sympathy to the people of Ukraine. We stand against the Russian regime for its intolerable and unlawful attack on a neighboring country, as we condemn every instance of authoritarianism, occupation and aggression.

As a science publisher, Annual Reviews supports the science community as well as the citizens of Ukraine. On 3 March, the paywall on all 51 Annual Reviews journals was removed, making Annual Reviews content openly available in Ukraine. We have also made a donation to a humanitarian relief agency working in the country. 

We recognize the courage and principles of the many Russian scientists and citizens who have spoken out against the war.

Support for Ukrainian scholars and their families who are being forced to flee is being organized by the Safe Passage Fund. We encourage and support this and other efforts by the research community to assist individual researchers and to maintain global exchange and cooperation among all scientists.

Annual Reviews removes access control in India in response to COVID-19

To support faculty, researchers and students currently working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have temporarily removed access control in India from all of our 51 journals. To find our content, please visit your library website or

Access control was scheduled to be reintroduced on August 2nd, 2021, was extended to August 31st 2021 and will be reinstated on that date.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society.

Becoming carbon neutral

Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews is pleased to announce that it has become a carbon neutral organization.

We commissioned SCS Global Services to complete a greenhouse gas inventory for 2019. The result was 684 metric tons of CO2 equivalents, with major contributions from travel associated with Editorial Committee meetings, printing/distribution of some of our journals and office-related emissions.

These emissions have been offset through a Gold Standard certified investment in efficient and clean cookstoves for low-income households in Mozambique.

President and Editor-In-Chief, Richard Gallagher, said: “We at Annual Reviews are committed to minimizing environmental impact by reducing our carbon budget wherever possible and purchasing offsets against the emissions that we generate. We are appreciative of the opportunity to invest in a project that contributes to improved health in low income communities.”

2020 Nobel Prizes

The Nobel Prizes are awarded every October, recognizing outstanding contributions to humanity in chemistry, literature, peace, physics and physiology or medicine; there’s also a prize in economic sciences. Here’s a round-up of this year’s winners in the sciences and some of their Annual Reviews papers.

This year’s prize in physiology or medicine was awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus, which causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world. For a deep dive into the research, see: “Turning Hepatitis C into a Real Virus” in the Annual Review of Microbiology; “Interferon-Stimulated Genes: A Complex Web of Host Defenses” in the Annual Review of Immunology; and “New Methods in Tissue Engineering: Improved Models for Viral Infection” in the Annual Review of Virology.

The chemistry prize was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the discovery and development of the genetic scissors called CRISPR-Cas9, which allow researchers to precisely alter the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms. For more of their research, see some of Dr. Doudna’s papers in the Annual Review of Biophysics: “CRISPR-Cas9 Structures and Mechanisms” and “Molecular Mechanisms of RNA Interference.”

This year’s prize in physics was awarded for work on black holes. Half of the award went to Roger Penrose for demonstrating that black holes were mathematically possible, and the other half was jointly awarded to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for their discovery of a massive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. To dive into the research, see “The Evolution of the Star-Forming Interstellar Medium Across Cosmic Time” and “Extragalactic Results from the Infrared Space Observatory” in the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The 2020 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded to Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, both of Stanford University, for their work on how auctions work, as well as their development of new types of auctions that have maximized revenue for sellers while saving buyer and taxpayer money. For more on their research, read Dr. Milgrom’s 2019 article “Auction Market Design: Recent Innovations” in the Annual Review of Economics.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and benefit of society.  Journalists who require further information, access to our content or press contacts can visit the Press Center.

Annual Reviews appoints Kara Mitzel to role of Director of Development

Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews is pleased to announce that Kara Mitzel has been appointed Director of Development.

In this newly created role, Kara will work with Annual Reviews’ staff, volunteer leadership and stakeholders to increase philanthropic support for Annual Reviews’ mission to synthesize and integrate knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society. 

Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-In-Chief said:

“I am delighted to welcome Kara to Annual Reviews. She joins us at a time of change for our 88-year-old organization. While continuing to provide crucial service to the research and academic community, it is clear that the science covered in our review journals underlies many of the issues that society is grappling with today.  Kara’s role will be to develop strategies to share the knowledge and wisdom of research with policy makers, practitioners, educators, students, and citizens.”

A professional in the field for over twenty years, Kara has worked with some of the nation’s top foundations, corporations and philanthropists to advance institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley, the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation), Drexel University, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She most recently served as Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at John Muir Health. Having spent the bulk of her career in higher education, she is happy to be returning to a position that supports the academic enterprise.

Kara Mitzel, Director of Development added:

“I’ve spent much of my career finding the resources to help researchers create new knowledge. Annual Reviews is an opportunity to not only foster that new knowledge, but ensure that it’s disseminated to the people who need it which, right now, is all of us. Now more than ever, it’s clear that making knowledge accessible is critical to our health, well-being and potential. I’m looking forward to working with everyone at Annual Reviews to make your impact deeper, broader and more meaningful.” 

About Annual Reviews: Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and benefit of society.  Journalists who require further information, access to our content or press contacts can visit the Press Center.

Seeking a Wikipedian-In-Residence

Annual Reviews, an independent, nonprofit scholarly research publisher seeks an enthusiastic Wikipedian-in-Residence (WIR). The aim of this appointment is to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of the sciences by citing expert articles from Annual Reviews’ journals.  The WIR will engage with Wikipedia editors across life, biomedical, physical, and social science articles and WikiProjects to help ensure responsible and valuable expansion of content.

This is a temporary position for 10 hours/week, paid at $30/hour USD which is anticipated to last for a period of up to approximately 1 year. This position can be based remotely from the following states: CA, OR, OH, NV, NC, WA, WI, CO, MA, PA, NY, HI, or MT.

The WIR will work with the team at Annual Reviews and receive guidance from Jake Orlowitz (User:Ocaasi, Founder of The Wikipedia Library).  

We are currently seeking applicants with a scientific background and/or Wikipedia editing and organizing experience:

  • Ability to match scholarly review articles that add context and the expert view to Wikipedia articles
  • Background, education, or interest in any of these fields: life, biomedical, physical or social sciences
  • Experience editing Wikipedia or writing for other public knowledge efforts
  • Understanding of collaborative group project development
  • Experience with online community organizing and outreach
  • Comfort working across a distributed network of editors and researchers
  • Ability to teach others about reliable sources, citation practices, and editing skills
  • Familiarity with remote work, email, online scheduling and virtual meetings
  • Excellent English writing, speaking, and communication skills
  • Passion about open knowledge, research and education

We want to learn more about you. Please send your resume and cover letter explaining why you believe you are a fit for this role. You can apply using this link no later than March 20th 2020.

About Annual Reviews and Wikipedia:

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher with a mission to synthesize and integrate knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society. We publish 51 review journals across the life, biomedical, physical and social sciences. An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Wikipedia is a multilingual online encyclopedia created and maintained as an open collaboration project by a community of volunteer editors using a wiki-based editing system. It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the internet.

Knowable Magazine Celebrates Two Milestones

Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews is pleased to announce that the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation renewed its support of Knowable Magazine, as the freely available online publication turned two.

Knowable Magazine provides in-depth, intelligent journalism across a broad array of scientific disciplines. It launched in October 2017, with the goal to cultivate public understanding of science by making expert knowledge accessible to all.

Knowable Magazine is off to a fast start. We are delighted to see this early effort grow into a powerful, lively and authoritative voice for understanding science. It is finding a wide audience that enjoys science; they benefit from the unique depth and breadth of Annual Reviews,” said Robert Kirshner, Chief Program Officer of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Science Program.

Annual Reviews President and Editor-in-Chief Richard Gallagher said: “We are deeply grateful to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for their continuing support of $1.6 million over two years”.