RAS launches new multi-disciplinary journal

The Royal Astronomical Society is pleased to announce the launch of its first new journal in almost 100 years. Tentatively titled RAS Techniques and Instruments, it will cover topics in astronomy and geophysics ranging from instrumentation, data science, machine learning, software, and numerical and statistical methods. The RAS plans to release the first issue in the spring of 2022.

The new journal will operate under the gold open access model: all articles will be free for all to read and re-use under a CC-BY licence, advancing the long-standing RAS commitment to open science and easy sharing of information. It will provide a high-quality, specialist home for papers that would otherwise be sent to more generalist astronomy and geophysics journals, or to specialist journals that do not directly serve these disciplines.

Recognising the complementary and multi-disciplinary nature of many methods and techniques across the physical sciences, the new offering will bridge the gap between the current journals of the RAS, Geophysical Journal International, established in 1922 and originally entitled ‘Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Geophysical Supplement’, and the flagship astronomy journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The first Editor-in-Chief will be Prof. Jonathan Tennyson FRS, a distinguished scientist working in the fields of optical spectroscopy and theoretical molecular physics. Prof. Tennyson is Principal Investigator of the ExoMol project, which aims to build a comprehensive database of molecular data that underpins the spectral modelling of exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and cool stars.

Prof. Tennyson says, “It is an honour to be founding Editor-in-Chief of this new journal. Numbers drive modern science, and RAS T&I will make data, software, and numerical techniques as well as information on cutting-edge instruments available to as wide an audience as possible. In particular, RAS T&I will reflect the transformative nature of machine learning and artificial intelligence in all areas of astronomical and geophysical research.”

Dr Kim Clube, RAS Publishing Manager, comments: “We are delighted to be able to respond to the potential demand we see in this subject area, and add another offering to our portfolio of high-impact peer-reviewed journals. Our new journal will serve the community, helping authors to comply with changing research funder policies, and supporting open science and easy access to information, which the RAS has for a long time encouraged.”

The new journal will be published by Oxford University Press, and the RAS is currently inviting renowned researchers representing scientific expertise from around the world to join the new editorial board. The first submissions to the new journal will be invited from autumn 2021.


Media contacts

Dr Morgan Hollis
Royal Astronomical Society
Mob: +44 (0)7802 877 700

Dr Kim Clube
Publishing Manager
Royal Astronomical Society

Prof. Jonathan Tennyson
Editor-in-Chief, RAS Techniques and Instruments


Images and captions

Image of Professor Jonathan Tennyson
Prof. Jonathan Tennyson, first Editor-in-Chief of the journal RAS Techniques and Instruments.
J. Tennyson


Further information

RAS Techniques and Instruments is a new journal of astronomy and geophysics, covering instrumentation, data science, machine learning, software, and numerical and statistical methods.

Topics will include:

  • Artificial intelligence and other machine-learning methods for obtaining insights from datasets.
  • Advances in statistical methods relevant to these disciplines.
  • Software for processing data (including pipelines), data analysis and modelling, including effective use of high-performance computers.
  • Innovations in sensors, sensor systems (including novel missions), and other aspects of instrumentation.


Notes for editors

About Oxford University Press

OUP is the largest university press publisher of open access research. OUP publishes over 80 fully open access journals and more than 100 open access monographs, and offers an open access publishing option on over 400 journals. Since 2004, OUP has published over 80,000 open access papers across all major subject areas and publishes more than 1,250 open access articles per month. OUP has been publishing journals for more than a century and has more than 500 years of publishing expertise.


About the National Astronomy Meeting

The Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2021) will take place online from 19 - 23 July 2021. Bringing together around 800 astronomers and space scientists, the conference is the largest annual professional astronomy and space science event in the UK, and sees leading researchers from around the world presenting their latest work.

NAM 2021 incorporates the annual meetings of the Magnetosphere Ionosphere Solar-Terrestrial (MIST) and UK Solar Physics (UKSP) groups. The conference is principally sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the University of Bath.

Follow NAM 2021 on Twitter


About the Royal Astronomical Society

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organises scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognises outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 4,000 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.

Follow the RAS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

Download the RAS Supermassive podcast


About the Science and Technology Facilities Council

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is part of UK Research and Innovation – the UK body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. STFC funds and supports research in particle and nuclear physics, astronomy, gravitational research and astrophysics, and space science and also operates a network of five national laboratories as well as supporting UK research at a number of international research facilities including CERN, FERMILAB and the ESO telescopes in Chile. STFC is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar.

STFC's Astronomy and Space Science programme provides support for a wide range of facilities, research groups and individuals in order to investigate some of the highest priority questions in astrophysics, cosmology and solar system science. STFC's astronomy and space science programme is delivered through grant funding for research activities, and also through support of technical activities at STFC's UK Astronomy Technology Centre and RAL Space at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. STFC also supports UK astronomy through the international European Southern Observatory.

Follow STFC on Twitter


About the University of Bath

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities both in terms of research and our reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and graduate prospects.

The University is rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the Government’s assessment of teaching quality in universities, meaning its teaching is of the highest quality in the UK.

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 research assessment 87 per cent of our research was defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. From developing fuel efficient cars of the future, to identifying infectious diseases more quickly, or working to improve the lives of female farmers in West Africa, research from Bath is making a difference around the world. Find out more

Well established as a nurturing environment for enterprising minds, Bath is ranked highly in all national league tables. We are ranked 6th in the UK by The Guardian University Guide 2021, and 9th in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 and 10th in the Complete University Guide 2021. Our sports offering was rated as being in the world’s top 10 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2021.


Submitted by Pam Rowden on Mon, 19/07/2021 - 19:00