Scope Statements

AAS Journals

The journals of the American Astronomical Society directly serve the Society’s mission to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe. The AAS publishes five of the foremost astronomy research journals in the world — The Astronomical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, and Research Notes of the AAS — devoted to recent developments, discoveries, and theories in astronomy and astrophysics. The journals are run by scientists, for scientists, with the primary goal of serving the astronomy research community.


The Astronomical Journal (AJ)

The Astronomical Journal publishes significant original research relevant to all aspects of astronomy and astrophysics. It maintains its traditional emphasis on scientific results that are derived from observations, and also includes articles on the interpretation and use of such results. AJ includes articles that describe instrumentation, methods of data acquisition, and survey design and strategy; in addition, it is home to articles that describe the astronomical use of software, and for innovations in astronomical computing. Learn more about which articles are published in AJ.

The Astrophysical Journal (ApJ)

The Astrophysical Journal is devoted to recent developments, discoveries, and theories in astronomy and astrophysics. ApJ publications constitute significant new research that is directly relevant to astrophysical applications, whether based on observational results or on theoretical insights or modeling. ApJ publishes articles that make use of extensive observational data if the data are subject to astrophysical interpretations. Learn more about which articles are published in ApJ.

The Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL)

The Astrophysical Journal Letters is the premier journal for rapid publication of high-impact astronomical research. ApJL publishes brief reports on the most influential developments across astronomy and astrophysics. The journal specializes in articles that are timely, containing new discoveries and results that have a significant immediate impact on other researchers. Articles published in ApJL are self-contained, including context that is generally understandable by scientists who are not specialists in the particular field. Learn more about qualification criteria for publication in ApJL.

The Astrophysical Journal Supplement (ApJS)

The Astrophysical Journal Supplement specializes in extensive papers presenting significant new research in astronomy and astrophysics. ApJS publishes catalogs and large compilations of data that can be used as reference by the astronomical community. The journal also supports Special Issues, collections of thematically related papers published simultaneously in a single volume. ApJS contains many of the most frequently cited papers in the astronomy and astrophysics literature. Learn more about which articles are published in ApJS.

Research Notes of the AAS (RNAAS)

Research Notes of the AAS is non-peer reviewed, indexed and secure record of works in progress, comments and clarifications, null results, or timely reports of observations in astronomy and astrophysics. Research Notes are moderated but not edited, which allows them to be rapidly published online within days of acceptance. The brief articles published in RNAAS are searchable in ADS and fully citable, and they are archived for perpetuity. For more detailed instructions see Research Note Preparation Guidelines.