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I read the description of the new journal PRResearch on the APS website, but I am still confused. APS publishes specialized journals, including PRA/B/C/D/E, for each major branch of physics, and journals with a broader scope and large impact, such as PRL and PRX.

My main question is: How is PRResearch standing in comparison with the specialized and lower impact PRA/B/C/D/E and the broader and higher impact PRL and PRX? What niche is it supposed to fill?

On one hand, PRResearch is multidisciplinary as PRL/PRX, and both PRResearch and PRX are full open access with publication charges, whereas the other APS journals are not full open access but only have open access options. On the other hand, as it is written on their website:

The acceptance criteria for PRResearch are aligned with those of other long-established journals in the family, such as Physical Review A, B, C, D, and E.

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    They probably want to get those papers funded by grants that mandate Open Access publication. For my funding agencies, arXiv deposition (which is compatible with APS journals) is enough, but I guess some agencies demand the final version to be Open Access too.
    – Miguel
    Sep 15, 2020 at 18:27
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    Hasn't the second half of your question already been discussed here, in your very own question: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/155005/… I suggest you remove that part.
    – user151413
    Sep 15, 2020 at 20:45
  • @Miguel You can have this with PR[A-E] as well.
    – user151413
    Sep 15, 2020 at 20:45
  • @user151413 PR[A-E] are not compatible with Plan S coalition-s.org/… Sep 15, 2020 at 23:36
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    @sintetico: It is defined in this FAQ. And yes, this is primarily authored by me, but its purpose is to reflect the current community consensus as a status quo on which to base discussions as well as provide a FAQ. If you disagree with that, you have to suggest something else on Academia Meta and it has to get accepted by the community as reflected by votes.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Sep 16, 2020 at 7:20

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APS clearly intends for Physical Review Research to be less selective than PRL/PRX, as they elucidated in two volume 1 editorials:

M. Thoennessen: "Editorial: Introducing Physical Review Research"

We are launching Physical Review Research to achieve three main objectives: (1) to cover the entire range of topics in physics and related fields, including interdisciplinary and newly emerging areas of research, (2) to offer an attractive option for all authors who prefer or are required to publish in fully open access journals, and (3) to align its quality standards and selection criteria with those of the other long-established topical journals in the family, such as Physical Review A–E, Physical Review Applied, Physical Review Fluids, and Physical Review Materials.

R. D'Souza, J.-W. Pan, N. Spaldin, and J. J. Liétor-Santos: "Editorial: Our vision for Physical Review Research" in volume 1:

Within the Physical Review family, Physical Review X provides an open access journal showcasing the most selective papers in pure, applied and interdisciplinary physics. Now, Physical Review Research will complement this title by providing a fully open access title with rigorous peer-review standards and with the same acceptance criteria as Physical Review A through E, Physical Review Applied, Physical Review Fluids, and Physical Review Materials. Our goal is to establish a publication that offers the same experience and quality that we value and trust, while increasing authors’ choice within the Physical Review portfolio. As such, we welcome authors of quality manuscripts not accepted by Physical Review X or Physical Review Letters to seamlessly transfer their work to be considered for publication in Physical Review Research.

Hence I would expect its initial impact factor (expected to arrive in June 2021) to be more aligned with the specialized journals, than with the flagships. But as you've already heard it is hard to tell exactly where it will end up.

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