This guest blog comes from Fernando Chirigati, Chief Editor of Nature Computational Science.
Recent advances in computer technology, be it in hardware or in software, have revolutionized the way researchers do science: problems that are too complex for human or analytical solutions are now easier to address; problems that would take years to solve can now be unraveled in days, hours, or even seconds. The use and development of advanced computing capabilities to analyse and solve scientific problems, also known as computational science, has undoubtedly played a key role in transformational scientific breakthroughs of our last century, making progress possible in many different disciplines.
Providing a multidisciplinary forum for computational science
Given the growing interest in and throughput of computational science research, Nature Research is launching Nature Computational Science, a new journal that will provide a home for exceptional work being done in this field. The primary focus of the journal will be on publishing research related to the development and use of computational techniques and mathematical models, as well as on their application to address complex problems across a range of scientific disciplines, including, but not limited to, bioinformatics, cheminformatics, geoinformatics, computational physics and cosmology, materials science, and urban science.
The multidisciplinary nature of computational science will be one of the journal’s strengths, creating an opportunity to bring together researchers from different scientific disciplines who can learn from each other. Nature Computational Science will offer a high-quality, curated forum for stimulating such a multidisciplinary environment, where all of the computational work across these different fields can be found in a single, dedicated place, thus fostering discussion and collaboration.
We welcome submissions on both fundamental and applied research, from groundbreaking algorithms and frameworks that notably help to advance scientific research, to methodologies that use computing capabilities in novel ways to find new insights and solve challenging real-world problems. We also encourage researchers and developers to submit software systems that have a significant impact on science and that help scientists to experience aha moments.
Like the other Nature titles, we have a dedicated team of in-house manuscript editors, production editors, and editorial assistants in place. Our editors will engage with research communities in academia and industry to provide exceptional author and reviewer service. The journal will uphold high-quality editorial and publishing policies.
By commissioning Comments, Reviews, Perspectives, and News & Views articles, Nature Computational Science will provide accurate, up-to-date background on a variety of relevant topics, as well as encourage discussion on timely matters. Given our multidisciplinary community, we will highlight content that is of interest to a broad audience.
Nature Computational Science will be published online-only, and for submissions from January 2021, the journal will be a Transformative Journal, meaning that Plan S-funded authors, as well as others wishing to publish open access, can submit their primary research to these journals safe in the knowledge that they will be complying with their funders’ requirements.
Fostering reproducible research
Many of the problems that computational science tackles today affect millions of people, which makes it integral to ensure that the complex computational analyses result in conclusions that are trustworthy and actionable. Nature Computational Science will champion the reproducibility of scientific outcomes, ensuring that articles meet the highest standards of reproducibility and transparency in reporting.
Our editors will work with authors and reviewers to pay close attention to the peer review and sharing of data and code. Code will be peer reviewed when central to the manuscript. As other Nature journals, we will be offering authors the option to use container-based platforms to facilitate code peer review and publication (see details here). Nature-branded journals strongly encourage researchers to use open repositories to share their code and data upon publication and to choose a license approved by the Open Source Initiative.
Recognizing the important role of preprint posting in the process of open scientific discourse, Nature Computational Science will offer authors the option to add a link from the published paper to its corresponding preprint, thus ensuring that the links are visible to all readers. Authors will be able to use established preprint servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv.
Launching in January 2021