Frontiers Media

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Frontiers Media
Frontiers Logo 2.png
Parent company Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
Founded 2007; 11 years ago (2007)
Founder Kamila Markram and Henry Markram[1]
Country of origin Switzerland
Headquarters location Lausanne
Key people Kamila Markram, CEO
Publication types Open access scientific journals
Fiction genres Medicine, life sciences, technology
No. of employees 140[1]
Official website
The EPFL Innovation Park of the Lausanne campus

Frontiers Media SA is an academic publisher of peer-reviewed open access scientific journals[2] currently active in science, technology, and medicine. It was founded in 2007 by a group of neuroscientists,[3] including Henry and Kamila Markram, and later expanded to other academic fields. Frontiers is based in the EPFL Innovation Park of the Lausanne campus in Switzerland.

Frontiers Media was, controversially, included in Jeffrey Beall's list of potential predatory open access publishers[4] and has been accused of using email spam.[5] The publisher has "a history of badly handled and controversial retractions and publishing decisions".[6] Nevertheless, both COPE and OASPA have retained Frontiers as members after concerns were raised.[7][8]


The first journal published was Frontiers in Neuroscience, which opened for submission as a beta version in 2007, and for official submissions in January 2008. In 2010, Frontiers launched a series of another eleven journals in medicine and science. In February 2012, the Frontiers Research Network was launched,[9] a social networking platform for researchers, intended to disseminate the open access articles published in the Frontiers journals, and to provide related conferences, blogs, news, video lectures and job postings.[10]

In 2014, Frontiers received the ALPSP Gold Award for Innovation in Publishing from the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers.[11] Frontiers journals use open peer review, where the names of reviewers of accepted articles are made public.

According to Frontiers 2014 Progress Report, as of 2014 it had 52 open access journals,[12] and as of 2015, 16 of their journals had impact factors.[13] As of 2017, the series contains the following 62 journals:

  • Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
  • Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
  • Frontiers in Built Environment
  • Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
  • Frontiers in Chemistry
  • Frontiers in Communication
  • Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Digital Humanities
  • Frontiers in Earth Science (not to be confused with Frontiers of Earth Sciences)
  • Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
  • Frontiers in Education
  • Frontiers in Endocrinology
  • Frontiers in Energy Research
  • Frontiers in Environmental Science
  • Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Genetics
  • Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in ICT
  • Frontiers in Immunology
  • Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Marine Science
  • Frontiers in Materials
  • Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering
  • Frontiers in Medicine
  • Frontiers in Microbiology
  • Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences
  • Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Neural Circuits
  • Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
  • Frontiers in Neuroenergetics
  • Frontiers in Neuroengineering
  • Frontiers in Neuroinformatics
  • Frontiers in Neurology
  • Frontiers in Neurorobotics
  • Frontiers in Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Nutrition
  • Frontiers in Oncology
  • Frontiers in Pediatrics
  • Frontiers in Pharmacology
  • Frontiers in Physics (not to be confused with Frontiers of Physics)
  • Frontiers in Physiology
  • Frontiers in Plant Science
  • Frontiers in Psychiatry
  • Frontiers in Psychology
  • Frontiers in Public Health
  • Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics
  • Frontiers in Robotics and AI
  • Frontiers in Sociology
  • Frontiers in Surgery
  • Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
  • Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Veterinary Science
  • Frontiers for Young Minds

Web projects[edit]

Frontiers for Young Minds[edit]

Frontiers for Young Minds was launched in November 2013 during the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. It is a web-based science journal that involves young people in the review of scientific articles with the help of scientists who act as mentors.[14]


In 2015, Frontiers launched Loop, a research network that is open to be integrated into any publisher’s or academic organization's website.[15] At the time of launch the platform was integrated into two publishing platforms, Nature Publishing Group and Frontiers.[16] Since then, the Technical University of Madrid became the first university to link their Loop profile to their institutional website[17] and in October Loop collaborated with ORCID to link and synchronize researcher profile information.[18]

Business model and partnerships[edit]

According to their website, the company "operates the open-access publishing on an author-pay business model, but has a commercial mandate to develop multiple revenue streams that can be used to support open-access publishing, as well as a technology mandate to ensure that scientists benefit from cutting edge IT technologies."

In 2013, Frontiers received a major investment from Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, the holding company of Nature Publishing Group.[19][20] The investment spurred collaboration with Nature Publishing Group, such as the integration of Loop profiles into Nature journals on,[19][21] as well as collaboration with other Holtzbrinck companies such as the Frontiers for Young Minds blog on Scientific American.[22] Though Holtzbrinck still has a minority share in Frontiers, the two companies operate independently, and in 2014, the two groups "made the decision ... to make a clean separation and never to mention again that [Nature Publishing Group] has some kind of involvement in Frontiers."[23]


In 2013, Frontiers in Psychology retracted a controversial article linking climate change denialism and "conspiracist ideation"; the retraction was itself also controversial and led to the resignations of at least three editors.[24] In 2014, Frontiers in Public Health published a controversial article that supported HIV denialism; the publisher later issued a statement of concern and announced an investigation into the review process of the article.[25] It was eventually decided that the article would not be retracted but instead was reclassified as an opinion piece.[26] In May 2015, Frontiers removed 31 editors from the boards of two medical journals. These editors had held up the review process in response to what they perceived as "company staff...interfering with editorial decisions and violating core principles of medical publishing", which they claimed was done to maximize company profits, possibly at the expense of patient health. Frontiers has disputed these claims, citing that these editors had banded together under flag of one field chief editor with the aim to "change [Frontiers'] fundamental principle of distributed editorial decision-making during peer-review." [23]

In 2015, Frontiers was added to Jeffrey Beall's list of "Potential, possible, or probable" predatory open-access publishers.[4][27] Beall recommended that academics not publish their work in Frontiers journals, stating "the fringe science published in Frontiers journals stigmatizes the honest research submitted and published there."[28] Frontiers retracted the chemtrail conspiracy theory article[29] mentioned by Beall, and found that the complaints were valid and the article did "not meet the standards of editorial and scientific soundness".[30] Reviewers have called the review process "merely for show".[31] and further articles have been retracted because of reviewing deficiencies.[32] Frontiers subsequently demanded that the university where Beall worked force him to retract his claims.[32]

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has said "there have been vigorous discussions about, and some editors are uncomfortable with, the editorial processes at Frontiers" but that "the processes are declared clearly on the publisher's site and we do not believe there is any attempt to deceive either editors or authors about these processes".[33] Frontiers is a COPE member and one of its employees sits on COPE's council.[33]


  1. ^ a b (in French) Philippe Le Bé, "« Avec Frontiers, les travaux des chercheurs sont publiés rapidement et de manière équitable »", Le Temps, published on-line on Sunday 10 April 2016 (page visited on 10 April 2016).
  2. ^ "Members: OA Professional Publishing Organizations". Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). Retrieved 2013-02-04. 
  3. ^ Peter Suber, ed. (2007-10-30). "Open Access News: New series of OA journals in neuroscience". Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  4. ^ a b Bloudoff-Indelicato M (2015). "Backlash after Frontiers journals added to list of questionable publishers". Nature. 525 (7575). doi:10.1038/526613f. 
  5. ^ Jeffrey Beall (2013-11-05). "I get complaints about Frontiers". Scholarly Open Access. Archived from the original on 2014-05-08. 
  6. ^ Megan Scudellari (2015-06-02). ""[T]hese things can happen in every lab:" Mutant plant paper uprooted after authors correct their own findings". Retraction Watch. 
  7. ^ COPE (2015-11-12). "COPE statement on Frontiers". Committee on Publication Ethics. 
  8. ^ Claire Redhead (2015-12-24). "Frontiers membership of OASPA". Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. 
  9. ^ "Frontiers launches Social Networking for Scientists". Frontiers Media. 9 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Events". Frontiers Media. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  11. ^ "ALPSP Annual Awards". Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers. Archived from the original on 2016-05-15. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  12. ^ "The 2014 Frontiers Progress Report is now available". Frontiers. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  13. ^ "Journal Impact Factor 2014". CiteFactor. Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
  14. ^ "Frontiers for Young Minds Launches at USA Science and Engineering Festival". Frontiers. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  15. ^ "Frontiers Loop". Frontiers. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  16. ^ "Frontiers launches Loop social network". The Bookseller. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  17. ^ "UPM leads way as first university to integrate Loop". loop. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 
  18. ^ "ORCID and Loop new researcher profile system". Orcid. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 
  19. ^ a b P., J. (2013-02-27). "Changing Nature". The Economist. Retrieved 2014-12-17. 
  20. ^ "Holtzbrinck publishing group and BC Partners announce agreement to merge majority of Macmillan Science and Education with Springer Science". bc partners. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  21. ^ Baynes, Grace. "Nature Publishing Group and Frontiers form alliance to further open science". Nature Publishing Group. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  22. ^ "Young Minds on Scientific American". Scientific American. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  23. ^ a b "Open-access publisher sacks 31 editors amid fierce row over independence". Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  24. ^ "Chief specialty editor resigns from Frontiers in wake of controversial retraction". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  25. ^ "Publisher issues statement of concern about HIV denial paper, launches investigation". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  26. ^ "Frontiers lets HIV denial article stand, reclassifies it as "opinion"". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 2015-03-17. 
  27. ^ Beall, Jeffrey. "LIST OF PUBLISHERS". Scholarly Open Access. Archived from the original on 2017-01-12. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  28. ^ [1] Archived 2016-08-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  29. ^ Herndon, J. Marvin (2016-06-30). "Human and Environmental Dangers Posed by Ongoing Global Tropospheric Aerosolized Particulates for Weather Modification". Front. Public Health. 4 (139). doi:10.3389/fpubh.2016.00139.  (retracted)
  30. ^ "Frontiers | Retraction: Human and Environmental Dangers Posed by Ongoing Global Tropospheric Aerosolized Particulates for Weather Modification | Environmental Health". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  31. ^ Beall, Jeffrey. "Reviewer to Frontiers: Your Review Process is Merely for Show — I quit". Scholarly Open Access. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  32. ^ a b Schneider, Leonid. "Beall-listed Frontiers empire strikes back". For Better Science. Retrieved 26 November 2016. Frontiers disagrees with this librarian’s privately held views, the publisher demands of his academic employer to impose disciplinary measures or coercion against Beall. 
  33. ^ a b "COPE statement on Frontiers". COPE. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 

External links[edit]