Frontiers Media

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Frontiers Media
Frontiers Logo 2.png
Parent company Nature Publishing Group
Founded 2007
Country of origin Switzerland
Headquarters location Lausanne
Publication types Open access scientific journals
Fiction genres Medicine, life sciences, technology
Official website
Frontiers is based in the EPFL Innovation Park of the Lausanne campus (Switzerland).

Frontiers Media S.A. is an academic publisher of peer-reviewed open access scientific journals[1] currently active in science, technology, and medicine.

It was founded in 2007 by a group of neuroscientists,[2] including Henry and Kamila Markram, and later expanded to other academic fields. Frontiers is based on the Lausanne campus.


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 2008, Frontiers was the very first publisher to introduce article-level metrics. [3]

In February 2012, the Frontiers Research Network was launched,[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] It was eventually decided that the article would not be retracted but instead was reclassified as an opinion piece.[8] 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[9]

In 2014, Frontiers received the ALPSP Gold Award for Innovation in Publishing from the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers.[10]

According to Frontiers 2014 Progress Report, they now have 52 open access journals.[11]

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.[12]


In 2015, Frontiers launched Loop, a research network that is open to be integrated into any publisher’s or academic organization’s website.[13] At the time of launch the platform was integrated into two publishing platforms, Nature Publishing Group and Frontiers.[14]

Peer review[edit]

Frontiers journals use open peer review, where the names of reviewers of accepted articles are made public. According to The Economist, the journals "accept 80-90% of submissions, rejecting only those which are fatally flawed", and the quality of papers is mainly judged by internet popularity once they have been published.[15]

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 the Holtzbrinck Group, the holding company of the Nature Publishing Group.[15][16] The investment also spurred collaboration with Nature Publishing Group, such as the integration of Loop profiles into Nature journals on,[15][17] as well as collaboration with other Holtzbrinck companies such as the Frontiers for Young Minds blog on Scientific American.[18]

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."[9]


  1. ^ "Members: OA Professional Publishing Organizations". Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). Retrieved 2013-02-04. 
  2. ^ Peter Suber, ed. (2007-10-30). "Open Access News: New series of OA journals in neuroscience". Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  3. ^ "Kamila Markram interview changing the way academics work". Euroscientist. 15 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Frontiers launches Social Networking for Scientists". Frontiers Media. 9 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Events". Frontiers Media. 
  6. ^ "Chief specialty editor resigns from Frontiers in wake of controversial retraction". Retraction Watch. 
  7. ^ "Publisher issues statement of concern about HIV denial paper, launches investigation". Retraction Watch. 
  8. ^ "Frontiers lets HIV denial article stand, reclassifies it as "opinion"". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 2015-03-17. 
  9. ^ a b Open-access publisher sacks 31 editors amid fierce row over independence
  10. ^ "ALPSP Annual Awards". Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers. 
  11. ^ "The 2014 Frontiers Progress Report is now available". Frontiers. 
  12. ^ "Frontiers for Young Minds Launches at USA Science and Engineering Festival". Frontiers. 
  13. ^ "Frontiers Loop". Frontiers. 
  14. ^ "Frontiers launches Loop social network". The Bookseller. 
  15. ^ a b c P., J. (2013-02-27). "Changing Nature". The Economist. Retrieved 2014-12-17. 
  16. ^ "Holtzbrinck publishing group and BC Partners announce agreement to merge majority of Macmillan Science and Education with Springer Science". bc partners. 
  17. ^ Baynes, Grace. "Nature Publishing Group and Frontiers form alliance to further open science". Nature Publishing Group. 
  18. ^ "Young Minds on Scientific American". Scientific American. 

External links[edit]