The Review of Asset Pricing Studies was established in 2010, following a proposal adopted by the board of the Society of Financial Studies in 2009, which stated the intention to start two new journals: RAPS and the Review of Corporate Finance Studies. This proposal was motivated by the recognition that the number of finance scholars around the world producing high quality research had expanded beyond the capacity of the top three journals to publish this increased volume, even given the fact that the leading journals had recently increased the number of published papers per year. The Journal of Business had recently ceased operation. The top three journals had been experiencing on the order of 3,000 aggregate submissions each year, had acceptance rates far below 10%, and were experiencing substantial backlogs of accepted unpublished papers. No journal seemed to be emerging that could challenge the top three journals in terms of impact or reputation. As the mission of the SFS is to support and promote research in finance, developing new, high quality journals to disseminate this research seemed a worthwhile endeavor.
Wayne Ferson, who had served as an Editor for the Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Empirical Finance, agreed to be the first Executive Editor of the new journal. The initial editorial board consisted of Wayne Ferson, Maureen O’Hara, Jeffrey Pontiff and Amir Yaron. Twelve Associate Editors were recruited from among the leading scholars in the field of asset pricing. The initial editorial board developed the aims and scope and the policies of the new journal, consistent with the by-laws of the Society of Financial Studies. Pursuant to the start of the new journals, the Society of Financial Studies undertook a major revision of its by-laws in 2012, restructuring the organization to recognize the many changes that the success and growth of the society, its new journals, and other developments in the field implied. These by-laws, among other things, determine the tenure of the journals’ officers and editorial boards, the procedures for editorial appointments, and other aspects of the journals’ operations that are not determined by the individual journals. The Society of Financial Studies secured a publishing contract with Oxford University Press that expanded the existing relationship of the publisher with the Review of Financial Studies to encompass the two new journals. In particular, it was decided to provide the new journals at no additional charge to subscribers of the Review of Financial Studies for three (later expanded to five) years.
The goal of RAPS is to publish the highest quality research in asset pricing, broadly construed, and based on the substantive contribution to our understanding of the pricing of assets. The first issue of RAPS was published in December of 2011 and the journal publishes twice per year.