Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, June 11, 2007

AGU launches hybrid OA program for most of its journals

In April, the American Geophysical Union launched a hybrid OA program for most of its 19 journals.  Here's the policy in its entirety:

AGU journals now offer authors the opportunity to make their articles open for others to read for free. Authors choosing this option pay a fee based on article length and number of figures; these charges are designed to offset the potential loss of subscription income. This new option, called Author Choice, provides

  • Unlimited access to the article for all readers from the moment of publication,
  • Permission to deposit the PDF version in institutional repositories so long as the repository accepts AGU copyright permissions, and
  • Continued copyright protection to prevent unauthorized uses of the author’s work.

Author Choice is available to all authors who honor full publications charges. Cost is an additional $142.50 per publication unit for Geophysical Research Letters and $75 per publication unit for all other AGU journals. Authors will be able to use the AGU online calculator to determine their fees. The Author Choice option is not available for Reviews of Geophysics, Earth Interactions, and Nonlinear Geophysics.

Any article published in 2007 or currently in production is eligible for Author Choice. For articles already published, access restrictions will be removed upon payment of the Author Choice fee. If there is sufficient interest, Author Choice may be extended to articles published in 2002–2006.

Comments.  (1) It appears that a "publication unit" is a page or figure.  (2) What does it mean for a repository to "accept AGU copyright permissions"?  A repository will accept anything that the publisher allows it to accept.  (3) When authors pay publication fees, they should retain copyright.  If AGU really wants the copyright in order to protect authors, then it should let authors decide.  (4) Note that AGU doesn't promise to reduce subscription prices in proportion to author uptake.