AGU’s New Free Open Access Program

In case you don’t get these emails from AGU, here is the latest update on Open Access regarding AGU’s subscription-based journals:

AGU logos

Quite the web address, but it goes to an email that AGU just sent out detailing their new policy for open access to journal articles.

The distilled version is this: all papers from 1997 u to 24 months ago will be open and freely available for anyone to download. The “24 months ago” is a sliding window that will be shifted each month throughout the year. What it means is that subscriptions are needed for the latest papers, including nearly all of those within the Journal Impact Factor calculation, and only the title and abstract will be available for all to see. At their two-year anniversary of publication, however, the full text of papers will become available for all.

I am not quite sure why the Open Access content stops at 1997, but my guess is that this has to do with PDF availability and/or file size. Perhaps it will become open once Wiley has a chance to do its own scan and conversion of this older content.

I think that this is fantastic. It is a nice compromise between maintaining subscription-based access to research results, the “product” if you will, and the desire to make research results available to everyone. This keeps the latest research articles as restricted-access “new product” while making the “older product” openly accessible. I hope that it works out for us.

In addition, during this 24-month subscription-only interval, you are allowed to post a pre-final-formatted version of the manuscript after 6 months the author of the paper is allowed to deposit the formatted version paper into an online repository.

Finally, note that this does not influence the fully Open Access journals published by AGU, namely the newest journals that they have launched: Earth’s Future, JAMES, and the launching-in-progress Earth and Space Science. All papers are immediately available to everyone for these titles.


3 thoughts on “AGU’s New Free Open Access Program

  1. A nice clarification from Brooks Hanson, Director of Publications at AGU, on why the free Open Access content only goes back to 1997:

    We have a separate “backfile” that includes all the content that was before we started online publishing in 1997—back to 1896, so a huge amount of content. This content is now scanned PDF with some metadata derived from OCR and handwork, at a non-trivial cost to AGU to produce (we did this before the Wiley partnership). We, or Wiley now, sells this separately as a “backfile.” This has been the practice of several other publishers also, that have invested in scanning their older content.

  2. Pingback: Giving To AGU | Notes from the JGR-Space Physics Editor-in-Chief

  3. Pingback: AGU titles now free with 2 year embargo | Technical Services at Rensselaer

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