APS announces "FREE TO READ" Open Access program

From: Mark Doyle <doyle_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 14:46:18 -0400

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The American Physical Society (APS) is pleased to announce that it will
soon expand its Open Access (OA) offerings to articles published in
Physical Review A-E, Physical Review Letters, and Reviews of Modern
Physics. This OA initiative is called FREE TO READ and, when released in
early September 2006, can be applied to any article or group of articles
published in the Journals of the American Physical Society back to 1893.
Anyone (authors, readers, institutions, funding agencies, etc.) may, by
paying a one-time fee, make articles published in our journals available
on our sites to all readers at no cost and without a subscription.
Readers will have access to PDF and postscript versions of the FREE TO
READ articles through the APS online journals.

For years APS has been a leader in OA with its early and continued
support of arXiv.org and with its exemplary copyright agreement form.
The agreement allows authors to make available their APS publications on
their own or their institution^“s website. APS introduced its first OA
journal, Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams, in
1998. Based on a sponsorship model, this journal has steadily grown
over the past 8 years and is now supported by an international group of
accelerator laboratories. APS introduced a second OA journal in 2005
called Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research. This
freely available journal is financed by publication charges to the
authors or the authors^“ institutions. The introduction of FREE TO READ
extends OA to the articles for all of APS' journals.

The FREE TO READ fees will initially be $975 for articles in Physical
Review A-E and $1300 for Letters in PRL. Articles in RMP, due to their
large size and the limited number published annually, will be considered
on a case-by-case basis. The higher price associated with PRL is due to
its higher cost per published Letter (because of its stringent
acceptance rate).

The fees will initially augment revenues for the APS, since they will
not be replacing subscriptions, but have been set well below the current
amount per article needed to recover costs in the absence of
subscriptions. The fees will therefore be adjusted as necessary to
maintain APS^“ ability to sustain this initiative. Additional revenues
from FREE TO READ will primarily be used to lower the current
subscription rates of the smallest (lowest tier) institutions.

The FREE TO READ initiative represents a path by which APS could
gradually transition to full Open Access. If the community (especially
institutions and funding agencies) shows continued support for this
initiative, a sustainable level may be reached in which the APS can
recover its costs, offset its risks, and eliminate subscriptions for
some or all of its journals.

The APS is determined to extend every effort to make this model
successful. Martin Blume, the Editor-in-Chief, states that ^”APS is a
financially stable organization willing to take risks to support the
community,^‘ and it is with the community in mind that APS is offering
FREE TO READ.

For additional information, please go to the FREE TO READ FAQ at
http://publish.aps.org/FREETOREAD_FAQ.html.

Questions should be directed to Barbara Hicks, Associate Publisher,
American Physical Society at hicks_at_aps.org
Received on Wed Aug 16 2006 - 20:08:30 BST

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