Open Access Announcement (January 16, 2006)
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's 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 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's 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.