A new, fully Open Access journal from AGU will focus on the intersection of the Earth and environmental sciences, ecology, and human and agricultural health sciences. For more information, see geohealth.agu.org.
AGU is looking for a dynamic, well-organized scientist with high editorial standards and strong leadership skills to serve a 4-year term as the editor in chief for this exciting journal.
The Editor-in-Chief is the principal architect of the scientific content of the journal. The EIC is an active scientist, well-known and well-regarded in his/her discipline. The EIC must be active in soliciting the best science from the best scientists to be published in the journal. Working with the other editors and AGU staff, the EIC is the arbiter of the content of the journal.
Additional information is available here.
AGU Publications joins with seven other publishers who have committed to including the ORCID for authors of all papers published in 2016. Read more about it from AGU Director of Publications Brooks Hanson.
From the 16 September issue of Eos– history and context of the AGU data policy from Brooks Hanson, Director of Publications, and Rob van der Hilst, Chair of the AGU Publications Committee.
Earth and Space Science (ESS) spans the entire field of Earth, planetary, and space sciences and also invites papers from related fields in environmental science, geo- and space-engineering, and biogeochemistry. ESS will feature both research papers and papers on important datasets, observations, and methods. Publication fees waived before 31 December.
Effective 1 May, all AGU journal content from 1997 to content published 24 months ago will be made freely available. This change applies to all articles and supplementary materials from journals that are not already open access, as well as AGU’s weekly newspaper, Eos. It currently represents more than 80,000 journal articles and issues of Eos. Additional content will continue to become open every month, on a 24-month rolling cycle.
One of the most important services performed for AGU is the conscientious reviewing of
submitted papers. Every year editors are asked to select the outstanding reviewers
from the previous year. These individuals are to be commended for consistently providing constructive and thoughtful reviews.
AGU has introduced several new features aimed at simplifying and improving the submission of papers to AGU journals. Enhanced PDF and HTML formats and new journal home pages developed with our publishing partner, Wiley, will also provide improvements for readers. In previous issues of Eos, we provided broader overviews of AGU publications, including the transition to Wiley and open access (Eos, 94(30), 264–266, doi:10.1002/ 2013EO300009; Eos, 94(39), 345, doi:10.1002/ 2013EO390006).
We have made several improvements to GEMS, AGU’s submission system for journals and Eos, and have simplified the author instructions, and Wiley has continued to improve the production process. The main new features include the following:
Rapid online publication. Wiley continues to improve times for posting the official online published version of papers, which includes the fully functional HTML version. Papers are now becoming available within 3 weeks of acceptance for most Geophysical Research Letters papers and within about 4 weeks for all other journals. These times are considerably faster than those for many other Earth and space science journals. Accepted versions of papers are available online with a predictable DOI based on the GEMS identifier within a few days.
Easier submission. Coauthors can now be entered in one list delineated by commas or semicolons, rather than through separate tabbed fields where all information is entered by the corresponding author. GEMS will use the list to match authors. Submission also requires only a single combined Word or PDF file that includes text and captions with figures and tables. For those authors who are able to upload a Word file, we will create a file with linkable references for reviewers and editors and validate references. We are working on extending this to LaTeX submissions. Reliable identification. We have incorporated ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID; see http:// orcid .org) into the author profiles in GEMS and will carry the identifiers through to publication. These facilitate unique identification of authors and can provide many benefits to authors, readers, editors, and reviewers. We will help authors and reviewers register with ORCID through GEMS. AGU also uses FundRef, which uniquely identifies funding agencies worldwide (http://www.crossref .org/fundref/), to collect grant information. Simplified page length calculations. AGU is simplifying formulas to provide reliable length determinations at submission. These will apply to all journals but not to Eos. Current excess length fees are based on actual published pages. As a result, authors could only roughly estimate the actual length before acceptance and receipt of galley proofs. For new submissions and papers accepted after 1 December 2013, AGU will calculate length based on the number of words in the abstract, body text, and captions of a paper, plus the number of figures and tables. This will allow the length to be determined at submission and revision stages accurately and easily. The word count for journals will not apply to references, acknowledgments, text in tables, or author lists and affiliations. Excess costs will be based on a count of “publishing units” (PU) where: PU = #words/500 + #figures + #tables The standard length limit will be 25 units for most journal articles and 12 units for GRL papers. This is equivalent to the current allowed lengths. Tables and figures should be at most one full page; larger tables are best presented as Excel or .csv files in a supplement. Excesses will be billed at $125 per PU (equivalent to the current charge of approximately $250 per page). Allowance will be made for papers currently at revision so that authors will incur no additional costs. Better online functionality. A new PDF layout will be used for all published journal articles beginning in January. The new PDF will be optimized for online reading and include hyperlinks to references via their DOIs, the full-text journal article, any supplemental materials, and more. Wiley also currently offers the ReadCube version of the PDF, which adds several enhancements to the flat PDF, including live reference links and integrated supporting information. When users combine the Web Reader with the ReadCube Desktop Applications (available for free), users can manage and annotate documents from any publisher and receive personalized article recommendations.
This month, AGU journals will also have new home pages and a new streamlined view of HTML articles, which will feature a responsive design optimizing reading on devices of all screen sizes. Additional developments to the new journal home pages will continue over the coming months. The iPad apps for AGU journals, available through the Apple App Store, provide read-anywhere capability once they are synced to an institutional or member subscription.
Web of Science indexing. Thomson- Reuters has been delayed in indexing AGU content into the Web of Science through the summer because they were waiting for the final issue compilation (versus daily Web publishing) to be completed and were indexing content manually. The workflow was causing indexing delays of up to several months. As of early October, Thomson moved to an electronic XML-based workflow. As a result, content has begun to be indexed more quickly, and papers in most of the published issues should be included soon. AGU and Wiley are performing audits to be sure that all journal content has been included. If you find papers that are not indexed, please let us know. We are also working separately to expand coverage of books in their book index.
AGU publishing staff and many editors will be at the Fall Meeting, including at the various section and focus group meetings. We look forward to hearing from you if you see us there, or you can reach us via our new email address, email@example.com. We are excited about these new developments and thank the AGU publishing staff and Wiley for making them available to the Earth and space science community.
In the 23 July 2013 issue of Eos, we provided a broad update on recent events in AGU publishing, focusing on the partnership with John Wiley & Sons (Eos, 94(30), 264–266, doi:10.1002/ 2013EO300009). Here we briefly comment on the latest developments in the partnership, but the main focus is on recent events regarding open access as it relates to AGU publishing.
As of August, the median times from acceptance to online publication of a paper at Wiley have dropped to close to 1 month or less and close to 3 weeks for Geophysical Research Letters papers. These times are considerably faster than those for many non-AGU journals. We are also working on a few other developments to ease and enrich submissions and papers. Most visible will be a new Web presence for AGU publishing, which should be available by the 2013 Fall Meeting. Soon we will integrate online researcher IDs (ORCID) into all papers and use FundRef IDs in all of them as well. ORCID provides a unique identifier for authors and a means to list all their publications in an online database. FundRef, which is associated with CrossRef, provides an official index of funders and will be important for meeting certain open access requirements.
Over the past decade, efforts have increased to expand free access to scientific publications and their underlying data. At the same time, ensuring high- quality peer review is increasingly important for researchers, and the uses of peer- reviewed research in society have expanded.
These needs have been met in several ways. Many new journals across the publishing spectrum have been created as “open access,” in which authors or funders pay a processing charge to publishers to allow everyone to have complete access immediately upon publication. This “gold” open access model now makes up about 15% of the scholarly literature. In a fairly small number of cases, subscription journals have changed to the open access model, and in more cases, subscription journals have added an open access option. In addition, some journals have made older papers freely available, typically after an “embargo” period of a year or more (“green” open access). One recent study concluded that about half of the recent literature may now be freely available [Archambault et al., 2013].
Recent Policy Developments Open access has dominated publishing news this year. On 1 April 2013, the Research Council UK (RCUK) put into effect a policy recommending gold open access publications for its grantees. The funds for such author payments are provided, through the host institutions, by the funding agencies. A recent U.K. Parliament report, however, raised concerns about the cost of this approach and instead recommended a green open access model with a short embargo period (http:// www . publications . parliament .uk/ pa/ cm201314/ cmselect/ cmbis/ 99/ 9902 .htm). In February 2013, the U.S. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued initial guidelines in support of green open access for all federally funded research publications and data. U.S. federal agencies are now submitting replies on how they would implement these guidelines, and it seems that they will propose or support a mix of models for compliance and perhaps a mix of embargo periods. OSTP will need to consider these approaches before making final recommendations. Furthermore, in May 2013, OSTP issued a guideline requiring all federal data to be open. Several other countries are considering open access requirements similar to the OSTP or RCUK approach, and several states, including California and, recently, Illinois, have mandated deposition of research papers in university or government repositories. Congress is considering a variety of primarily green open access language in its funding bills. In most cases, proposed embargos are 6 to 12 months.
Open Access in AGU Journals
AGU is supportive of the principles behind these initiatives. For example, AGU is supporting the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States ( CHORUS), one proposed model to meet the OSTP requirements. This approach would provide funders with an index of their content and direct access to the final version of the paper on the publisher’s website after an embargo period. One advantage is that the paper at the publisher’s website is associated with related material and supplements, as well as errata and comments. Several agencies seem to support this approach or close variants of it. AGU already allows authors to post published versions of papers to institutional repositories after 6 months. For many years now, AGU has also had a gold open access option for authors, and AGU adopted the Creative Commons license to comply with the RCUK policy. AGU recently announced the launch of a new journal, Earth’s Future, which is fully open access. This is the second open access AGU title (Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems is also open access), and with Wiley we are exploring options for expanding open access in our other titles. Pricing is complicated, however, and needs to strike a balance between competitiveness of individual titles and the affordability of the entire portfolio and other needs of the society and researchers. For example, some journals, such as Water Resources Research, currently have no author fees.
Challenges for Open Access
The challenge is that subscription publications have supported many functions of scientific societies, and ensuring high- quality peer review of scientific content is expensive. For AGU, for example, the total cost of editor compensation alone exceeds $1,000,000 annually, and this is a fraction of the cost of AGU staff, technology, meetings, and production. Open access models of different kinds and different colors have been proposed, but without external forcing and incentives, implementation has been slow and inconsistent. Few established journals have become fully open access because the elimination of subscription fees would require a high perpaper price.
We will continue to explore ways to lead these developments. We feel that increasing access to research within constraints of a sound business model, ensuring quality peer review and timely publication, and ensuring access to and the integrity of the data are all high priority and should be complementary. Your comments and thoughts are welcome. Reference
Archambault, E., D. Amyot, P. Deschamps, A. Nicol, L. Rebout, and G. Roberge (2013), Proportion of open access peer- reviewed papers at the European and world levels—2004–2011 Rep. R TD-B6-PP-2011-2, Science- Metrix Inc., Montreal, Quebec, Canada
—ROB VAN DER HILST, Chair, Publications Committee; email: hilst@ mit .edu; and BROOKS HANSON, Director, Publications, AGU; email: bhanson@ agu.org