AGU recognizes that it has a responsibility to the scientific community to assure that its publications are available in the future. Without the careful protection and upgrading of the files developed for AGU’s electronic publications, there could be a hiatus in the archive of the body of knowledge. The costs associated with the maintenance of an electronic archive will be a continuing obligation of the Union, in perpetuity, regardless of the Union’s future financial position.
To assure that AGU has the financial resources to maintain an archive of the material included in its publications, to refresh these files on a regular basis, and to migrate the material in the archive to new formats and media as the technology for electronic publishing changes, a temporarily restricted fund for perpetual care was established. Initially, the principal for this fund came from revenues generated by page charges and special service fees. Beginning in 2002, authors were asked to donate to this fund. As a result, the Perpetual Care Fund, as defined by temporarily restricted accounting principles, is to be used specifically for the purpose of maintaining an archive.
Monies in the Perpetual Care Fund are invested in the same manner as the reserves. It is expected that monies in the fund will be used to cover the expenses of maintaining and migrating the archive in perpetuity. The income and expenses related to maintaining the fund will be charged to a specific Perpetual Care Fund project in AGU’s accounting records. Thus, it will be possible to know precisely the amount of revenue and expenses the Union generates and expends in the maintenance of an electronic archive.