AAPG Implements Open Access Policy

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

AAPG is implementing a new policy on Open Access publishing that will keep the Association current and engaged in the rapidly evolving policies being developed by governments in the United States and other countries to improve access to government-funded research.

The concept has been around for several years in the United States, spurred on by the rapid access to scientific publications via the World Wide Web and the rising cost of for-profit journal subscriptions.

Initially this policy has been heavily focused in the medical sciences, where many research programs are funded by public agencies like the National Institute for Health. At its core is the concept that government-funded research should be freely accessible via the Internet.

Recently, however, the United Kingdom Research Council (UKRC) implemented new rules requiring researchers whom it funds to publish their results only in peer-reviewed journals that have an acceptable Open Access policy.

Similar rules are being developed by U.S. agencies that fund research in excess of $100 million per year – for example, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

“For AAPG to remain a viable publication outlet for UKRC funded research, and potentially in the future for other government-funded research, we needed to have a policy and procedures in place for those authors” said Colin North, professor of petroleum geology at Aberdeen University and chair of the AAPG Publication Committee.

AAPG’s Open Access policy was approved by the AAPG Executive Committee at its June meeting, developed with input from the full scope of AAPG’s editorial boards and designed to be compliant with new UKRC rules and flexible enough to deal with pending rules from U.S. funding agencies.

“Little will change in AAPG’s publishing process for most of our authors,” said AAPG Elected Editor Michael Sweet. “However, for those researchers whose work is funded by government grants requiring an Open Access solution, we believe that this new policy will allow AAPG to remain an attractive venue to publish their work.”

Available Options

AAPG’s new Open Access policy will give authors requiring an Open Access solution two choices:

One choice would require an upfront fee from the author and would make the final paper freely available to the public; this is often referred to as the “Gold Model of Open Access” in the publishing world.

The second option will be the so called “Green Model of Open Access,” which requires no fee from the author, but allows for an early version of the manuscript to be posted for free download at an approved site.

AAPG’s new Open Access policy is in effect immediately.

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