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APS Announces Open Access

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

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'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

Questions should be directed to Barbara Hicks, Associate Publisher,
American Physical Society at hicks@aps.org