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APS and Max Planck Society Partner on “Read and Publish” Open Access Pilot

July 13, 2020

On July 7, APS announced a new aspect of its partnership with the Max Planck Society (MPG) in Germany allowing open access publication of research papers in APS journals at no direct cost to MPG researchers.

This pilot program marks the first APS “read and publish” agreement, meaning that the costs of accessing subscription journals and open access publishing are combined and covered by a single contract. Previously MPG researchers were usually required to pay individual article publishing charges (APCs) to make their papers immediately open access upon acceptance and publication in the Physical Review journals published by APS.

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“This expansion of our valued partnership with the Max Planck Society is aligned with our mission to advance scientific discovery and research dissemination, and it reflects our organizations’ shared commitment to open science,” said APS Chief Executive Officer Kate Kirby in announcing the pilot.

Klaus Blaum, Vice President of the Max Planck Society’s Scientific Council for Chemistry, Physics and Technology noted that “The journals of APS are highly valued by our scientists and our peers globally, and this new agreement will enable the broadest possible readership for a significant portion of our peer-reviewed research, ultimately improving and accelerating the scientific process.”

The agreement covers all APS “hybrid” journals (traditionally subscription-based publications in which authors can opt to pay an APC to make an individual paper open access) and “gold” open-access journals (all articles are open access upon payment of an APC), and includes the highly selective flagship APS titles, Physical Review Letters and Physical Review X.

This APS-MPG partnership means that corresponding authors (those designated to communicate with the journal editors) affiliated with any of 88 MPG institutes and research facilities can publish open access in the Physical Review journals without the burden of dealing with fees, invoices, and payment processing every time they publish a paper.

“The pilot is designed to deliver tremendous value to researchers by providing the opportunity to conveniently publish open access in the most-read and highest-cited peer-reviewed journals in physics and related disciplines, broadly trusted and valued by researchers around the world for more than 127 years,” said APS Publisher Matthew Salter.

Preparations having begun in early 2020, the pilot agreement currently covers calendar year 2020 and includes access to the full APS online journals library. The two organizations are working on extending the agreement beyond 2020 in a mutually sustainable way. According to the July 7 announcement, "This will also allow APS to offer new open access publishing services more broadly, and thus continue to expand its role in supporting open science and the evolving needs of the broader scientific community."

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