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What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) refers to journal articles and other published materials that are distributed online and are completely free to access by the reader. The costs of publication are borne by the author(s) or their funder(s) through a publication fee rather than readers or institutions through either a subscription or pay-to-view charges. This business model was the spark for a larger movement towards greater access and transparency of scientific research.

We created a guide on how to publish open accesspdf icon with AGU. 

six step download

Open Access options in AGU publications

AGU is a proud supporter of open science, which seeks to make scientific research more accessible to all. As part of this commitment we are increasing access to our published content via Open Access and other means.

AGU has 6 fully Open Access journals: AGU Advances, the Earth’s Future, Earth and Space Science, GeoHealth, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, and Space Weather. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems will become open access in January 2022.

  • Authors must pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) for their article to be published.
  • Authors can select one of several Creative Commons (CC) licenses.
  • Articles published in these journals are freely available online immediately upon publication.

AGU has 16 hybrid journals where readers will find some articles available via Open Access while others will be behind a paywall unless their institution has a subscription.

  • If an author wants their article to be available free of charge to all readers (i.e. Open Access) they will need to pay an Article Processing Charge. Authors can select this option after their article is accepted. Authors select one of several Creative Commons (CC) licenses. The article is freely available online immediately upon publication.
  • Alternatively authors do not pay an Article Processing Charge to be published in the journal but their article is only accessible via subscription or purchase.

We are pleased to announce that AGU will publish its first Open Access book in early 2020.

Many funders and institutions now completely cover or take advantage of discounts on open access author publishing charges in AGU journals through accounts with our publishing partner, Wiley. These instances may apply to any author while others apply only for the corresponding author of the paper. Find out if your institution has an account.

AGU through Wiley offers discounts or waivers on fees from authors under particular circumstances and from certain countries. Specific information can be found here.

Free content

In addition to Open Access articles, plenty of other AGU content is free to read, download and share, including almost two decades’ worth of articles in the digital archive.

Contacts: [email protected]

Staff headshot of  Matt Giampoala

Matthew Giampoala

Vice President, Publications | Staff partner for Publications Committee & AGU governance structures


AGU Staff Headshot Lunn

Jenny Lunn

Director of Publications | Books & promotion of journal content


Staff headshot of Margaret Moerchen

Margaret Moerchen

Director, AGU Journals | Advances & enhanced content


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Jeanette Panning

Director of Publications | Editor relations



Randy Townsend

Director of Publications Operations | Editor support, ethics & corrections


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Paige Wooden

Sr. Program Manager | Publications data & analysis