Open Access
AGU is a proud supporter of open science, which seeks to make scientific research more accessible to all. Our publications offer multiple paths to open access to best suit your needs.

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is one part of Open Science, a global effort to increase participation in science and access to scientific research for people and communities everywhere. OA refers to journal articles and other published materials free to read and share. They are distributed under licenses that allow for further distribution and reuse. While there are article processing charges (APCs) for most open access publications, AGU is committed to inclusive and equitable scientific publishing and offers funding support for authors. All articles accepted in an AGU journal will be published regardless of the author’s ability to pay publication fees.

Benefits of publishing Open Access:

  • Complies with your funder or institutional policies and mandates
  • Allows you to retain copyright through a Creative Commons license
  • Removes access barriers to your published work, making your research finding available to everyone to drive impact, innovation, and collaboration
  • Research shows that OA articles receives 3.6x views, 1.6x citations, and 4x Altmetric score compared to subscription articles

Guide to Publishing Open Access  

Progress of Open Access at AGU Publications

We continue to invest in open science, to make scientific research more accessible to all. As a leading publisher in the scientific community, AGU has made it easier than ever for all scientists to publish and reach the widest possible audience by increasing access to published content via Open Access and other means.

  • As of January 2022, AGU members have free access to journal articles
  • Rolling free access: all journal articles published from 1997 to 24 months ago are freely available without a subscription
  • Green Open Access: journal authors can self-archive submitted or accepted (unformatted) version of their paper without embargo, final version after 6 months, and all subscription papers are opened after 24 months
  • Gold/Fully Open Access: all AGU journals offer gold open access options
  • Transitioning more journals to fully open access: 12 of 24 AGU journals are fully open access
  • Equity at the forefront: our support for open access publishing fees, including waivers, helps ensure that funding for fees is not a barrier to publishing
  • All journal Commentaries, Comments, Replies, and Frontiers Articles are free to read
  • Earth and Space Science Open Archive: AGU’s free community server for early dissemination for preprints, posters, and presentations
  • Open Access options for books and special reports
  • AGU follows the Enabling FAIR data author guidelines, which require sharing data and software in a trusted, community-accepted repository and a citation within the reference section
  • AGU is part of Research 4 Life, which enables more than 8,500 institutions in low- or middle-income countries to gain free or low-cost access to AGU publications.
  • AGU is part of the innovative Access to Research initiative, which provides free access to content to patrons of public libraries in the UK.

Open Access Options

AGU has 12 fully Open Access journals: AGU Advances, Community Science, Earth’s Future, Earth and Space Science, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, GeoHealth, Geophysical Research Letters, JGR: Machine Learning and Computation, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems,Perspectives of Earth and Space Scientists, Space Weather, and Water Resources Research.

  • Article Processing Charge (APC) covers the cost of peer review, production, and long-term preservation. Waivers are available for those without funding and all accepted articles will be published regardless of the authors’ ability to pay publication fees.
  • Authors retain copyright and can select one of several Creative Commons (CC) licenses which detail terms of reuse.
  • Articles published in these journals are freely available online immediately upon publication.

AGU has 12 hybrid journals where readers will find some articles available via Open Access while others will require subscriptions for access (AGU membership includes subscription access to AGU journals).

  • If an author chooses the option to publish their article as open access in a hybrid journal, an Article Processing Charge (APC) must be paid by the author or their institution or funder. 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 may choose not to pay an Article Processing Charge to be published in the journal, but their article is only accessible via subscription or purchase for the first 24 months after publication. Authors may choose to archive the accepted version of their manuscript in a preprint server such as AGU’s Earth and Space Science Open Archive or an institutional repository without charge.

AGU has published two Open Access books: Carbon in Earth's Interior (2020) and Large Igneous Provinces: A Driver of Global Environmental and Biotic Changes (2021) under a pilot program. In 2024, AGU has embarked on a new partnership with the Geological Society of London to launch the GeoHorizons book series which will provide a path for open access for book and chapter authors.

Support for Open Access Publishing Fees

Funder and Institutional Discounts for Open Access

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 discounts and waivers for Open Access

To ensure availability of funding is not a barrier to publication, AGU provides various funding options for our authors, including discounts and full waivers on publishing fees. These options vary depending on the type of journal you choose.

For more information, visit our Funding Options page


AGU’s partnership with Research4Life enables research from authors from low- and middle-income countries/locations to be published open access by providing automatic waivers and discounts on Article Publication Charges (APCs) for authors accepted to publish in AGU’s fully open access journals.

Learn more about Research4Life