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Seeing everyday's gold (Credit: Daniel Wasner, distributed via

Publications Online + Open Access Publishing

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European Geosciences Union

Online + Open Access Publishing

EGU's publication model combines the advantages of traditional publishing with those of online free-access publishing. It aims to improve transparency and the quality of scientific discussion and publication, as well as the dissemination of knowledge and the impact of scientific work worldwide.

Competence + creativity

The EGU, founded in 2002, is Europe’s premier geosciences union, dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the Earth, planetary and space sciences for the benefit of humanity, worldwide. It is an international union of scientists with thousands of members from all over the world. The EGU’s efforts in promoting the geosciences and encouraging discussion and cooperation among scientists play an important role in guaranteeing the most up to date publications and the highest standards in editorial competence and quality of production. Moreover, the fact that the EGU is a signatory of the 2003 Berlin Open Access Declaration, ensures that the organisation is committed to the free and open access to scientific knowledge.

Full peer review + interactive public discussions

The EGU has extended the traditional peer review process by applying the concepts of public peer review and interactive public discussions. The first concept refers to the fact that the comments of the reviewers, anonymous or attributed, are published together with the article on the web. After having passed a rapid access review, manuscripts submitted to EGU two-stage-journals are posted first of all in the journal’s discussions forum (e.g. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions) being then subject to interactive public discussions initiated by alerting the corresponding scientific community. The results of this process are then used for the final evaluation of the manuscript by the editor and, eventually, for its publication on the website of the actual journal (e.g. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics).

Traditional styles + online evaluation & production

In principle, manuscripts may be submitted in any style and by any method; if necessary, the editorial office will produce a version of both the text and the figures and illustrations. For evaluation and public discussion the manuscript suffers only minimal formatting changes, while the final paper is laid out in the traditional two-column, portrait format. The editing, laying out and formatting and the transformation to PDF is performed with only one software – LaTeX. This is a great advantage to having manuscripts submitted in LaTeX; manuscripts submitted in MS Word or Word-compatible formats are transformed to LaTeX first. HTML/XML files for the web are directly derived from the LaTeX files. HTML/PDF can be directly uploaded onto the web, and PDF can be directly submitted to the digital printing machines. Therefore, printing of present and past articles is done on-demand within hours which saves additional costs for stockholding or for copies not been sold and printing colour is at no extra charge for authors. A web-based online editorial support and production office keeps evaluation and production costs to a minimum.

Full citation + maximum impact

All articles accepted for publication in an EGU journal are edited and formatted in the traditional journal style with their traditional citation and an online citation (URL address), which is directly derived from their traditional citation. Since the article files on the web are used as is for the digital printing process (print-on-demand), EGU journals are distributed both online and in print totally alike, enjoying therefore also the advantages of traditional publications as, e.g. being indexed in Current Content and the Science Citation Index or being archived in the so-called copyright libraries of the world. Moreover, as open access publications they enjoy the widest dissemination in mirror-archives worldwide, the highest impact factors and, even more, the best immediacy indices.

Online publication first + no page budgets

Although EGU journals are published in the traditional annual volume-and-issue way, no page budgets exist for these issues or for the annual volumes. Thus, any article accepted for publication is immediately published online together with its received, revised, accepted, and publication dates. This reduces the time from acceptance to publication to days and sometimes even hours, which is of valuable importance, in particular, for special issues and proceedings.

Personalised copyright + free circulation

Most papers, comments, figures and other material published in EGU journals are copyrighted by the author(s) and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. This allows everybody to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work published, and to make derivative works under the condition that the original author must be credited.

Online open access + minimal print subscription fees

All journals of the EGU are open-access: for its assistance during the evaluation (peer review) and the production (image processing, typesetting, English language copy-editing), the publication on the web, the distribution to an ever-increasing number of mirror-servers, indexing services, and electronic archives the EGU levies article processing charges to be paid by the author. Therefore, the online access is free of charge for libraries, lay readers, and scientists alike. However, when readers wish to order print subscriptions, the costs for printing and distribution incl. all extra costs, such as e.g. for colour illustrations, are included in the subscription fees for the printing versions of the journals. Since digital printing is applied, the costs are extremely moderate, even for colour printing. In this way the overall print subscription fees for EGU journals are normally very low compared to subscription fees for journals published by commercial publishers.