Jonas Lähnemann
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Selected Gold open access journals in physics

New Journal of Physics (IOP/JAP): the veteran with an impact of 3.6 as of 2017
Physical Review X (APS): launched 2011, impact 14.4 as of 2017
AIP Advances (AIP): launched 2011, impact 1.7 as of 2017
Optics Express (OSA): impact 3.4 as of 2017
Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology (Beilstein institute): impact 3.0 as of 2017, no publication charges!

Journal/Publisher copyright policy

The self-archiving of articles on preprint-servers is referred to as green open access. I have compiled a table and list summarizing the policy of different scientific publishers concerning the provision of PDF downloads on author/institutional web-sites as well as the publication of pre-prints on arXiv (status as of February 2016). I refer to preprints as the author prepared version of the manuscript as submitted, while updated preprints include changes to the author's manuscript made during the review process. The published version is the PDF file prepared by the publisher. Most of the journals from the listed publishers also have open access options (hybrid open access), the price for which tends to be a little higher than for the gold open access journals.

The most liberal policies are listed first. Once an article you posted on arXiv is accepted, you usually need to add a comment (that it is an author prepared version and the publisher is not liable), the doi-link and the citation to the record on the preprint server. Also when submitting to arXiv, you should use the "non-exclusive licence to distribute" in most cases.

Disclaimer: I have carefully compiled the following listing, but take no liability for the information. Please double-check on the publishers websites, as journal policies might evolve with time.

You can also refer to the List of academic journals by preprint policy on wikipedia.

PublisherPDF on author/employer site?Posting on arXiv?
APSPublished versionUpdated preprint
AIPPublished versionUpdated preprint
IEEEUpdated preprintUpdated preprint
IOPUpdated preprintPreprint, update after 12 months (no embargo for some journals)
ElsevierUpdated preprintUpdated preprint
NaturePreprint; update after 6 monthsPreprint; update after 6 months
Springerno clear statementPreprint before publication; updated preprint after 12 months
WileyPreprint; update after 12 monthsPreprint; update after 12 months
ACSPreprint / provided pdf-linkPreprint (conditions!); updated preprint after 12 months if mandated

American Physical Society (APS): PRL, PRB, ...
The author or the author's employer may use all or part of the APS published article, including the APS-prepared version (e.g., the PDF from the online journal) without revision or modification, on the author's or employer's website as long as a fee is not charged. In all cases, the appropriate bibliographic citation and notice of the APS copyright must be included. Posting of preprint and updated preprint (author prepared files) on e-print servers (e.g. arXiv) is allowed. The arXiv-identifier can even be used during the submission process instead of uploading the files again.

American Institute of Physics (AIP): APL, JAP, ...
The AIP prepared PDF (or EPS,HTML) may be posted on the author's or the employer's website as long as no fee is charged. A copyright notice as well as the citation and a link to the abstract on the journal-homepage should be included. Posting of preprint and updated preprint on e-print servers (e.g. arXiv) is allowed. The arXiv-identifier can even be used during the submission process.

The preprint and updated preprint may be posted on the author's or the employer's website and on preprint servers as long as no fee is charged. As soon as an article is published, the author is required to update the preprint and a copyright notice as well as the citation and a link to the abstract on the journal-homepage should be included.

Elsevier (Science direct): J. Cryst. Growth, ...
Permits authors to post revised personal versions (updated preprints) on their own web sites and the sites of their institutions (update only after embargo), as well as on preprint servers such as arXiv. A link to the doi-link needs to be included after publication in the journal. For these uses, the CC-BY-NC-ND license applies and should be noted in the document (for arXiv choose appropriate license during submission).

Institute of Physics (IOP): Nanotechnology, Semiconductor science and technology, ...
Updated preprints are allowed on Named Author's website immediately after acceptance. Preprints are allowed on an institutional website, as well as on ArXiV (non-excluxive license!). Updates to the latter are allowed only after an embargo period of 12 months (some journals allow a direct update, as listed under the link below). As with other publishers, a specific note and citation should be included:

Nature journals:
License to publish instead of copyright transfer. Authors are encouraged to submit the author's version of the accepted paper (updated preprint) to repositories or put them on their institutional/personal site six months after the original publication, with appropriate link and citation information on the first page of the document. Preprints can be put on repositories or personal/institutional website even before publishing! There is only a "press embargo" prior to publication.

Prior versions of the article published on non-commercial pre-print servers like can remain on these servers and/or can be updated with the author's accepted version (after an embargo period of 12 months). Acknowledgement needs to be given to the final publication and a link should be inserted to the published article on Springer's website.

Wiley interscience: physica status solidi, ...
Authors of articles published in Wiley journals are permitted to self-archive (includes repository, author website or insitutional website) the preprint at any time, and may post the updated preprint after an embargo period of 12 months (for scientific, technical, and medical journals). As usual, doi-link, citation and a specific notice have to be provided.

American Chemical Society (ACS): Crystal growth and design, Nano letters, ...
Provide pdf-link that authors can distribute which allows 50 free downloads during the 1st year, later unlimited (requires user to register for ACS ID).
1. Submitted Version (preprint) may be made publicly available on websites or repositories; Conditions: must be mentioned in submission process if posted prior to publication; non-commercial; include copyright notice as specified (cf. link below).
2. Accepted Version (updated preprint): No posting anywhere within first 12 months; afterwards updated preprint may be posted only if mandated by employer/funding agency; non-commercial; copyright notice as specified.

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