Press release

American Physical Society to Offer No-Cost Journal Access to Scientists in More Than 100 Lower and Middle Income Countries

December 14, 2023

The American Physical Society (APS) has partnered with Research4Life to share its journals with researchers from nonprofits in over 115 countries, territories, and refugee camps at no cost. The Society will also cover article publication charges for new submissions from scientists belonging to these eligible groups beginning Jan. 1, 2024.

“These latest initiatives underscore the American Physical Society’s continued commitment to removing barriers in scientific publishing and broadening global access to research,” said Rachel Burley, Chief Publications Officer at APS.

As the scientific publishing industry transitions to open access models, the question remains: how do publishers ensure equity for those with limited resources and institutional support?

By joining Research4Life, APS has addressed this challenge and enabled subscription access for all of the Society’s journals to those at teaching hospitals, universities, and national non-governmental organizations in lower and middle income countries that are registered with Research4Life. Backed by five United Nations programs, Research4Life supports equitable, online, free or low-cost access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content from over 200 international publishers.

“Our journals are now more widely available to those who may have previously lacked funding for a subscription. This move provides these scientists with increased access to knowledge so that they can easily participate and be active in the physical sciences community,” said Colin Adcock, the Publishing Manager for Open Science at APS. “Our new industry-leading support for authors from lower and middle income countries will ensure that publishing open access is the default option and welcomes authors to the open research landscape without financial barriers.”

Partnering with Research4Life reflects APS’s mission, vision, and values. These values — which center around equity, inclusion, and advocacy — are also reflected in other APS initiatives that connect the global physics community, including tiered registration pricing for the Society’s March and April Meetings. Moreover, APS’s support for Research4Life advances the platform’s goal to provide equitable access to scientific publishing in the Global North and South.

“We are delighted that APS has joined Research4Life to offer reading and publishing support for lower and middle income country researchers,” said Sarah Phibbs, Director, R4L Publisher Partnerships, STM at Research4Life. “This partnership fuels Research4Life's strategy to increase knowledge exchange between higher and lower income countries to enrich scholarship and solve our most pressing global challenges.”

Beyond providing subscription access, APS has also expanded its previous guidelines for article publication charges (APCs). APS will cover the APCs for researchers at institutions across lower and middle income countries. Moreover, the process will be automated. Eligible authors of papers submitted after Jan. 1, 2024 will not have to request APC waivers, removing another barrier in the process.

“The ability to submit papers, share results, and receive feedback has become much more feasible for many members of the international physical sciences community,” said Burley. "In taking this next step, we hope to make the field more inclusive and allow more voices to share their science.”

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