Resolution for free Web access to articles published
in the journals of [name of scientific society]
(1) Whereas research is primarily supported by tax-supported institutions, tax-free foundations, and the researchers themselves,
(2) Whereas neither the authors of research articles nor the institutions that support them are compensated for the copyright releases the authors sign,
(3) Whereas free World Wide Web access to journal articles serves the interests of the authors of research articles, of science and scientists generally, and of the public,
(4) Whereas making articles permanently and freely accessible on the Web (e.g., as PDF files) costs no more than a few dollars per page1,
(5) Whereas free Web access will have little if any effect on institutional subscriptions to our journals so long as researchers and librarians desire to continue with centrally printed issues and reprints2,

Be it resolved that [name of scientific society]

  1. Allow authors to buy immediate, public posting of their articles on the Web at a fair price3.

  3. Provide free Web access to all remaining articles with a delay of no more than two years4.

1One well-known publisher of scientific journals charges 90 cents a page for making PDF files.

2See “Free Internet access to traditional journals,␅ American Scientist 86(5): 463-471 (1998), Fig. 6. [This article and its figures are on the Web at]  An update of Fig. 6, with 1999 data, is at

3Posting PDF files for no more than the price of 100 paper reprints will return a generous profit to the society (see Am. Sci. 86: 463-471).

4Profits from immediately posting a portion of the articles should pay for delayed posting of the remaining articles (see Am. Sci. 86: 463-471).  Articles can be permanently posted without charge on the Web servers of PubMed Central, Florida Center for Library Automation, and others.

If you support this resolution, please write that you do on the resolution and send the annotated resolution to your society president. If appropriate, send a copy to your section chairman. If you enthusiastically support this resolution, send copies of it to at least three other society members and ask them to support it.

If you want more information about electronic publishing of traditional journals, visit the gateway site at