AIP introduces a new licensing model for PACS
Melville, NY, July 14, 2009 – The American Institute of Physics (AIP) today announced that its widely used system for classifying physics-related subjects, the Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme (PACS), will be licensed to the publishing community under a fee structure beginning January 2010. AIP created this classification scheme almost 40 years ago to provide a hierarchical organizing system for the literature in physics and astronomy and, despite ongoing investments, has offered PACS free of charge to publishers throughout the world.
PACS has had a significant positive impact on science and publishing by making scientific articles easier to categorize, organize, and find for physicists, astronomers, librarians and others. PACS has been widely adopted by publishers in physics and astronomy and has contributed to the value of their content because it increases the usability and consequently the demand for their PACS-classified articles.
Since the introduction of PACS nearly four decades ago, AIP has annually or biannually released an updated edition of the scheme. AIP continuously updates PACS to reflect changes in scientific research over time as new fields and sub-disciplines emerge. This updating process is what separates PACS from other classification schemes, which tend to be more static and therefore less useful over time. Working with teams of scientists and editors, AIP has spent a substantial amount of time and money to maintain the accuracy and authority of PACS for the benefit of the scholarly publishing community.
"Granularity and indexing have a renewed importance in the online era, as so many search and retrieval protocols depend on them," said John Haynes, Vice President of Publishing at the American Institute of Physics. "Whole disciplines are in need of controlled vocabularies such as PACS to make their content more discoverable. In light of our past financial support and our exciting plans for the future of PACS, we felt we had to recoup part of our costs by asking publishers who use PACS to contribute to its upkeep."
"We recognize and appreciate the use that our publishing partners make of the PACS scheme to benefit the physics community at large," added Terry Hulbert, Director of Business Development at the American Institute of Physics. "We will be sure to recognize anyone who helps to support its ongoing development on our website and in any promotional activities."
Beginning in January 2010, AIP will offer publishers a license to use PACS in exchange for a license fee based on the number of journals a publisher indexes. AIP's member societies and publishers who use the Scitation hosting platform (which is owned and operated by AIP) may continue to use PACS at no cost under a royalty-free license agreement. AIP also plans to offer a royalty-free license agreement to smaller not-for-profit publishers, publishers in the developing world, and other organizations with limited means. The complete details of the PACS licensing program are still being developed, and AIP will furnish additional information on PACS licensing as soon as it becomes available.
American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world's largest publishers of scientific information in physics. Offering full-solution publishing services for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP pursues innovation in electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (many of which have the highest impact factors in their category); two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.
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