SEG Policy on Open-access Publishing

SEG provides authors a variety of open-access publishing options, including some "green" and "gold" open-access options.

SEG provides the world's premier vehicles for knowledge exchange in applied geophysics. The Society's publishing program is one such vehicle. To help attract the best scholarship and disseminate it to the widest possible audience through journals, meetings papers, and books, SEG provides authors a variety of open-access publishing options. These include some "green" open-access options that long have been features of the traditional subscription-based business model that has sustained the Society's publishing program.

In 2011, SEG went further by instituting a "gold" open-access option for its journals, transforming them into "hybrid" open-access journals. In exchange for payment of an author publication charge (APC) of US$2,500 plus payment of all applicable voluntary and mandatory page and color charges, SEG agreed to remove access barriers to full-text presentations of the author's paper on SEG publications sites. Standard copyright transfer was required.

Beginning with papers published in 2014, this gold open-access option is expanded with additional copyright and licensing options, and the policy also is extended to meetings papers and book chapters. These changes make all SEG publications compliant with requirements in place and emerging from a variety of research funders and their overseers, such as Research Councils UK (RCUK), the European Commission, and the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy. Also, some aspects of SEG's green open-access policy are refined.

In October 2015, the SEG Board of Directors approved a policy change removing the requirement of authors to pay all voluntary charges for open-access papers for papers submitted on or after 15 October 2015. Authors must pay mandatory charges and the $2,500 open-access fee.

Here are features of open-access options available to authors, or in cases of works made for hire, their employers:

Traditional publication (including green open access)

  • No author publication charge (APC) is levied, although payment of mandatory page charges are assessed and payment of voluntary charges is requested. Relief from mandatory charges may be requested under SEG's hardship relief policy.
  • Copyright is transferred to SEG.
  • Authors/employers retain proprietary rights such as the right to patentable subject matter and the right to make oral presentation of the work with full citation and proper copyright acknowledgment.
  • Authors/employers enjoy the right to prepare and hold copyright in derivative publications based on the paper provided that the derivative work is published subsequent to the official date of the original paper's publication by SEG.
  • Authors/employers may post a final accepted version of the manuscript or the final SEG-formatted version (book chapters excluded) on authors' personal websites, employers' websites, or in institutional repositories operated and controlled exclusively by authors' employers provided that:
    1. the SEG-prepared version is presented without modification;
    2. copyright notice and a full citation appear with the paper;
    3. a link to the SEG version of record in the SEG Library using Digital Object Identifier (DOI) permalinks is provided;
    4. the posting is noncommercial in nature, and the paper is made available to users without charge; and
    5. that notice be provided that use is subject to SEG terms of use and conditions.
  • Authors/employers may not post their articles in an institutional repository or other site in which the content is required to carry or is implied as carrying a license contrary to SEG copyright and terms of use and terms of this policy.
  • Authors/employers may post to their own websites a preprint (a version prior to SEG peer review) of a submitted manuscript provided that the posting is accompanied by prominent notice that the paper is under review for publication by SEG and the publication to which the manuscript has been submitted is identified. Upon publication of the paper by SEG, the author must replace any previously posted electronic versions of the paper with either (a) a full citation to the SEG-published work with a DOI permalink to the paper's abstract or (b) the final version of the manuscript or SEG-formatted version (book chapters excluded) subject to SEG conditions for such posting.
  • Authors may reuse all or part of their papers published with SEG in a thesis or dissertation that authors write and are required to submit to satisfy criteria of degree-granting institutions.
  • Authors/employers have the nonexclusive right, after publication by SEG, to give permission to third parties to republish print versions of the paper, or excerpts therefrom, without obtaining permission from SEG, provided that:
    1. the SEG-prepared version is not used for this purpose;
    2. the paper is not republished in another journal or book; and
    3. the third party does not charge a fee. Permission must be obtained from SEG for other republication of the paper.

"Gold" open access

  • Authors, their employers, or research funders pay an author publication charge (APC) of US$2,500 plus any applicable mandatory page charges. It is SEG's expectation that APCs typically be paid by employers or research funding agencies and, if by the author, from a portion of author's research funds designated for open-access publishing. The fee applies to all journal articles and meeting papers yet may be adjusted for book chapters depending on chapter length, number of chapters, the proportion of open-access material in the whole book, and the anticipated market for the book.
  • SEG publishes the paper to its official websites (SEG Library and GeoScienceWorld) without access controls immediately upon publication and in perpetuity. The paper is clearly flagged as Open Access.
  • Authors/employers retain copyright and select from among four Creative Commons licenses under which their work is licensed to the public and to SEG. Authors/employers execute an additional licensing agreement extending specific additional rights to SEG. The Creative Commons licenses available for selection by authors/employers are:
    • Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY): This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the author's work, even commercially, as long as they credit the author and/or licensors for the original creation. This license meets licensing requirements of the RCUK.
    • Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (CC BY-NC): This license allows the same uses and has the same attribution requirement as CC BY but excludes commercial use of the paper. Those who reuse the work do not have to adopt the same license for derivative works.
    • Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC BY-SA): This license allows the same uses and has the same attribution requirement as CC BY except that all derivative works must carry the same license, so any derivatives also will allow commercial use. The SEG Wiki and Wikipedia use this license.
    • Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license (CC BY-NC-ND): This is the most restrictive of the Creative Commons licenses, allowing others to download and share the author's work with attribution but without the right to create derivatives or to use the work commercially.
  • Licensing agreements between SEG and authors/employers extend to SEG worldwide license to publish the paper, all associated supplemental material, and subsequent, if necessary, errata in any SEG publication under the terms of the Creative Commons license selected by authors/employers. Further, authors/employers agree to acknowledge the SEG-published version of the paper as the version of record.
  • Licensing agreements between SEG and authors/employers also stipulate that subsequent Discussions and Replies associated with a paper be licensed and published under the same Creative Commons license as the paper itself.
  • Licensing agreements between SEG and authors/employers stipulate that further distribution of a paper must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published paper's title, full citation, and DOI (linked to the SEG official version if in electronic form). SEG states this requirement in the published paper alongside indication of which Creative Commons license has been selected by the authors/employer.
  • Licensing agreements between SEG and authors/employers grant to SEG additional rights to enforce rights in the work, on behalf of the author and SEG, against third parties in cases of plagiarism, ethical disputes, and fraud. Such agreements also grant SEG nonexclusive right to extend to third parties content-reuse permissions that exceed the rights granted to third parties under the Creative Commons license selected by the author/employer.
  • Author/employer rights and responsibilities defined for traditional publication that are not superseded by these gold open-access policies are applicable to authors/employers electing gold open access.

Applicability to copublished material

The policies herein described apply not only to material published by SEG alone but also to Interpretation, which SEG copublishes with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Questions about the applicability of these policies to other work SEG publishes with other organizations should be directed to the SEG publications director.

Subscription pricing

SEG shall annually examine whether gold open access adoption rates merit moderation or reduction in institutional subscription fees and adjust rates accordingly.


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