Preserving scholarly research

Archive & Use Policy

AIP recognizes the valid concerns of librarians and others regarding the need for ongoing access to scholarly research as publishing moves into the online era. Our policy addresses this important issue head on. It does not make broad promises about future access; rather, it honestly addresses the complex issues of retention and access.

In addition to affirming our position regarding the archival process, the policy we have developed responds to library concerns about the print era concept of “subscription” meaning ownership being replaced in the online era by the meaning access for a defined period of time. The “Use” portion of the policy recognizes the impractical challenge to a publisher to retain records of who subscribed to what volumes of a journal for all time, and permits libraries to acquire and maintain their own archival copy.

This policy has been in development for more than two years. The original draft was developed by a Task Force that encouraged active participation by librarians in their deliberations. The original draft and subsequent revisions benefited from comments provided by three AIP oversight committees (Database and Online Services, Serials, Publishing Policy) and comments from representatives of AIP’s 10 Member Societies. Prior to adoption on 12 June 1998 by the AIP Executive Committee, it was reviewed by the full AIP Governing Board.

  • Adopted by AIP Executive Committee 12 June 1998
  • Amended by AIP Executive Committee 6 June 2003
  • Amended by AIP Executive Committee 4 June 2010

Scope Statement

The AIP is committed to the retention and preservation of scholarly research information published in electronic form within AIP’s journals, proceedings, and other publications. This Policy statement defines the extent of the archiving commitment and the relevant procedures for fulfilling this commitment. This Policy does not apply to journals or other publications where AIP provides publishing services but is not the publisher of record.


The American Institute of Physics has extensively studied approaches to retain and maintain its electronic information according to the following policy, exercising its best effort to adapt to rapidly changing publishing technology and financial models. The Institute and subscribers understand that because of the still emerging nature of electronic publishing, there are many technical and financial uncertainties about how archiving will be accomplished by any publisher, library or third party. However, AIP’s intent to maintain an archive of all its electronic journals is clear. The Institute will plan its technical and financial investments accordingly.

Archive Policy

AIP will retain in an archive all electronic information published by the American Institute of Physics. The archive will include all AIP-owned primary publications hosted on ScitationSM, including multimedia elements of journal articles that have been judged by peer review as being essential to the understanding of the article. Original source material will not be altered, except in extraordinary cases of production errors or similar situations, in which case there will be a clear record of the change. Source material may be annotated or supplemented by clearly noted errata, references, and other developments that may occur subsequent to original publication.

AIP will hold a primary source material archive and be responsible for the periodic refresh of this archive (to assure its continuing availability) and its replication to additional archives. The primary source material archive will not be used for active delivery. At least one complete archive will be maintained outside AIP at a site separate and distant from the primary archive.

AIP will ensure access to relevant retrospective archives via subscriptions or other means. If publication of a journal is terminated, AIP will continue to maintain and migrate that journal’s database archive and will charge appropriate access fees.

The archive will be reviewed for refreshing or migration to new information formats at appropriate intervals. The initial archive material will be in the predominant current standard (e.g. SGML-based) with suitable current standard-based storage formats for figures, page images, and other information forms as they develop. Information will be migrated to new formats when current formats are in danger of becoming obsolete or unsupportable, or when new formats provide substantial improvements in features with no loss of content.

Usage Rights of Active Institutional Subscribers

Usage rights of active institutional subscribers will be governed by the terms of the then current Subscriber Agreement, a signed copy of which must be on file. A subscription fee for the current term must also have been paid. Distribution to parties beyond that defined in the Subscriber Agreement may be permitted upon explicit agreement with the AIP. Additional rights may be provided to institutions purchasing extended access methods.

Usage Rights of Active Individual Subscribers

Individual subscriptions are limited to personal use only.

Usage Rights of Lapsed Subscribers

Institutional subscribers who do not renew an AIP journal subscription will continue to have online access to the years for which they held a paid subscription to that title, beginning with the 1999 term. Customers with no current paid subscriptions may retain online access to such previously subscribed material for an annual fee; there is no fee for customers with a current paid subscription to any AIP journal. This policy does not apply to the backfile included with a current-year subscription unless the subscriber held a paid subscription to that title for the year(s) in question; nor does it apply to any year prior to 1999.
Subscribers will also have the option to purchase a physical archive copy of that term’s material at the end of each subscription term. The same usage rights as for active subscribers apply to use of the physical archive copy. Lost or damaged physical archive copies will be replaced with copies in the then-current format for a reasonable fee; otherwise, back issue physical copies in the then-current format will be made available at annually published prices. AIP does not guarantee that links and other features intended to function within an active subscription will continue to be available in the years following delivery of the physical archive copy.

Usage Rights of Nonsubscribers

Pay-per-article access will be provided. Physical copies of current or back issues will be made available at the then current pricing schedule.

AIP’s Correction and Retractions Policies

AIP takes its responsibility to maintain the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record of our content for all end users very seriously. Changes to articles after they have been published online may only be made under the circumstances outlined below. AIP places great importance on the authority of articles after they have been published and our policy is based on best practice in the academic publishing community.

An Erratum is a statement by the authors of the original paper that briefly describes any correction(s) resulting from errors or omissions. Any effects on the conclusions of the paper should be noted. The corrected article is not removed from the online journal, but notice of erratum is given. The Erratum is made freely available to all readers and is linked to the corrected article.

A Retraction is a notice that the paper should not be regarded as part of the scientific literature. Retractions are issued if there is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, this can be as a result of misconduct or honest error; if the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper referencing, permission or justification; if the work is plagiarized; or if the work reports unethical research.

To protect the integrity of the record, the retracted article is not removed from the online journal, but notice of retraction is given, is made freely available to all readers, and is linked to the retracted article. Retractions can be published by the authors when they have discovered substantial scientific errors; in other cases, the Editors or Publisher may conclude that retraction is appropriate. In all cases, the retraction indicates the reason for the action and who is responsible for the decision. If a Retraction is made without the unanimous agreement of the authors, that is also noted.

In rare and extreme cases involving legal infringement, the Publisher may redact or remove an article. Bibliographic information about the article will be retained to ensure the integrity of the scientific record.

A Corrigendum notifies readers that an article has been corrected subsequent to publication. It is issued by the Publisher and is used in cases where typographical or production errors (either the fault of the authors or the publisher) affect the integrity of the article metadata (such as title, author list or byline) or will significantly impact the readers’ ability to comprehend the article. The original article is removed and replaced with a corrected version and a Corrigendum describing the correction is linked to it. The date the correction is made is noted on the corrected article. Corrigenda are freely available to all readers.
Minor errors that do not affect the integrity of the metadata or a reader’s ability to understand an article and that do not involve a scientific error or omission will be corrected at the discretion of the publisher. In such a case, the original article is removed and replaced with a corrected version. The date the correction is made is noted on the corrected article.

Ethics and responsibilities of authors submitting to AIP Journals AIP’s CrossMark policy.

The following guidelines may also be helpful: