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When/Why does the USGS publish research results in outside journals that require a fee to access rather than in the USGS publication series?

Publishing in outside journals by USGS scientists allows the research—including its scientific and practical contributions—to be disseminated to others in a particular field. This makes scientific researchers and practitioners with similar interests aware of new knowledge in their field, and it helps to advance knowledge and its application. USGS scientists publish in both free open-access journals and in journals requiring a fee to access.

Regardless of where published, all USGS funded or authored scholarly publications (including journal articles) published on or after October 1, 2016 are subject to the USGS Public Access Plan, which requires that free public access be provided no later than 12 months after publication.

USGS publication series (both past and present) are immediately available for free public access.