Article Publication Charges and Licensing Agreements [Before October 11, 2021]

The article charges and licensing agreements on this page are relevant to articles accepted before October 11, 2021.

The terms of publication, specifically, the licensing agreement between the author and the AAS Journals, changed on October 11, 2011. The most updated version of our article charges and agreements can be found on the main APC page.

Publication fees are required for publication in the refereed journals of the American Astronomical Society (the Astronomical Journal, the Astrophysical Journal, Astrophysical Journal Letters, the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, and the Planetary Science Journal). Please be aware that the journals do not receive direct funding from any external agencies.

Research Notes of the AAS and the Bulletin of the AAS are fully open access (OA) publications and have no article publication charges.

Note that, effective 1 January 2022, all AAS journals will be fully open access.

For information about article publication charges and licensing agreements after 1 January 2022, please see our open access FAQ. Article publication charges and licensing agreement information for the remainder of 2021 are given below. Authors continue to have the option to publish gold open access in any journal in the AAS portfolio.

Article Publication Charges

The AAS calculates article publication charges using an approach that counts “digital quanta”, units of information in digital form that the author supplies. Digital quanta can include words, figures, tables, data components, and figures within a figure set.

The table below defines the types of digital quanta and their corresponding publication charges, without and with the gold OA option the author can select at submission. Note that, as the PSJ is already a fully OA journal, all authors submitting to PSJ are automatically assessed the gold OA article publication charges.

The charges below are current for the 2021 calendar year. Effective 1 January 2022, all AAS journals will be fully open access. Please see the 2022 article publication charges in our FAQ.
2021 Article Publication Charges
Type of quantum Number of components per quantum Charge per
Gold OA charge
per quantum (AJ/ApJ/
Words 350 words =
1 quantum
$34 $60
Authors, affiliations, acknowledgements, and references Not counted No charge No charge
Regular Figures 1 figure =
1 quantum
$36 $53
Tables 1 table =
1 quantum
$36 $53
Interactive or Animated Figures* 1 animation or interactive =
1 quantum
$36 $53
Data components (machine-readable tables, data behind the figures, etc.)* 1 data component =
1 quantum
$36 $53
Figure sets* 100 figures =
1 quantum
$36 $53
* All online-only components require an example component in the article. For machine-readable tables this is an example or descriptive table. For interactive or animated figures and figure sets, this is a regular figure. The quanta charge for the online component is in addition to the charge for the regular component.

You can obtain an approximation of the quanta count for your article at any time using our rough quanta estimator. The final quanta count is conducted once your article is sent to production.

In addition to the above digital quanta, there are surcharges for specific cases. These are listed in the table below.

Type of surcharge (2021) Cost
ApJL handling charge $145
ApJL handling charge (gold OA) $600
Errata handling charge $36
Errata handling charge (gold OA) $53

Licensing Agreements

Note that, effective 1 January 2022, all AAS journals will be fully open access; our licensing agreements will be changing on 11 October 2021 in preparation for this transition.

Before your article can be published in an American Astronomical Society (AAS) journal, we require you to sign and return an agreement governing the copyright and licensing of the final article published in the AAS Journal.

The agreement should be signed by at least one of the authors (who agrees to inform the others, if any) or, in the case of a work made for hire, by the employer.

An author who is a U.S. Government officer or employee and who prepared the article as part of his or her official duties does not own any copyright in it. If at least one of the authors is not a U.S. Government employee, one of those non-government authors should sign the licensing agreement.

Before 11 October 2021

Authors publishing in the Astronomical Journal, Astrophysical Journal, ApJ Supplements, or ApJ Letters have two choices for publication: 1) standard publication, in which they must agree to transfer copyright to the AAS, or 2) optional gold open access publication (for an extra fee), in which they retain copyright but must license the article under a CC-BY 4.0 license. Authors of all articles in the Planetary Science Journal and the Research Notes of the AAS must agree to the gold open access licensing agreement.

Links to and descriptions of these two agreements are provided below:

  1. Agreement to transfer copyright to the AAS
    •  For authors choosing standard publication for articles accepted in AJ, ApJ, ApJL, and ApJS before 11 October 2021
    Under this agreement, authors grant and assign the entire article copyright to the AAS. The copyright consists of all rights protected by the copyright laws of the United States and of all foreign countries, in all languages and forms of communication, including the right to furnish the article or the abstracts to abstracting and indexing services, and the right to republish the entire article in any format or medium. For subscription articles, in return for assigning copyright, the AAS grants the author the non-exclusive right of republication, subject only to the author providing appropriate credit to the journal in which their article is published. Under this non-exclusive right of republication, the author may allow reproduction of parts of their article wherever they wish and may post the published (PDF) version of their article on their personal website. To protect the copyright, the original copyright notice as it appears in the journal should be included in the credit.
  2. Gold open access licensing agreement
    •  For authors choosing optional gold open access publication (for an additional fee) for articles accepted for publication in AJ, ApJ, ApJL, and ApJS before 11 October 2021
    •  For all articles accepted to
    PSJ and RNAAS before 11 October 2021
    Authors retain copyright for gold OA articles, which are immediately made freely available upon publication and are published by the AAS under a CC-BY license. This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the author’s work, even commercially, as long as the author is credited for the original creation.

After 11 October 2021

Authors of all AAS Journal articles accepted after 11 October 2021 will retain copyright in the published article and grant the AAS a non-exclusive CC-By license to publish the article using the gold open access licensing agreement. This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the author’s work, even commercially, as long as the author is credited for the original creation.

Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials

The AAS holds the copyright for all non-gold-OA articles published in the Astronomical Journal, the Astrophysical Journal, Astrophysical Journal Letters, and the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series prior to 11 Oct 2021. The following section refers only to articles for which the AAS holds the copyright; all gold OA articles (including all articles published in the Planetary Science Journal) are published under a CC-BY 4.0 license, which delineates requirements for reuse.

The AAS is eager for the information published in its journals to reach the widest possible audience and it encourages the reuse of figures, tables, or other materials in review articles, textbooks, and other appropriate means of scholarly communication. For all articles in the AAS journals for which the AAS holds the copyright, the Society grants control of the right to reproduce the material to the original authors as long as they are alive.

Permission to Use AAS Material in Classrooms and Libraries

Multiple copies may be made for classroom use provided 1) that no charge is made for such copies (other than a nominal charge to cover the cost of reprography), 2) that such copies are not made or distributed for commercial advantage, and 3) that the copies bear the American Astronomical Society copyright notice.

Libraries and other users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) Transactional Reporting Service may photocopy items for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients in the U.S.A., provided that the per-copy fee is paid directly to CCC, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, U.S.A.

Permission to Use AAS Material in Other Publications

Permission to reproduce material from articles for which the AAS holds the copyright is managed on behalf of the AAS by IOP Publishing. In order to gain permission to reproduce material under AAS copyright, you should do the following:

  1. Obtain consent from one of the original authors of the article from which you wish to extract materials. In the event that the original authors are deceased or unavailable, contact IOP Publishing at for advice. A form is available for you to ask for this consent.
  2. Notify when consent has been obtained from the original authors. Give the original citation for the figure, table, or other material that you plan to reproduce as well as the information about where the material is to appear.
  3. If your publisher needs a formal indication of this permission, send a request to If special forms are required by your publisher, be sure to include copies of the forms. Requests for formal permission will normally be satisfied within a week of the request.
  4. All reproduced material must be properly identified by the citation of the original publication and may carry the indication, “reproduced by permission of the AAS.”

Permission to Use Non-AAS Material in AAS Journals

When you submit an article for publication in an AAS journal and you choose to use material (including short extracts or diagrams) published previously by other authors in journals other than those of the AAS, then you must first obtain the written permission of the author and the publisher concerned. You must submit signed copies of the applicable permission forms when you submit your article. We do not perform this task for you.

Permission Forms

Permission request forms are available for the use of authors of AAS journal articles, as well as those authors who may wish to make use of material from AAS journals.