The most visible activity of the American Geophysical Union is its publication of scientific journals. There are eight of these: Journal of Geophysical Research—Space Physics (JGR I), Journal of Geophysical Research—Solid Earth (JGR II), Journal of Geophysical Research—Oceans and Atmospheres (JGR III), Radio Science (RS), Water Resources Research (WRR), Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), Reviews of Geophysics and Space Physics (RGSP), and the newest, Tectonics.
AGU's journals have established solid reputations for scientific excellence over the years. Reputation is not sufficient to sustain a high quality journal, however, since other factors enter into an author's decision on where to publish his or her work. In this article the characteristics of AGU's journals are compared with those of its competitors, with the aim of furnishing guidance to prospective authors and a better understanding of the value of the products to purchasers.