During the past year several questions concerning the publications process have come to the attention of the Publications Committee. These questions have made it clear to us that some members of AGU may not be familiar with some key elements of AGU's philosophy toward publication. Since the publications activities are so important to each member and to the Union as a whole, we believe that a brief overview of the responsibilities of the three primary groups involved in the publication process is in order. Most of what we say here would apply to any scientific journal or at least any scientific journal published by a learned society. Some aspects are specific to AGU.