cOAlition S endorsing Subscribe to Open is a great start. We need the same thinking about books from the beginning. | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

This week, cOAlition S endorsed the Subscribe to Open (S2O) business model.

This group of international funders is committed to a complete transition to open-access publishing. To date, critics have claimed that the cOAlition has been too wedded to the (inflationary) Article Processing Charge business model, although Plan S is theoretically neutral on this matter. However, coupled with their recent publication on “Diamond” OA, this endorsement marks a milestone for open access without author-side payments.


cOAlition S endorses the Subscribe to Open (S2O) model of funding open access | Plan S

“Using existing budget and subscription processes without imposing paywalls, S2O provides a rapid route to open access that is applicable to research from all disciplines and all countries. cOAlition S encourages publishers to seriously consider the Subscribe to Open Model as a model for achieving full transformation to open access publishing and Plan S compliance.”

Feasibility, Sustainability, and the Subscribe-to-Open Model – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In this post I’m going to be discussing the feasibility and sustainability of open access (OA) business model du jour: subscribe-to-open (S2O for short). Briefly put, S2O is a model whereby a journal shifts from subscription access to OA, but the libraries who were subscribers under the old model continue paying in order to keep the journal financially viable. Some publishers (such as Annual Reviews) offer a discount to supporting libraries; others (such as IWA Publishing) don’t….”

Attracting new users or business as usual? A case study of converting academic subscription based journals to open access | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press Journals

Abstract:  This paper studies a selection of eleven Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies. By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014-2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase which can be attributed to the conversion. Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors. The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict polices targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access.


Jisc and Berghahn Journals offer UK universities a “Berghahn Open Anthro UK Flexible Journals Package”

“Jisc and Berghahn Journals have entered into an agreement to offer UK libraries a bespoke subscriptions package as part of the Berghahn Open Anthro – Subscribe to Open (S2O) initiative. Launched in 2020, the initiative has been successfully adopted by the library community and partner organisations, Libraria and Knowledge Unlatched. S2O is a sustainable and equitable open access model that is gaining steam as the benefits to all participants in the publishing ecosystem is ever more apparent. Berghahn Open Anthro now enters its second year of providing full open access to all thirteen journals in the collection….”

Review of OA agreements post SPA OPS Survey

“Thank you very much for agreeing to complete this short survey. We have been commissioned by the European Science Foundation, on behalf of cOAlition S, and ALPSP to review the progress of open access agreements around the world.


Transformative OA agreements are made between libraries and publishers and include both OA publishing services and reading services (if any content is paywalled). They remove the need for authors to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) or other transactional charges for their open access publishing. Many types of transformative OA agreement initiatives operate today, including Read & Publish, Subscribe to Open, Community Action Publishing, and journal flipping programs via Knowledge Unlatched, Libraria, or SCOAP3.”

EMS Press | 10 EMS Press Journals Become Open Access in 2021

“EMS Press is pleased to announce that all 10 of its Subscribe To Open (S2O) journals will become open access for 2021, including its flagship publication Journal of the European Mathematical Society. The Press chose S2O as its preferred route to open access as it does not rely on author fees, allowing for equitable and sustainable open access with a focus on high-quality research….”

S2O Survey

“On behalf of the Subscribe to Open Community of Practice, a group of publishers, librarians, and funders, I ask for your help by completing this 8-minute survey on open access in general, and the Subscribe to Open (S2O) approach in particular.

We are interested in how the S2O model is currently perceived among librarians at different types of institutions and in different parts of the world. We will make the results of the survey freely available to you as well as seek opportunities to present them at relevant librarian conferences.

The S2O Community of Practice comprises academic publishers (currently 9), a diverse group of librarians from around the world, and representatives of the funder community. Together, we are pursuing S2O as a novel approach to convert closed access journals to open access….”

Wellcome’s support for Transformative Arrangements – 2021 to 2024

“Transformative Arrangements are strategies which encourage subscription publishers to transition to full and immediate Open Access and where fees are charged for providing publishing services rather than subscription fees for reading.

These approaches include Transformative Agreements and Transformative Journals as well as other open access publishing initiatives.

This document provides guidance for organisations in receipt of open access block grant funding when using Wellcome funds to support Transformative Arrangements for the period January 2021 – December 2024. This Guidance will be kept under review and may be updated from time to time….

By definition, TAs are transitional in nature….

Transformative Journals (TJ) are subscription/hybrid journals that are committed to transitioning to fully OA journals. Transformative Journals must gradually increase the share of Open Access content and offset subscription income from payments for publishing services thereby avoiding double payments….

Guest Post – Subscribe to Open: The Why, The How and The What Now?! – The Scholarly Kitchen

“With so much uncertainty, it may seem like an odd time for a small society publisher to announce its intention to overhaul the business model of its journal’s program and jump on the rapidly moving ‘Subscribe to Open’ bandwagon. Yet here we are. And the ‘why’ is surprisingly simple. IWA Publishing wants to be completely Open Access (OA) and we want to do it now.

IWA Publishing is the publishing division of the International Water Association, a membership organization representing water professionals and researchers in over 140 countries. Through our portfolio of 17 peer-reviewed journals and over 850 books, we provide seminal information on our most valuable resource: water. Our titles additionally touch on global health, sanitation, environmental issues, and climate change. We want everyone, everywhere to be able to read this research and (just as importantly) we want to be able to afford to keep publishing it….”