What is Subscribe to Open (S2O)?

Subscribe to Open’ is one of the transformative models that aims to move subscription journals to open access (OA). S2O does this by maintaining the existing customer and subscriber relationships that know and value the contents of a journal with little effort and no additional costs. These institutions are asked to subscribe as usual, and as long as EDP Sciences receives the expected subscription income, then the current volume will be made available to all in full open access.

Do authors pay Article Processing Charges (APC) to publish in the journal?

No, all authors can publish in the participating journals in open access, free of charge.

If content is free, why should I continue to subscribe?

  • Your current subscription payment will show your commitment to the long-term sustainability of open access, with no additional funding necessary.
  • Renewal is annual, using current subscription workflows and channels.
  • There is no lock-in, the decision as to whether the content will be open or closed will be made annually based on subscription income received.

What happens if my institution or others don’t renew?

If subscription revenues fall significantly, e.g. because institutions decide to cancel their subscription payment, or delay their payments significantly, the content from that year will go behind a paywall and only the subscribers will still have access.

How is the EDP Sciences’ S2O being introduced in Year 1?

EDPS introduced a pilot S2O programme in 2020, when the first journal, Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, was offered to current institutional subscribers with a 5% discount off the regular subscription price, and the back content published in the journal in previous years was put in free access.

Following the subscription renewal cycle, a journal joining the S2O programme will publish its newly accepted content in OA as soon as all subscription renewals have been received, typically at the end of February in Year 1.

What happens in Year 2 and subsequent years?

We aim to have no interruption to the OA publication of participating journals in years to come, and for these journals to be published in OA permanently without the need to charge authors for publication. For this, in Year 2, participating journals will continue to be published in OA until the end of the “grace period” for subscription renewals, typically at the end of February. This will ensure that the participating journals remain in OA without periods of interruption in years to come.

If the minimum amount of subscriptions necessary to sustain the publication of the journal is not attained, however, newly accepted content will revert to being published in gated access.

What is the difference between gated access, free access, and open access?

For journals/content in gated access, articles are only available to subscribers of the journal or to those who pay per view.

For journals/content in free access, articles are free to read for everyone, without a payment.

From the introduction of the S2O programme, new articles published in participating journals will be published in open access. Open access is more than free access. Knowledge is open if anyone is free to access, use, modify, and share it. The author of an open access article holds copyright on it instead of transferring copyright to the publisher. A Creative Commons license is a way to give permission for others to share and adapt the content in advance. EDP Sciences uses the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 for its open access content.

From the introduction of the S2O programme, authors of participating journals whose articles are accepted will be asked to sign a CC-BY 4.0 licence on acceptance of their article, and their article will be published online in open access.

When does EDPS consider that the minimum amount of subscriptions is attained?

EDPS considers that the minimum amount of subscriptions necessary to sustain the publication of a journal is attained when at least 95% of subscriptions are renewed year-on-year.

What happens if the amount of subscriptions increases year-on-year?

EDPS will seek the support of other libraries, institutions and consortia who use its open access content, but do not yet subscribe to the content, and will invite them to subscribe in order to support a model transforming subscriptions to open access. If the number of subscribers increases, a discount on the subscription price for all subscribers will be considered.

I represent an institution whose members use and value the content of journal(s) published in EDP Sciences’ Subscribe to Open programme. How can I join the programme?

EDPS is open to new subscribers joining the programme. Your participation will help the S2O model to endure and will reduce the subscription price for existing and new subscribers. To Subscribe to Open, or if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Which journals participate in the Subscribe to Open programme of EDP Sciences?

In 2020, EDPS implemented Subscribe to Open as a pilot OA programme, on a first title:

EDP Sciences is pleased to announce an exciting development in its commitment to open access. Following the successful transition of Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena (MMNP) to open access under the Subscribe to Open (S2O) pilot in 2020, a further five maths journals will transition to open access under this model from January 2021. The journals are:

As long as EDP Sciences receives the expected subscription income, then the current year’s content will be made available to all in full open access with no article processing charges or additional costs. The 2021 content will not be released immediately from January 2021 but rather around the end of February when renewals are completed.


Further information and contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.