EDP Sciences (EDPS), in collaboration with the French learned society SMAI; EMS Press (EMS), the publishing house of the European Mathematical Society; and Mathematical Science Publishers (MSP) are the first three publishers to transition mathematics journals from gated to open access under the Subscribe to Open model (S2O). In 2022, they initiated a partnership to share best practices and resources and to promote the S2O model among the community of mathematics researchers and libraries. EDPS, EMS and MSP are also part of the S2O community of practice.
A shared principle
We favor an open access model whose only barrier to publication is the merit of an author’s work. Any model relying on direct or indirect author charges (APCs) would create financial obstacles that are not acceptable to the mathematical community. As publishers of mathematics, we have chosen the Subscribe to Open model, a pragmatic, innovative and transformative approach for converting subscription journals to open access without relying on APCs.
How does S2O work?
S2O converts subscription journals to open access (free, immediate online access, along with a license to reuse the content) one year at a time.
- In the subscription renewal cycle, if the number of subscriptions to an S2O journal meets a set threshold by a specific date, the journal will be open access for that subscription year. The threshold and the due date are both set by the publisher.
- If a journal does not reach the subscription threshold, only subscribers will have access to papers published that subscription year.
- The offer will be repeated every year, with the opening of each year’s content dependent on sufficient participation for that year.
- Whether a journal’s content is published open access or not, the publisher will allow the publication of articles under Green Open Access, and subscribers may benefit from exclusive access to some reserved content or services.
Benefits for subscribers
- Subscribers have guaranteed access to content whether or not the subscription threshold is met.
- Libraries retain control of budgets and collection.
- Administratively, subscriptions operate as before, but now support OA.
- Publishers are committed to transparency in costs and pricing.
- Publishers may offer reserved benefits to subscribers, such as
- reserved access to online-first or accepted manuscripts;
- reserved access to the full archive;
- reduced subscription price before subscription deadline.
- Subscribers support journals for the common good of the academic community and demonstrate their commitment to open access.
Benefits for authors
- Authors publish without APCs (because publishing costs are covered by subscription fees), so they can publish where they choose, rather than where their institution has a deal.
- Articles are published under a Creative Commons license (and authors are allowed to retain the copyright).
- The license enables authors to be fully compliant with the open access requirements of their institution or funding organization(s). If a journal's content cannot be open in a given year due to insufficient subscriptions, authors can comply with their funders' requirements via the Green Open Access route.
- Authors will be supporting an equitable system for all researchers, based on relevance and quality, not cost.
Benefits for the community
- S2O supports open access and open science and helps to guarantee the long-term scientific independence of researchers through a diversity of publishing models.
- S2O supports the values of the mathematics community.
- S2O helps to meet the growing demand for open access publications, and is endorsed by ALPSP, cOAlition S, CRL, ESAC, JISC, LYRASIS, OA2020.
Publisher S2O FAQs
- EDP Sciences: https://www.edpsciences.org/en/faqs-the-edp-sciences-subscribe-to-open-programme
- EMS Press: https://ems.press/subscribe-to-open/faqs
- MSP: https://msp.org/publications/s2o_faq/
Other S2O resources
- S2O Community of Practice https://subscribetoopencommunity.org
- R. Crow, R. Gallagher & K. Naim: “Subscribe to Open: A practical approach for converting subscription journals to open access”, Learned Publishing 33 (2019) https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1262
- C. Brundy & G. Steel: “Subscribe to progress: Advancing equity through openness”, Commonplace 1 (2021) https://doi.org/10.21428/6ffd8432.20811f1e
- SPARC: “Equity is at heart of Subscribe to Open model” (2021) https://sparcopen.org/news/2021/equity-is-at-heart-of-subscribe-to-open-model/
- Endorsement of S2O by ALPSP, cOAlition S, CRL, ESAC, JISC, LYRASIS, OA2020 https://www.coalition-s.org/enabling-smaller-independent-publishers-to-participate-in-open-access-transformative-arrangements-a-commitment-from-key-stakeholders/
- SPA-OPS Independent Report into Open Access Business Models (2019) https://www.alpsp.org/Reports-Publications/20190912-spa-ops-report-and-toolkit
- Open Access Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access