S2O Community of Practice

“Subscribe to Open” (S2O) is a pragmatic approach for converting subscription journals to open access—free and immediate online availability of research—without reliance on either article processing charges (APCs) or altruism.

S2O relies on existing library subscription procurement processes. The model provides a realistic and immediate route to opening a vast body of research output that would otherwise remain gated.

This site presents variations of S2O adapted to different needs. It offers a forum for publishers and libraries to share their experiences with the model and to establish definitions and boundaries for S2O approaches. We welcome participation from librarians, publishers, funders and others with an interest in opening scholarly information for the public benefit. We are interested in how the model is perceived among libraries at different types of institutions, and we ask for your help in complete this 8-minute survey: S2O Survey (snapsurveys.com).

How S2O Works

S2O allows publishers to convert journals from subscriptions to OA, one year at a time. Using S2O, a publisher offers a journal’s current subscribers continued access. If all current subscribers participate in the S2O offer (simply by not opting out) the publisher opens the content covered by that year’s subscription. If participation is not sufficient—for example, if some subscribers delay renewing in the expectation that they can gain access without participating—then that year’s content remains gated.

The offer is repeated every year, with the opening of each year’s content contingent on sufficient participation. In some cases, access to backfile content may be used to enhance the offer.

The State of Subscribe-to-Open Among Scholarly Publishers

See a list of journals converted with S20 : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Me7X0HtV4n4Q-KWIu7HxORMGg8aWfC6mSGo8hRvlF5k/edit.