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.

S20 Community of Practice Charter

Purpose/shared interest:

Our intention is to disseminate good practice which makes it easy for all stakeholders to adopt and implement the principles of S2O (with room for variation in details). Our goal is to build consensus around S2O as a sustainable mechanism for delivering Open Access.


Membership is open to everyone who has an interest in making scholarly communication freely available to all for public benefit. We welcome librarians, scholarly publishers, funders, scholars, and other stakeholders from all countries. Each member’s voice carries equal weight. Interested new members join us here: Join Us section

Membership is neutral and does not imply intent to implement the model, but an interest in discussing and learning about S2O. The Community is especially welcoming of those who can help expand equity, diversity and inclusivity of scholarly publishing, given that S2O is a model intended to open opportunities to access and publish research on a global scale.

Members who actively participate on a regular basis may choose to have their name and affiliation listed on the S2O Community of Practice website.

Members agree to participate in monthly meetings and other events under Chatham House Rules, unless other conditions apply through the agreement of participants. The monthly meeting agenda is open to all for suggestions.

All members have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Members will be considerate of the diversity of our Community and use respectful and constructive language in all interactions. Members who do not behave appropriately can expect to have such behaviors addressed by the Coordinating Committee and may be asked to leave the Community.

 Coordinating Committee:

A committee made of up 6 volunteers will agree to a 1-year commitment to coordinate the monthly meetings, the membership list, auditing of the website, and will work with the communication group to select the best forum for communication among the group. They will help to facilitate the formation of sub-groups.

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.