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Subscribe to Open

Following the successful pilot project for the journal Bibliothek Forschung und Praxis, we are expanding our Subscribe to Open offer. Another 11 journals from the humanities and social sciences journal portfolio will be available in the Subscribe to Open model and, with the support of subscribers, be transferred to Open Access in 2022 and will be made directly accessible in the digital version under the Creative Commons License 4.0:

The model


Subscribe to Open (S2O) was developed by the US publisher Annual Reviews to enable the open access transformation of established journals by using their existing subscriptions to convert to OA.

The subscribing institutions that know and value a journal continue to subscribe as usual (either in print or electronically), and in return, the publisher grants unlimited access to all readers and free OA publishing for all authors.

As long as subscribers continue to subscribe to the journal, the current volume is published in open access under a Creative Commons license. If the number of subscribers falls below a set value for two years in a row, the paywall is reactivated, which means only existing subscribers have access. This mechanism ensures the long-term financing and economic viability of the journal in open access.

Subscribe to Open offers advantages for all parties in scholarly publishing:

  • Authors publish their article in an established – now open access – journal without having to pay for it themselves.
  • As paying subscribers, libraries retain guaranteed access to the journal through their subscription and support its open access transformation without any additional administrative effort or cost.
  • Booksellers continue to organize journal subscriptions for their customers in the usual way and therefore, unlike in the APC-funded open access transformation models like Publish & Read, remain important players in the academic publishing system.

Subscribe to Open enables a complete open access transformation of academic journals with full transparency, little disruption and no additional costs. The model represents a fair and equal approach to transformation since all authors can publish in the journal of their choice, irrespective of whether their affiliated institution has funding for OA publishing.

FAQ: Subscribe to Open (S2O)


In the following, you can find the most frequently asked questions.

What is Subscribe to Open?
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Subscribe to Open is a model that enables the complete, immediate open access transformation of journals using the existing subscription base while incurring no publication fees for authors.

Subscribe to Open was developed by the US publisher Annual Reviews for the open access transformation of well-established journals, which was successfully implemented for a subset of its titles.

How does Subscribe to Open work for the participating journals?
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The subscribing institutions that know and value the journals continue to subscribe as usual (either in print or electronically), and in turn, the publisher grants unlimited access to all readers and free OA publishing for all authors.

As long as a sufficient number of subscribers continue to subscribe to the journal, the current volume is published open access under a Creative Commons license.

If the number of subscribers falls below a set value, the paywall is reactivated, which means only existing subscribers have access. This mechanism ensures the long-term financing and economic viability of the journal in open access.

How can I support the project and the transformation of the journals?
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By renewing your subscription, whether in print or digital, you support the project and hence the open access transformation.

Nothing changes for you. In addition, you make an important contribution to opening up the publishing ecosystem, accelerating scientific exchange, and enabling free open access publishing for everyone.

If you have not yet subscribed to one of the journals and wish to support the project, please contact your regional sales manager.

Why should I continue my subscription to the participating journals?
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Your existing subscription will help to convert a valuable journal to OA, and hence contributes to the opening of the publishing ecosystem.

Only the continuation of your subscription will guarantee your access to the current volume of the respective journal.

Why should I as a bookseller and library supplier support Subscribe to Open?
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Unlike APC-funded open access and transformation models like Publish & Read, Subscribe to Open allows you to continue to organize journal subscriptions for your customers and hence maintain your business.

What happens if not enough subscribers participate in the Subscribe to Open pilot?
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If not enough subscribers continue to subscribe to the participating journals in support of the Subscribe to Open model, the paywall is reactivated, which means that the current volume remains gated and only existing subscribers have access to it.

Why is the minimum number of subscribers required not communicated?
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Usually, in the Subscribe to Open model, the minimum number of subscriptions required for a successful transformation is not published, and this is also the case in the current transformation projects.

This has primarily to do with complex and globally very different subscription structures and conditions in the journal sector.

Many journals are purchased nationally and internationally by different institutions and consortia, distributed in packages, and subscribed to individually - in different media forms: Print, Online, Print+Online.

A purely numerical summation of all existing subscriptions is therefore not meaningful. Instead, the different types of subscriptions must be bundled and evaluated according to their structure and included in the overall analysis, which also considers fluctuations that are customary in the market.

The threshold value is therefore made up of subscription structures that must be evaluated differently and can not be communicated as a general reference value. For this reason, publishers do not publish the threshold value set for their S2O projects.

Do I also support Subscribe to Open if I subscribe to these journals as part of a larger journal package or collection?
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Yes, if you subscribe to a collection or journal package that includes the journals, you support the Subscribe to Open project and hence the open access transformation of the journals.

The conditions of your agreement remain unchanged.

Under which license will the articles be published?
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If the open access transformation is successful, all articles will be published under a Creative Commons license.

What plans does De Gruyter have for Subscribe to Open?
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We hope to use the experience gained from the pilot projects to transform more journals from the humanities and social sciences publishing program in the future.

Output-based transformation models based on the payment of APCs are not practicable for most journals in the humanities and social sciences.

For this purpose, De Gruyter is engaged in the S2O Community of Practice. The Community of Practice has set itself the goal of exchanging experiences and further establishing the transformation concept on the market.

How was the journal Bibliothek Forschung und Praxis (BFP) chosen for the pilot project?
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Issues of accessibility to information and knowledge have been a focus of the journal BFP since its founding in 1977.

As one of Germany's leading library journals, it has always provided national and international information on techniques of accessibility and propagated their practical implementation: from open access to the digitization of cultural heritage to electronic publishing, open access, and open data.

Given the focus of this community, the desire to make the journal available for free scholarly exchange in the golden open access model. with no financial barriers for authors, was an obvious consequence.

Contacts


Do you have any further questions about our Subscribe to Open pilot project?
We look forward to hearing from you!

For questions about the pilot project and the transformation model, please contact Corinna Mayer.

If you would like to support the project by subscribing to one of the journals, or if have questions about your existing subscription, please contact your regional Sales Manager.

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