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What is Subscribe to Open?

We are piloting the Subscribe to Open (S2O) business model with two journals, Pediatric Neurosurgery and Developmental Neuroscience, as part of our ongoing drive to support the transition to Open Access (OA). S2O is a alternative way to move journals to OA, alleviating some of the challenges that come with Gold OA. Where Gold OA relies on payment for publishing in the form of Article Processing Charges (APCs) by the authors or their institutions, S2O makes use of the existing subscription base, funds and infrastructure to make journals free to read and share as well as to publish in. Unlike Gold OA journals, which are continually OA, the OA status of S2O journals is decided volume by volume, early every year (depending on the level of subscriptions). S2O was originally developed by the publisher Annual Reviews and has been adopted by a growing number of publishers who are exchanging ideas in the S2O Community of Practice.



Subscribe to Open S2O Infographic


Here’s how S2O works

Subscribers renew or order subscriptions to the journals they value.

If subscribers renew to a certain level, we make that year/volume of the journal Open Access per the Diamond/Platinum OA type. Articles are published with a CC BY license and no APCs are levied.

If subscriptions for the year fall below expectations, that year/volume of the journal will stay under the hybrid subscription model, accessible only to those with subscriptions. Articles may still be published as OA if the author requests and pays for the Author’s Choice option.

Each year, at least for the duration of the pilot, we will offer S2O again. While we hope subscription engagement will allow for full OA publication every year, with S2O, the journal’s access type is subject to change yearly.



What’s the Difference?

OA via S2O Gold OA Diamond/Platinum OA
Subscriptions enable OA publication APCs paid by authors, their institutions or funders enable OA publication Sponsoring organizations enable OA publication
No costs or extra steps for authors No extra step to choose OA but there are costs associated with publishing OA No costs or extra steps for authors
All authors entitled to publish without cost Some authors are eligible for APC discounts or waivers depending on location or resources All authors entitled to publish without cost
OA status is subject to change each year/volume All volumes are OA by default In Diamond/Platinum OA journals, all volumes are OA by default.

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