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Subscribe to Open (S2O)

The Subscribe to Open (S2O) model is another form of transformative agreement in publishing. In contrast to Read-and-Publish or Publish-and-Read agreements, S2O is not associated with author incentives, such as copyright control and waived Article Processing Charges (APC) but rather, the conversion of existing publication from subscription-only readers to Open Access (OA) for all.

The S2O model is relatively new, and the details vary from publisher to publisher. A library will typically see no change in the cost of their subscription, and the publisher may require no action or adjustments to their license, simply establishing subscribing institutions as participants automatically.

The defining practice is that the publisher announces a target number of subscribing libraries by a given date (annually) and if enough libraries are participating, a selection of electronic journals or eBooks will be converted to OA during the coming year. If the target is not met, these publications remain accessible only to subscribing institutions for the year. Content converted to OA in previous years will remain as such.

S2O is a growing practice, as publishers find it is possible to contribute to OA with sustainability and leverage, afforded to them by establishing their own targets and committing to one year at a time. Libraries are motivated to participate in the S2O model because this collaborative effort requires little or no change to their present budgets and normal subscriptions, while expanding access to scholarly research for individuals and the greater scientific community.


The Eugene McDermott Library is engaged with the following S2O offers: