Equity is at Heart of Subscribe to Open Model - SPARC

peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-11-19


"For years, advocates of Open Access have wrestled with how to openly disseminate scholarly research in an equitable and financially sustainable way. One model – Subscribe to Open (S2O) – is emerging as a promising approach that can expand the reach of journals and provide clear benefits to international audiences eager for access to life-changing knowledge.

It is a practical approach to let publishers convert journals from subscriptions to open, one year at a time, says Raym Crow, senior  consultant to SPARC for more than 20 years and architect of the S2O model. It was developed in response to the collective action problem of how to get publishers to flip their journal models to open.

S2O works by appealing to a journal’s existing subscribers. If the vast majority agree to participate, merely continuing with their current subscription, then the publisher opens the content after its threshold is met. 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. 

Every year, the offer is repeated. Opening of content is contingent on sufficient participation. To motivate subscribers to participate, the publisher may offer additional content, a modest discount, or other incentives (whether the offer succeeds or not). ...

Virginia Steel, university librarian at UCLA, says she has concerns about the inherent inequities of the Article Processing Charge (APC) model and S2O offers an easier way to make articles open without putting a burden on faculty to pay.  “The appeal from a library perspective is pretty straightforward. We don’t have to change our workflows in any significant way. It’s a more equitable approach,” says Steel, who has participated in the new model with a handful of journals at her institution in the past two years. ..."



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Date tagged:

11/19/2021, 11:47

Date published:

11/19/2021, 06:47