Open Access via Subscribe-to-Open

Subscribe-to-Open is an innovative model to publish scholarly journals in Open Access. Crucially, authors do not have to pay fees to publish a manuscript and readers have free access to all content. As such, it is a fair and equitable model that is considered “Diamond” Open Access.

The cost of editing and publishing the journal needs to be covered, however. The Subscribe-to-Open model uses library subscriptions to fund these costs. Instead of “closing off” the journal, so that only subscribers have access, the model uses the income from subscriptions to make the content freely available.

It is well known that the current economy of academic publishing violates market principles and is unsustainable. Centaurus contributes to building an alternative publishing culture based on the vision of science as a “commons” or as a “global public good”.1 As such, we are convinced that it is possible to overcome the “free rider” problem through broad support from the scientific community.Furthermore, there are several ways in which Centaurus incentivizes libraries to subscribe:

(1) Brepols radically reduced subscription rates, so libraries are only asked to contribute a modest amount;

(2) Brepols offers subscription and price transparency: subscribers can request to see the journal’s income and expenses and know how their contributions are being used;

(3) subscription rates will be reduced even further once the cost of editing and publishing the journal is covered;

(4) libraries are recognized for their contribution to Open Access and to a sustainable academic publication ecosystem;

(5) Centaurus may revert back to a normal “gated” subscription model if not enough support for S2O is found.

This last point means that if we do not find a broad collective of libraries and institutes to contribute a small amount to Centaurus’ Open Access initiative, libraries will have to pay much higher subscription rates to access articles in the future.

We therefore need the support of the history of science community to make Centaurus’ Open Access initiative sustainable. We kindly invite you to recommend Centaurus to your librarian by following this link: You will be invited to insert your librarian’s email address and you are of course free to modify the message itself.

More information on S2O, contact information and the current subscription pricing can be found on this dedicated website.

Subscribe-to-Open is a Coalition-S endorsed solution for sustainable and equitable open access that is increasingly supported by the European Commission, national governments, academic institutions and libraries. Similar models have been successfully tested in other disciplines (e.g. SCOAP3).

1 See Boulton, G.S. 2021. Science as a Global Public Good. International Science Council Position Paper, 21pp.