Subscribe to Open (S2O) is a business model that uses subscription payments to convert gated access journals to full open access (OA).

Under S2O, institutional customers continue to subscribe to the journals that their patrons value. If support is sufficient, new volumes are published OA under a Creative Commons license; if support is insufficient, the paywall is retained. Thus, S2O is a subscription model, not a voluntary donation approach. It offers a partnership for rapid and equitable conversion to OA for readers and authors in all disciplines.

S2O provides Diamond OA, meaning that the article is immediately available with no access barrier and no author fee.

S2O is endorsed by OA2020 and by cOAlition S.

S2O is inclusive; it is applicable to all readers and authors, in all disciplines, in all countries.


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Which journals are currently in the Subscribe to Open program?

Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering (new to S2O in 2021). Read Press Release

Annual Review of Cancer Biology. Read Press Release

Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Read Press Release

Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics (new to S2O in 2021). Read Press Release

Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science. Read Press Release

Annual Review of Political Science. Read Press Release

Annual Review of Public Health. Read Press Release

Annual Review of Virology (new to S2O in 2021)


What are people saying about Subscribe to Open?

"I am excited to support Subscribe to Open, Annual Reviews’ new transformative strategy for advancing open access to scholarly communications. Achieving a large-scale transition to open access requires a plurality of funding strategies, particularly given disciplinary and regional differences in the way research is funded. Subscribe to Open addresses a critical need for supporting open publication of largely unfunded scholarship, for which article processing charges (fees per article) may not be a good fit. And it does so in a way that discounts library and consortial investments while satisfying Annual Reviews’ revenue needs—in line with our commitment to repurpose subscription spends to support open access in a fiscally responsible manner."
– Jeff MacKie-Mason, University Librarian, Chief Digital Scholarship Officer, Professor, School of Information and Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley
"The Subscribe to Open model is in perfect alignment with the objectives of OA2020, offering institutions and publishers a swift, fair and sustainable path to transitioning paywalled journals to open access. The Annual Reviews Subscribe to Open proposal is an ideal opportunity for libraries to secure unencumbered access to high quality journals for their faculty and researchers, while withdrawing their financial support of the paywall system—contributing not only to the research process within their own institutions but the advancement of scholarship globally."
– Colleen Campbell, Open Access 2020 Initiative

What are the benefits of supporting Subscribe to Open?

Benefits for Subscribers

  • Guaranteed permanent data rights to the content (regardless of the success of the offer)
  • Access to Reviews in Advance (RIAs), which are articles available before their official publication date
  • Enhanced back volume availability
  • Demonstrated commitment to Open Access

Benefits for Authors

  • OA publication without any article charges. This provides equal OA support for authors from all institutions and to all fields of research
  • Articles are published under a Creative Commons license

Benefits for the Community

  • Makes scholarly review content available to the larger community
  • Supports open science and helps meet the growing demand for OA publications

What will ensure the success of Subscribe to Open?

We need the support of institutional subscribers in order for S2O to be a success. Subscribers can simply renew annual subscriptions or become new subscribers to help S2O succeed.
Researchers can contact their libraries directly to advocate for participation.


Pricing and expenditure transparency


Looking for more information?

Click on the links below to access additional information on S2O: