IWA Publishing launches pilot to flip its entire journal portfolio to Open Access using the Subscribe-to-Open model

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IWA Publishing, the wholly owned publishing subsidiary of the International Water Association based in London, UK, has announced a pilot to transform its complete journal portfolio of 10 subscription titles including the flagship journal “Water, Science and Technology” to Open Access (OA) from 2021 onwards. In partnership with Knowledge Unlatched, IWA Publishing will be asking those libraries and institutions currently subscribing to any of the journals to renew for 2021 on a Subscribe-to-Open (S2O) basis, thus contributing to making these journals completely free to readers and authors all over the world.  

With this flip IWA Publishing is aiming for one of the largest flips of a publishing portfolio to date. “We are confident that flipping our portfolio of journals to Open Access will shift the way in which our content is used and will have a beneficial impact on research which helps provide people in all nations with clean drinking water and good sanitation,” says IWA Publishing’s Managing Director Rod Cookson. “We now request the support of subscribing libraries by backing the model, which should also represent a sustainable solution to Open Access across publications and publishers of all sizes. With support from libraries and institutions across the world, we hope that the S2O model will be adopted more widely as an alternative to the ‘Publish and Read’ Big Deals which are starting to dominate the Open Access landscape to the detriment of smaller-scale journals.” 

“We see a great uptake in what has been one of the most innovative movements in academic publishing in the recent years,” says Philipp Hess, Publisher Relations at Knowledge Unlatched. “Having a publisher of IWA Publishing’s size joining this movement will be a positive signal to the market and represents a bold statement for the Open Access movement in general.”

IWA Publishing will also be supported by Knowledge Unlatched in introducing the Subscribe-to-Open model to libraries, as well as receiving assistance from the Subscription Division of EBSCO Information Services, for the transaction of single subscriptions. By building on current subscription processes, the S20 model involves librarians in their existing roles as decision-makers and curators as to which journals merit support, in this case on behalf of readers worldwide as the journals move to Open Access.