IWA Publishing successfully flips all journals to Open Access using Subscribe-to-Open

IWA Publishing, the wholly-owned publishing subsidiary of the International Water Association based in London, UK, has successfully transformed its journal portfolio of 10 subscription titles—including the flagship journal Water Science & Technology—to Open Access (OA) from 2021 onwards. In partnership with Knowledge Unlatched (KU), IWA Publishing has asked 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 the journals free to readers and researchers worldwide. 

With this move, IWA Publishing has made one of the largest flips of a publishing portfolio to date. “We are happy that this was made possible with the support of libraries as we see OA at the core of our values and strategy,” says IWA Publishing’s Managing Director Rod Cookson. “We hope that flipping our journal portfolio will shift the way our content is used by enabling everyone engaged in providing clean drinking water and good sanitation around the world to read the very latest research.”

Cookson also added: “It is great to see that the combined efforts of the supporters and our partners has led to a sustainable OA solution across the portfolio, setting a great example for publications and publishers of all sizes. We hope that the S2O model will be adopted more widely as an alternative to the ‘Publish and Read’ Big Deals which dominate the OA landscape to the detriment of smaller-scale journals.” 

“Institutions tend to have a strong leaning towards the S2O model,” says KU’s Director of Publisher Relations Philipp Hess. “We can clearly see that they are starting to ‘put their money where their mouth is,’ as the S2O model is aligned with the wider goals of the OA movement. Having a publisher of IWA Publishing’s size and reputation join the initiative is a positive signal to the market.”

IWA Publishing received support from KU in introducing the S20 model to libraries and from EBSCO Information Services for the transaction of single subscriptions. By building on current subscription processes, the S20 model involves librarians in curating the OA content by deciding which journals merit support.