Pluto Journals launches pilot to flip its entire journal portfolio to Open Access using the Subscribe-to-Open model

Pluto Journals, the social sciences publisher based in London, UK, has announced a pilot to transform its complete journal portfolio of 21 titles to Open Access (OA) from 2021 onwards. The project “Pluto Open Journals” will be realised in partnership with Knowledge Unlatched and supported by the conceivers of the ground-breaking Subscribe-to-Open (S2O) model Libraria, a group of anthropologists and other social scientists committed to Open Access. Pluto Journals will be asking those libraries and institutions currently subscribing to any of the journals to renew for 2021 on a S2O basis, thus contributing to making these journals completely free to readers and authors all over the world. The flip is furthermore supported by JSTOR, who will continue to provide the hosting service for the project.

“The pilot is a great example of how journals in the humanities and social sciences can move to Open Access with the support of their current subscribers,” says Stanford University Professor John Willinsky, member of Libraria’s Executive Committee and founder of the Public Knowledge Project. “We are pleased to support this ground-breaking endeavor from Pluto Journals, which demonstrates how readily a complete journal portfolio can be made Open Access by working with those institutions who already value the publications.”

“We are convinced that publishing our portfolio of journals Open Access will greatly benefit the global scholarly community and our editors are especially keen to find equitable open access solutions for their authors,” says Pluto Journal’s Managing Director Roger Van Zwanenberg. “We now appeal to subscribing libraries to back the model, which should also showcase a sustainable solution to Open Access across publications and publishers of all sizes. With librarian support, we hope this model can be adopted more widely as an alternative to the ‘Publish and Read’ Big Deals that are starting to dominate the Open Access landscape to the detriment of smaller-scale journals.” 

In addition to relying on its usual subscription agents, Pluto Journals will also be supported by Knowledge Unlatched in introducing the Subscribe-to-Open model to libraries. By building on the current subscription processes, the S2O 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.