Successful First Phase of Pilot of New Open Access Model: Subscribe to Open at Karger

Karger Publishers is piloting the new Open Access model Subscribe to Open to help pave the way for a broader, more equitable Open Science ecosystem. Two subscription journals are now Open Access for 2023.

Following the successful first phase of the Subscribe to Open (S2O) pilot, the Karger journals Pediatric Neurosurgery and Developmental Neuroscience will be Open Access (OA) in 2023. This means that all articles will be published OA at no cost to authors for the 2023 volumes of both journals. 

S2O applies when institutions subscribe or renew their subscriptions to a certain level, allowing publishers to make that year’s volume completely free of barriers to publish, read, share, and re-use. It also allows authors to comply easily with virtually all funder OA mandates. Under S2O, instead of charging authors an Article Processing Charge (APC), Karger covers publishing costs through subscriptions from libraries, leveraging existing funds and infrastructure. 

The subscription process will be repeated every year, so future volumes may remain fully OA or return to a hybrid model which includes a paid option to publish articles OA. So, the two journals will only remain OA if subscriptions again reach a pre-determined level for the next year, or otherwise they will return to a subscription model in 2024. Given that the journals may revert to the subscription model, subscribing is the only way to ensure continuous access. Those who subscribe under S2O also benefit financially, as they receive a discount. 

The S2O pilot is part of Karger’s “Open for Open” approach, a quest to diversify solutions for a sustainable transition to OA. Christian Box, Head of Academic and Research Markets at Karger Publishers says, “We are pleased that the successful first phase of our S2O pilot has enabled us to make both access and publishing possible for all – thanks to our ongoing partnerships with institutions and libraries. This allows us to keep advancing sustainably towards Open while supporting our stakeholders and putting their needs at the center of our activities.” 

The S2O model was originally created by Annual Reviews, which also spearheaded the S2O Community of Practice. Karger is one of a small number of publishers who are testing the model as a way to enable OA for all with minimal disruption to institutions’ budgets and infrastructure.