Subscribe To Open - FAQs

Frequently asked questions regarding EMS Press's implementation of Subscribe To Open (S20).

EMS Press Open Access

Since launching our community consultation we have received a number of questions about Subscribe to Open (S2O), which we will answer here.

Do you have a question that hasn't been answered? Email us your questions and we will periodically update this page with any new queries we receive.

What is S2O?

Please visit our S2O page for a full explanation of the model.

Why did you choose S2O?

We chose S2O because it satisfied all of the requirements outlined in the ICIAM Initiative about Open Access and Scientific Publishing. The initiative was launched due to concern over potential unintended consequences of Gold Open Access (where article processing charges - APCs - are leveraged on authors), such as barriers to publication for researchers without funding, and thus requests that publishers:

  • Guarantee high quality publications without any compromises. 

  • Guarantee long-term availability and access to all publications.

  • Manage costs responsibly in transparent pricing models while maintaining quality.

  • Serve the mathematical community and not unrelated shareholders and surplus funds are used to support the community (e.g., publishing of books, support of conferences, prizes).

Have you considered Diamond/Platinum Open Access?

As an organisation, we support any form of open access that aims to address the inequities we see as inherent to traditional subscription, and APC-based models. However, as a professional publishing operation there are costs associated with the work we do, so unfortunately Diamond/Platinum Open Access does not fulfil the requirement of sustainability outlined above.

In addition to these practical considerations, charging a low annual subscription price for our publications allows us to support the valuable work of the European Mathematical Society in terms of prizes, outreach and conferences.

I can already read articles on arXiv and HAL for free - why should I subscribe?

Preprint servers such as arXiv play a vital role in bringing research into the mathematics community as quickly as possible. However, content uploaded to these services has not undergone the rigorous peer review and editorial oversight offered by a professional publisher such as the EMS Press. In addition, preprints do not offer the content selection and curation processes that make a scholarly journal a reliable and trusted addition to library collections.

Will you make your targets public?

We do not publicise our specific journal targets as we do not wish to disincentivise subscriptions. However, our targets are reasonable, achievable and ultimately based on our publishing costs - it is our wish to make as much content as possible open access in a robust and sustainable way. Should target surplus occur, this money is driven back into our publishing programme and into supporting the activities of our parent organisation, the European Mathematical Society.