Frequently asked questions regarding EMS Press's implementation of Subscribe To Open (S20).
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 have targets, per se, but rather a threshold for sustainability. We do not publish these as they fluctuate throughout the year, being closely tied to our publication costs. We will, however, be publishing the formula used to derive the threshold for sustainability in a future Updates article.
Why are you selling subscriptions rather than accepting donations?
We believe that continuing to offer subscriptions is the best way to ensure the long term sustainability and growth of our journals programme. While donations may be appropriate for some publication venues, we feel that our subscription rates represent good value for the subscriber and ensure that we are able to draw support for our programme from the widest possible base. While S2O fees may be referred to as donations by some, we prefer to consider them subscriptions+ because they offer everything a regular subscription does, with the added benefit of supporting open access publishing.