Why is Berghahn opting for a subscribe-to-open model?

As a scholar-led publisher whose mission is to advance scholarship and disseminate knowledge, we are supportive of open access aims and respectful of open access policies. However, given the lack of funding particularly in the social sciences and humanities and the inequities in how those sparse funds are allocated, we advocate for funding models that do not place the financial burden on the author, as APCs do. In addition, we maintain that librarian selection plays an important role in the curation of content for researchers and so we support approaches that preserve their role in the process in addition to those intermediaries, such as subscription agents, who reduce the related (and considerable) administrative burdens. Subscribe-to-open is a compelling model because it seeks to take what is good and working well in the current system and applies it to achieving a sustainable and more universal model of open access across publications and publishers of all sizes.


Why is Libraria opting for a subscribe-to-open model?

As a community of global researchers, Libraria’s goal is to create a model that preserves the rich and diverse scholarly communications landscape that includes libraries, journals, societies, publishers, and intermediaries of all sizes. The S2O model provides a simple and straightforward means of achieving open access, based on best practices that are rooted in existing resources, journals, and processes.


What is subscribe-to-open?

Subscribe-to-open is a model of sustainable open access for scholarly journals in which institutions continue to “subscribe” to the journals that their communities value at similar prices and with the same quality as when those same journals were accessed under a conventional subscription. Subscribe-to-open is a form of subscription that allows libraries to direct funds through the same subscription channels routinely used to provide journal access to their own researcher community, while also supporting the journals’ readership across a wider community as an open access publication. In addition, if an institution has also established open access funds to support transitional initiatives or author open access publication, then these funds may also be used for this model through a simpler, journal-level process.


What license is supported by the Berghahn subscribe-to-open model?

Authors retain the copyright in their works and may select whichever Creative Commons license they wish to use for the publication of their works.


What statistics are provided for the Berghahn Open Anthro S2O Package?

COUNTER 5 reporting is provided for actively participating BOA-S2O libraries. In addition, an important goal of this pilot is to upgrade the quality and range of statistics provided to meet the needs of librarians. Future reporting therefore aims to provide a wider overview of community engagement, such as faculty relationships to the journals, whether as authors, editors, board members, or reviewers.


What happens to pre-OA backfile content?

Berghahn works closely with a number of important partners to offer a range of access options to its backfile. Currently, the scope of the pilot is focused on opening the frontlist, but the intention is to work with existing partners and libraries to find an affordable and sustainable alternative to opening the backfile content. In keeping with our current backfile access policies, all subscribing libraries have access to the backfile for the duration of their subscription; the same holds for those libraries participating in the BOA-S2O pilot: for the duration of their active subscription, libraries subscribing to select titles have access to the backfiles for those titles and those libraries subscribing to the entire BOA collection will have access to the full backfile for all the titles in the collection.


How is BOA-S2O pricing determined?

The BOA-S2O model will sustain Berghahn’s editorial rigor, high production values, and robust online editions. The subscription rates set each year will continue to support the costs associated with producing each journal, which range from supporting journal editorial offices and their peer review processes to implementing a thorough copyediting stage through to typesetting and online publication. In addition, print editions are still produced for contributors and those subscribers, who have opted for print-extra pricing. Implementing this model will also introduce a new technical system to track and report on open access usage of the journals by the library community’s readership, alongside authorship and faculty participation as editors, board members, and reviewers. These on-going investments inform the 5% increase implemented for the model’s pricing, which remains affordable: the average one-off subscription price for the thirteen journals is just $244 (lower still for collections). As part of this model, Berghahn is committed to accounting for price increases through on-going service improvements and uncompromised quality.

View the 2020 Berghahn Open Anthro Collection pricing


Why would libraries subscribe-to-open?

Subscribe-to-open aims to make a full (non-hybrid) conversion to open access possible on an on-going and sustainable basis. It does so without charging authors APCs, imposing embargoes on published work, placing restrictions on who can publish, or setting any other limits on what version may be shared, such as draft-only preprint policies. It involves librarians in their traditional professional role, as deciding and curating which open access journals merit support, including born-open journals. It allows for institutions with the requisite resources to support the publication of journals so that their research may also benefit those with fewer resources.

In adopting subscribe-to-open, librarians can ensure that the benefits of making works publicly available can be realized across a more diverse publications landscape in a more equitable manner.

Researchers can support the BOA-S2O initiative by contacting their libraries directly or filling out a recommendation form.


How can libraries support subscribe-to-open?

Ongoing support for BOA-S2O from current subscribers is as simple as annually renewing your subscription. An important consideration for this model is to make the process as easy as possible for libraries. To that end, we are working with subscription agents so that invoicing and renewals happen through the usual subscription channels. We are happy to help at any point of the process: info@berghahnjournals.com

For new libraries, who are interested to support the pilot, single titles can be subscribed to through your agent using the usual channels. Libraries, who wish to select the Berghahn Open Anthro S2O collection, please contact Knowledge Unlatched, who are supporting us in our efforts: info@knowledgeunlatched.org


What happens if libraries do not support subscribe-to-open?

This model relies on the generation of subscription revenues from existing and new subscribers to ensure no loss of quality or quantity with open access publication. Thus, if an insufficient number of libraries participate in the S2O pilot, Berghahn may have to revert to paywall subscriptions for the thirteen journals. However, those libraries who have renewed all of their BOA-S2O subscriptions, or new libraries who have joined in support of this pilot, will be provided with access to the entire Berghahn Open Anthro S2O collection of journals for the duration of the pilot as part of our longer-term optimism for success.


Any questions?

We welcome your feedback and any additional questions you might have. Please feel free to email us: info@berghahnjournals.com