ASCB ends journal subscription experiment

The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) has concluded its experiment with the Subscribe to Open (S2O) library subscription model. The S2O model did not receive sufficient support from libraries to allow ASCB to reach its goal of making its journal Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC) fully open access.

Under the model, if all 2020 library subscribers had renewed for 2021 and agreed to support S2O, the journal content would have been made open access for the year. As an incentive to accept S2O, libraries were offered a 5% discount off the regular subscription price. ASCB set a deadline of February 28 for the libraries to renew and accept S2O.

The offer failed this year because not all 2020 subscribers had renewed by the deadline. Moreover, a small number of libraries renewed at full price, rejecting the offer of a discount to accept S2O.

As of March 1, 2021, the 5% discount is no longer available and libraries that have not renewed must subscribe at the regular price to have access to recent MBoC content.

“The initial S2O offer was an important experiment, even if it didn’t give the desired outcome,” said MBoC Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch. “MBoC is committed to making its content accessible and we will continue to be innovative in achieving that goal.”




About the Author:

Mark Leader is ASCB's Director of Publications.