Subscribe to Open

BioOne Pilot

BioOne to offer up to 80 titles as part of a Subscribe to Open (S2O) pilot beginning in January 2026.

With our mission to maximize access to critical research, BioOne has always supported sustainable pathways to open access. By offering a Subscribe to Open pilot for selected titles in BioOne Complete, we are continuing to advance this mission and increase access to content, benefiting libraries, publishers, and the wider biosciences community.

BioOne will work with its publishing community throughout 2024 to encourage participation in the pilot, enabling a rollout to the library market in 2025 for a 2026 volume year launch. The pilot offering will focus on those titles that are available exclusively to researchers via BioOne Complete, representing societies, museums, research organizations, and independent presses across 15 countries. BioOne Complete will remain a mixed-model collection of subscribed, S2O, and gold OA titles.

The Timeline

2024

Pilot announced, publisher commitments

2025

Publisher participants announced, library & consortia outreach

2026

BioOne Complete S2O Pilot Launch

Subscribe to Open Offer – Publisher FAQs

Subscribe to Open (S2O) is a business model that provides a practical path to opening a journal’s new content while safeguarding subscription revenue. As the name suggests, S2O is an extension of the subscription model that makes open access (OA) for the current term year content contingent on the continued, upfront support of subscribers. If subscribers continue to support the offer, then the current-year’s content will be opened. If not, the content remains gated. The offer recurs annually to ensure stable subscriber support.

Increasingly, libraries, research funders, and authors are demanding open access to published research. While some publishers rely on article processing charges (APCs) to fund OA dissemination, that model does not work for many BioOne journals, for which research funding is limited. Allowing journals to participate in a BioOne Subscribe to Open offer provides a low-risk path to opening their new research while ensuring a stable BioOne royalty.

BioOne will launch a Subscribe to Open offer in January 2026 including up to 80 titles from 60 publishers. Eligible participants must sign up by September 30, 2024 to be included in this inaugural offer. Please contact Meredith Pond at meredith@bioone.org for more information.

No. The S2O pilot will be available to those journals exclusively available via BioOne Complete, and not all journals may opt to participate. The BioOne Complete subscription will remain a single collection of gated, Subscribe to Open, and Open Access titles.

Under a Subscribe to Open offer, open access to current content is wholly contingent on the continued upfront commitment of subscribers. A year’s new content will not be opened until that year’s subscription target is reached. In the case of BioOne, there is an additional incentive to remain a subscriber as not all titles will be available via S2O, and a subscriber must maintain a subscription to BioOne Complete to receive access to backfile content.

The royalty model for gated titles will not change. For titles participating in the pilot S2O offer, BioOne is offering a guaranteed revenue share for the 2026-2028 pilot term. Custom offers and supporting analyses are now available; please contact Meredith Pond at meredith@bioone.org for more information.

This is unlikely, as most society members will already have access to the society’s journal via their institution’s site license to BioOne Complete or directly via BioOne’s free society member access program. In fact many societies report that their membership are broadly supportive of open access. As a result, opening the journal’s current content should have no appreciable effect on the value of society membership.

Subscribe to Open is conditional open access. BioOne will assign current articles in S2O journals a Creative Commons (CC-BY) license. As a result, those S2O articles will be available open access under that license. The Subscribe to Open offer will not open backfile content. Licensed access to the journal backfile content will continue to provide a powerful incentive for libraries to continue to subscribe to BioOne Complete.

Yes. Although opening current content under S2O is contingent on the continued upfront commitment of subscribers, a journal can implement a self-archiving policy (“Green OA”) that allows authors to deposit their article in an institutional or subject-based repository to comply with relevant funder open access mandates. In this way, an individual article is guaranteed to be open irrespective of whether an annual S2O offer succeeds.

Meredith Pond
Publisher and Partnerships Manager
Publishing@BioOne.org

Subscribe to Open Offer – Librarian FAQs

BioOne will launch a Subscribe to Open offer in January 2026 including up to 80 titles from 60 participating publishers. BioOne will work with its publishing community throughout 2024 to encourage participation in the pilot, and in 2025 the offer will be rolled out to the library market for a 2026 volume year launch.
No. The S2O pilot will be available to those journals exclusively available via BioOne Complete, and not all journals may opt to participate. The BioOne Complete subscription will remain a single collection of gated, Subscribe to Open, and Open Access titles.

A library participates in the BioOne S2O program simply by renewing its existing subscription by the annual participation deadline. Beginning in 2026, those subscriptions will support a portion of the titles in the collection in making all their current-year content open access. S2O does not require new investment from libraries – just continued support for a trusted, vital scholarly resource.

The titles participating in S2O will continue to be included in BioOne Complete along with conventional subscription journals and gold open access titles.

Libraries not currently subscribing to BioOne Complete may participate by beginning a subscription. Learn about BioOne Complete in our How to Subscribe and Access section.

Yes. Subscribe to Open subscriptions will be handled via BioOne’s standard order and invoicing process. Libraries will be able to renew subscriptions or place new orders via the same channels. BioOne’s relationships with library consortia, sales partners, and subscription agents worldwide have been crucial to our ability to reach and serve a large and diverse customer base. Libraries may continue to subscribe via the channel of their choice, and all of our existing consortium discounts will remain available.

Subscribe to Open offers operate on a calendar year (CY) basis, so all BioOne Complete subscriptions must align with the CY by January 2026. BioOne and our partners are currently working with affected subscribers to move their subscriptions onto a calendar year term. Contact Library.Services@BioOne.org if you have questions about your institution’s subscription.
We will continue to offer our flagship collection, BioOne Complete, which has been available for many years. Building our S2O program around this collection means that libraries can support journals transitioning to open, simply by renewing their subscriptions to this trusted, essential resource. The titles included in BioOne Complete will not change – the titles that participate in the S2O program will simply make their new content OA if the program is successful.
Our approach to collection pricing will not change. Libraries can expect to continue paying the same amount for BioOne Complete under our S2O program. As now, modest increases will continue to be necessary to cover platform innovation, compliance with evolving industry standards, and increases in our operating costs. BioOne’s aggregation model has successfully kept subscription fees affordable for libraries while returning more than 60% of our revenues to participating nonprofit and society publishers. This reinvestment of library funds enables our publishing partners to remain independent and sustain their critical research communities.

Early in 2025, BioOne will announce the details of our S2O program for the 2026 calendar year subscription term, including participating titles and publishers, and the deadline by which subscription commitments will be needed to determine the success of the program. Renewal pricing for BioOne Complete will also be announced earlier in the year than usual, so that subscribing libraries and consortia will have ample time to make renewal commitments.

An institution can participate in S2O by subscribing to BioOne Complete. Please see How to Subscribe or contact BioOne Sales.

S2O News

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