May 16, 2022

New Subscription Model (Subscribe to Open) May Make Cell Biology Journal Open Access

From ASCB:

The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) is launching a new library subscription model for its peer-reviewed basic research journal—Molecular Biology of the Cell—making it the first research journal to experiment with Subscribe to Open (S2O). With S2O, all MBoC readers may have open access in 2021, while the author’s cost will remain low.

Here’s how S2O works: existing institutional subscribers will receive a 5% discount off of the regular subscription price if they agree to participate. If all existing subscribers agree to participate in S2O by early 2021, the journal’s content will become completely open access for that year. If the plan is successful for 2021, the offer will be repeated annually.  S2O has been successfully implemented by other publications, but MBoC is the first research journal to experiment with the model.


The purpose of the plan is to make MBoC an open-access journal while preserving some of the subscription revenue ASCB now collects in order to keep author costs low. In effect, the discounted fee library subscribers pay will partially underwrite universal access. ASCB believes the discount on library subscribers will be a key motivator for participation, either conventionally or under S2O terms, since it will be the only way they can guarantee access to the journal’s comprehensive basic research in cell biology for their users.

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.