(San Mateo, CA, USA, April 5, 2022) —Today’s leading nonprofit publisher Annual reviews announced that over the next 18 months they will make their entire portfolio of 51 scholarly journals freely available to everyone under a new model called Subscribe to open. These highly cited journals cover topics in all sciences, including astronomy, environmental science, genomics, marine science, public health, and sociology.
Last year, the annual reviews published 1,200 articles synthesizing and integrating information from more than 144,000 individual research publications. “Each article is a treasure trove of knowledge that reflects current understanding of a subject and helps chart the future of science,” said Annual Reviews President and Editor-in-Chief Richard Gallagher. “By making them available to all scholars and students, wherever they live and work, as well as to a wider audience of policy makers and activists, businesses and workers, doctors and patients , we can contribute to faster and inclusive societal progress based on research.”
Tracey L. Meares, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law, founding director of the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School and co-editor of the Annual review of criminology said: “As a researcher at an elite university, I am fortunate to have seamless access to any research journal I want. But, through my work with law enforcement, prosecutors and other institutional actors in the field, I’m all too aware that paywalls prevent those who really need access to high-quality research from getting it. Even White House staff don’t can’t always access the annual reviews! Moving annual reviews to open access using Open Subscribe is essential for good policy.”
Subscribe to Open provides immediate, transparent, and fair conversion to Open Access for readers and authors of all disciplines. Under the model, existing institutional customers continue to subscribe to journals. If the support remains sufficient, each new volume will be published in open access under a Creative Commons license. If the support is insufficient, the paywall will be retained.
Curtis Brundy, associate academic librarian for communications and scholarly collections at Iowa State University, said, “The Subscribe to Open model enables libraries to align their collection spending with their values. It offers fairness to authors and readers. Open models that use article processing fees put up barriers for authors who cannot pay. Subscribe to Open avoids this problem gracefully, providing a fair solution for all.
Virginia Steel, academic librarian of the Young Research Library at the University of California, Los Angeles and a member of the business affairs committee of the annual reviews, said, “Academic libraries have a long-standing commitment to making research and scholarship widely available so that students, faculty, and others around the world can access the materials they need at no cost to readers. Annual journals pioneered the Subscribe to Overture model several years ago, and the use and impact of journal articles in these publications has multiplied as more and more people around the world have been able to use them. Today’s announcement of the launch of the Open for all Annual Review Subscribe option is a big step forward. »
In a pilot, the Annual Public Health Review— volume 2022 released today — saw usage increase eightfold compared to paid access usage. In 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Annual Reviews temporarily opened access to all of its titles. Substantial increases in readership, typically more than fourfold, were observed across all journals. It was these practical impacts that compelled the company to move forward with implementing subscription to Open across all titles.
Randy Schekman, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, said, “The transition from annual reviews to a fully open access model will greatly benefit researchers around the world. As a former editor of an annual journal and open access advocate in my role as founding editor of eLifeI am delighted that their full range of scholarships is available to everyone.
Ashok Gadgil, senior faculty scientist, energy technology field at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-editor of the Annual Environment and Resource Review (already piloting open access via Subscribe on Open), said “Now the Annual Environment and Resource Review‘ cutting-edge reviews of the biggest issues facing our planet and our species are freely available to anyone, anywhere. It offers everyone the chance to deeply understand our common challenges from a politically neutral point of view rigorously grounded in the best science.”
About Annual Reviews: Annual Reviews is an independent, not-for-profit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the advancement of science and the benefit of society. Visit https://www.annualreviews.org and follow @AnnualReviews.
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