ASM Announces Shift to Subscribe to Open Publishing Model

July 11, 2023

Washington, DC – July 12, 2023 – The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the leading publisher of microbial science, announces a strategic shift to a Subscribe to Open (S2O) publishing model for the 2025 subscription year for its 6 subscription journal titles. By embracing the S2O model, ASM solidifies its commitment to open access and furthers its mission of sharing research with a global audience. This transition to open access will enhance accessibility, foster collaboration and accelerate scientific advancement within microbial sciences.

In conjunction with this pivotal move, ASM has successfully streamlined its vast array of content by consolidating the Society’s 15 journals and ASM Press books under ASM Publishing led by Melissa Junior, ASM’s Executive Publisher. Junior brings 30 years of expertise in scientific publishing, including 12 leading ASM Journals, to the newly envisioned role of Executive Publisher, a position that is part of the organization’s executive leadership. The convergence of ASM’s transition to the S2O publishing model and the consolidation of all its titles under ASM Publishing underscore ASM’s commitment to staying at the forefront of scientific publishing, championing open access and fostering collaboration within the scientific community.

The scholarly publishing landscape has been in flux for years as science publishers seek to find sustainable business models for open access with the right balance of affordability, equity, and—for Society publishers—means to support the science they serve. Funder mandates and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) guidance have accelerated timelines so that publishers will need to make all U.S. Federally funded published research freely available upon publication by 2025.

From launching its sixth fully open access journal, Microbiology Spectrum, in 2021, to joining the IO4C initiative and the Alliance for Open Science, ASM continues to advance the open science movement. ASM also champions fundamental open science principles, such as data availability, data sharing and preprinting, among other critical components, to our mission of advancing microbial sciences. To publish in an ASM journal, authors must make their data publicly available, preferably through curated and sustainable data repositories.

“We are excited to be taking the next steps in our transition to open access and our journey to sharing scientific knowledge globally,” Junior said. “As a scientific society committed to equity and inclusion, we believe the S2O model is a more equitable approach than a pure article processing charge (APC) model.”

APC models, where article authors are charged a publication fee to make a paper open access, can impose financial barriers on researchers from underserved populations, including early career researchers, those from historically excluded backgrounds and others with limited resources. The S2O approach to open access mediates some of the inequity by leveraging ASM’s existing journal subscription base to make articles freely available worldwide. APCs will also be covered for authors from participating institutions. When targets are met, the S2O model will enable the complete, immediate open access transformation of journals on a yearly basis for ASM Journals.

“The vision of sustainable and equitable open access is something that ASM and its Board are highly committed to. I am confident in Melissa Junior and ASM publishing team in the execution of this ambitious and exciting vision for the future of the microbial sciences,” said Stefano Bertuzzi, Chief Executive Officer, ASM.

The publisher of 6 gold open access scientific journals and 15 peer-reviewed journals, ASM journal articles account for 17% of all microbiology articles and 22% of all microbiology citations. As one of the most trusted voices for the latest information about microbial science, ASM’s journals are regularly featured in The New York Times, CNN, Science Magazine, NPR, Los Angeles Times and many more prominent news outlets. By completing its transition to open access, ASM looks forward to having its research reach an even wider audience.

The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 30,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences. 

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities and advocacy efforts. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences. 

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
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