Hybrid Publication

Hybrid Publication

Last updated: 2022-04-30

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Traditional hybrid publishing refers to a publication model in which an article can be published either via subscription-based publishing or open access publishing, depending on the author's choice. Hybrid publishing models allow authors to publish their research in traditional subscription-based Journals, but also make it available through open access for those who do not have access to the subscription-based version.

The hybrid model is often viewed as a compromise between the traditional subscription-based publishing model and open access publishing. It allows authors to publish in high-impact Journals and reach a wide audience while still providing access to their research for those who cannot afford subscription fees.

Traditional hybrid publishing provides an alternative publishing option for authors who wish to make their research available through open access while still publishing in high-impact subscription-based Journals. However, the effectiveness of the hybrid model in promoting open access and providing sustainable access to research is still debated.

In order to be recognized as a Hybrid Journal, a Journal must meet certain criteria's. These criteria include:

  • The Journal must offer both subscription-based and open access publishing options to authors.
  • The subscription-based articles should be available only to subscribers while open access articles are available to everyone.
  • The open access articles must be published under a Creative Commons license or similar license that allows for unrestricted reuse and distribution.
  • The Journal must have a transparent pricing model that distinguishes between subscription-based and open access articles.
  • The Journal must have a clear policy on the percentage of articles that will be published open access.
  • The Journal must have a clear policy on the article processing charges (APCs) for open access articles, including any waivers or discounts that are available.
  • The Journal must provide clear information on the benefits of publishing open access, both for the author and for the broader research community.
  • The Journal must have a clear policy on the preservation and archiving of both subscription-based and open access articles.


  • Article-by-article: Under this approach, the author or the author's institution pays an article processing charge (APC) to make a specific article open access. The article is then published in a subscription-based journal, but is freely available to readers who do not have a subscription. This approach allows authors to make their individual articles open access without having to pay for full open access to the entire Journal.
  • Journal-level: Under this approach, the entire Journal is available through a hybrid model, where some articles are open access and others are only available to subscribers. Authors may choose to publish their article as open access, but they may also choose to publish in the traditional subscription-based format. This approach is typically used by publishers who want to transition their Journals to full open access but are still reliant on subscription revenues in the short-term.


What Authors Get?

Access to a larger audience

Hybrid publishing allows for the traditional subscription-based model to coexist alongside open access options, which means that authors can potentially reach a wider audience.

Choice of publication options

Hybrid Journals provide authors with the flexibility to choose between open access or traditional subscription-based publishing, depending on their funding, institutional policies, or personal preferences.

Compliance with funding agency mandates

Many funding agencies now require that research publications be made freely available within a certain time frame. Hybrid Journals can provide a mechanism for authors to comply with these mandates while still publishing in their preferred Journal.

Increased visibility and citations

Open access publications generally receive more citations and have higher visibility due to their wider availability. Hybrid publishing can provide authors with the benefits of open access publishing without sacrificing the reputation of publishing in a prestigious Journal.

Retention of copyright

Many hybrid publishing agreements allow authors to retain copyright of their work, which gives them greater control over how their work is used and shared.

What Readers Get?

Access to both subscription-based and open access content

With hybrid publication, readers may have the option to access articles either through traditional subscription or open access, depending on their preferences and access rights. This can provide more flexibility and choice for readers who may not have subscription access to all the articles they need.

Increased visibility and impact

By making some articles open access, hybrid Journals may attract more readers and citations, which can enhance the visibility and impact of both the Journal and the authors. This can be particularly beneficial for authors who want to reach a wider audience and increase the dissemination of their research.

Quality and rigor of peer review

Hybrid Journals may maintain the same rigorous peer review standards as subscription-based Journals, which can ensure the quality and reliability of the published articles. This can be reassuring for readers who seek trustworthy and authoritative sources of information.

What Subscribers Get?

Access to a mix of open access and subscription-based articles

Subscribers to hybrid publications may get access to a combination of open access and subscription-based articles. This can allow them to access a wider range of content.

Access to high-quality research

Hybrid Journals typically maintain the same standards of peer review and quality control as traditional subscription-based journals, which means that subscribers can expect to access high-quality research.

Greater flexibility in article access

Hybrid Journals may allow subscribers to access articles via different routes, such as through the publisher's website, institutional repositories, or search engines. This can provide greater flexibility in accessing content.

What Authors need to know?

  • Hybrid Journals publish both subscription-based and open access articles, and authors can choose to make their article open access by paying an article processing charge (APC).
  • Hybrid Journals are not fully open access, and therefore authors should ensure that they retain the right to self-archive their work in a repository, to increase its accessibility.
  • Authors should carefully review the Journal's policies and copyright agreement before submitting their work, to ensure that they understand their rights and obligations.
  • Authors should be aware that some funding agencies require that their research publications be openly accessible, and should therefore consider open access options, including hybrid publishing.
  • As with any publication, authors should carefully evaluate the reputation and impact factor of the Journal before submitting their work, to ensure that it aligns with their research goals and objectives.


  • Negotiating transformative agreements: Institutions can negotiate transformative agreements with publishers to shift from subscription-based publishing to hybrid publishing. This allows for a gradual transition to open access while maintaining revenue for the publisher.
  • Adopting a “green” open access approach: Authors can self-archive their articles in institutional or subject-based repositories after a certain embargo period, allowing free access to readers. This can be a cost-effective way to increase the visibility of the research.
  • Emphasizing the benefits of open access: STM promote the benefits of open access publishing to authors, including increased visibility, citations, and impact. This can help to shift authors’ attitudes towards open access publishing and increase the number of submissions to hybrid Journals.
  • Providing author discounts: STM offer discounts or waivers to authors who choose to publish their articles in open access format, incentivizing authors to choose hybrid publishing over subscription-based publishing.
  • Offering “read and publish” agreements: STM offer “read and publish” agreements to libraries and institutions, allowing them to access subscription-based content while also publishing their own articles in open access format.

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