Traditional Subscription-Based Publication

Traditional Subscription-Based Publication

Last updated: 2022-04-30

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Approaches, Options and Article Access

Traditional subscription-based publishing is an approach in which readers pay a subscription fee to access the content published in a Journal. There are two main approaches to traditional subscription-based publishing:

  • Closed Access: In this approach, the journal articles are only available to subscribers who have paid a fee to access the content. Non-subscribers cannot access the full text of the articles without paying a fee or obtaining the content through other means, such as inter-library loan.
  • Hybrid Access: In this approach, some articles are made open access while others are only available to subscribers. This model allows authors to pay a fee to make their article open access, while the majority of the content remains available only to subscribers. While this approach increases the accessibility of research, it still limits the dissemination of knowledge to those who can afford to pay for access to the subscription-based content.

STM offers a variety of purchasing options for subscription articles that cater to different individuals and institutions, which includes the following:

  • For Libraries and Institutions: STM offers several subscription options that are customized according to the subscriber's specific situation and reflect various factors. For collection purchases, the considerations include market conditions, competitive factors, the number of archival rights they buy, and agreement-specific factors like currency, agreement length, and payment terms. The collection prices are reviewed annually, and any adjustments are based on factors including market conditions, competitive considerations, the number, quality, and usage of subscription articles published, as well as technical features and platform capabilities. These calculations do not include open-access articles.
  • Individuals: Researchers who are not affiliated with an institution or would like easy access to a title not available from their library can benefit from personal access options. These options include credit card-based transactional article sale and article rental.


What Authors Get?

Access to a Large Readership

Subscription-based journals often have a large readership, which can help authors reach a wider audience and increase the visibility of their research.

Peer Review and Editorial Support

Subscription-based journals typically have a rigorous peer-review process, which can help ensure the quality of published research. Authors may also benefit from editorial support and guidance in preparing their manuscripts for publication.

Traditional Publishing Format

Subscription-based journals typically follow a traditional publishing format, which includes electronic versions of the journal, as well as regular issues and volumes.

Copyright Ownership

In subscription-based publishing, authors often transfer copyright ownership to the publisher in exchange for publication. This means that the publisher has the right to reproduce and distribute the article, but the author retains the right to be credited as the author and to use the article in other ways, such as in their teaching and research.

Limited Access

While subscription-based journals offer access to a large readership, access to the published research is limited to those who have paid for a subscription or have access through a library or other institution. This can limit the reach of the research and may make it more difficult for researchers in low-income countries or smaller institutions to access the research.

Publication Fees

In some cases, authors may be required to pay publication fees to have their work published in subscription-based journals. These fees can vary widely depending on the journal and the publisher.

What Readers Get?

Access to High-Quality Research

Subscription-based publishing ensures that readers have access to high-quality research articles that have undergone rigorous peer-review processes.

Timely Access

Readers can access new articles as soon as they are published, ensuring that they stay up-to-date with the latest research in their field.

Comprehensive Coverage

Subscription-based journals often cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with a comprehensive view of the latest research in their field.

High-Quality Graphics and Visuals

Subscription-based journals often include high-quality graphics, tables, and other visuals that help readers better understand the research being presented.

Quality Control

Subscription-based journals have a reputation for maintaining high-quality standards and ensuring that the research presented is reliable and accurate.

Access to Archives

Subscription-based journals often provide access to archives of past articles, allowing readers to access older research that may still be relevant to their work.

What Subscribers Get?

Access to a Variety of Articles

Subscription-based publishing models provide access to a wide range of articles published in the journal.

Regular Updates

As a subscriber, you will receive regular updates on the latest articles published in the journal.

Access to Archives

Subscribers are usually given access to archived articles from previous issues, allowing them to access a wealth of research and information.


Subscription-based journals typically have a rigorous peer-review process, ensuring that published articles are of high quality and credibility.


Many subscription-based journals offer customization options, allowing subscribers to receive alerts on articles relevant to their specific interests.

Networking Opportunities

Subscription-based journals often provide opportunities for networking with other researchers, academics, and professionals in your field.


  • Bundling: STM offer access to a bundle of journals or articles for a single subscription fee. This approach provides more value to subscribers who have access to a range of content for a lower overall cost.
  • Tiered Access: STM offer access to different levels of content based on the subscription fee paid by the subscriber. Higher subscription fees provide access to more premium content or additional features.
  • Institutional Subscriptions: STM offer subscriptions to academic institutions, libraries, and other organizations, providing access to their content to all members of the institution.
  • Site License Agreements: Publishers offer site licenses to organizations, which allows all employees or members of the organization to access the content.
  • Collaborate with the Media: Reach out to journalists or media outlets that cover topics related to the article. This can help to increase the article's visibility and impact outside of academic circles.
  • Utilize Altmetrics: Use altmetrics tools such as Impactstory, Altmetric, or PlumX to track the article's impact and engagement on social media, news outlets, and other online platforms.
  • Engage with Readers: Respond to comments and questions from readers on the article's publication platform or social media. This can help to build relationships with other researchers and potentially lead to future collaborations.

Subscription Based Charges

Subscription-based charges for online access to academic journals are an essential part of institutional subscriptions. This option is tailored to the specific needs of libraries and institutions that require access to a wide range of scholarly research for their patrons. Online subscriptions are generally more cost-effective than print subscriptions and offer many benefits, such as immediate access to the latest research, ease of use, and advanced search functionality.

Subscription-based access models have been the traditional revenue model for STM publishers. However, in recent years, there has been a growing shift towards open access models, where the content is freely available to readers, and the costs are borne by the author or their institution through article processing charges (APCs).

Despite this shift, many publishers still offer subscription-based access to their journals, alongside open access options. STM determines subscription prices based on several factors:

  • Article Volume
  • Journal Quality
  • Journal Usage
  • Editorial Processes
  • Competitive Considerations

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  • Online access
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  • These offers are valid for individual customers only. Booksellers, book distributors and institutions such as libraries and corporations are excluded. For institutional sales please visit springer.com/salescontacts. Your subscription is online only, valid from January through December of current calendar year. Automatic annual renewal.

Subscription Form For Subscribers

  • Price list / Subscription order form for Indian and International Journals (Price in INR)
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  • Price list / Subscription order form for Indian and International Journals (Price in USD)


If there is no existing agreement covering the subscription-based publication fee, we will generate a Proforma Invoice for you to settle the payment.

It's important to note that the subscription-based publication fee is separate from any other costs associated with journal publication. Additional charges such as those for color figures in print or oversized articles will be invoiced separately.

Payment for the subscription-based publication fee will be charged in US dollars. If applicable, sales tax will be added to the total amount. Please be aware that the price does not include VAT, which will be added at the standard rate if applicable.

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