Subscription-Based Publication


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Subscription-Based Publication

Last updated: 2022-04-30

Traditional subscription-based publishing refers to the traditional method of publishing academic research, in which readers pay for access to scholarly articles through subscription fees charged by publishers. In this model, readers typically access articles through libraries or academic institutions that have paid for access to a publisher's journal or database.

Under the traditional subscription-based model, authors generally do not pay for the publication of their research. This includes the cost of peer review, copyediting, layout and design, and distribution through print and digital channels.

In order to be recognized as a transformative journal, a journal must meet certain criterias. These criteria include:

  • Access Control: Subscription-based articles are not freely available to the general public. Access is restricted to those who have paid for a subscription or who have access through an institutional subscription.
  • Paywall: Subscription-based articles are typically behind a paywall, which is a barrier that prevents non-subscribers from accessing the full text of the article.
  • Copyright: In a subscription-based model, the publisher typically retains copyright ownership of the article.
  • Peer-Review: Subscription-based journals generally follow a rigorous peer-review process to ensure the quality of published articles.
  • Editorial Board: Subscription-based journals often have an editorial board made up of experts in the field who oversee the peer-review process and make decisions about which articles to publish.
  • Online: Subscription-based journals may be available in online formats, though the trend is towards online-only publication.
Approaches of Subscription Based Publication

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.
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.

What Authors need to know?


Subscription-based publishing means that readers must pay for access to your article or journal. This can limit the number of readers who can access your work, as well as the impact it may have.


When you publish your work with a subscription-based journal, you may need to transfer copyright ownership to the publisher. This means you may not be able to freely share or distribute your work without permission.

Peer Review

Subscription-based journals often have a rigorous peer-review process, which can provide valuable feedback on your work. However, it may also mean a longer publication timeline.


Publishing in a respected subscription-based journal can enhance your academic reputation and increase the visibility of your work.


Some subscription-based journals charge authors fees for publishing their work. It is important to consider these costs when selecting a journal to submit your work to.

Open Access Options

Many subscription-based journals now offer open access options for authors, which can make your work more widely available while still maintaining the benefits of peer-review and prestige associated with subscription-based publishing.


With subscription-based publishing, STM is responsible for distributing and marketing your work to subscribers. This can limit the visibility of your work beyond the journal's readership.


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.

Subscription Based Charges

In a subscription-based model for journals, the charges are typically paid by individuals, academic institutions, or libraries. Academic and research libraries often bear the cost of journal subscriptions to provide access to their patrons, including students, faculty, and researchers. These institutions allocate a portion of their budget to subscribe to a variety of journals relevant to their fields of study.

Subscription Based Publication Strategies
  • 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.
Further Correspondence

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