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Open access agreement in place from 2020

Negotiations between several countries, including Sweden, and scientific publishers Elsevier stranded 18 months ago. Now, however, Swedish universities have finally managed to reach a satisfactory agreement with Elsevier and other major publishers.

Bild: Tanja Blixt, bibliotekarieSwedish academic libraries have together reached agreements with three large and important publishers: Elsevier, Wiley and Sage. Negotiations are proceeding with others, and eventually nearly all major scientific publishers will be included.

“Our aim is to make life easy for our researchers”, says Tanja Blixt, librarian in charge of e-resources and open access. “The agreements come into force on 1 January 2020 and consist of two parts. The first covers subscriptions to the journals of a publisher. The second involves the libraries paying for the right to make material from researchers that is published in the subscription journals also available as hybrid open access material. These agreements are a breakthrough, and will bring revolutionary changes to the publishing world. We now go from paying for read access to paying for publication.”

Tanja continues: “This means that more researchers will be able to publish under open access without having to pay directly. The articles will be freely available in the journals in which the researchers want to publish and will satisfy the requirements of funding bodies. This mean, in turn that the articles will be both more widely read and disseminated.”

So what happens when the new agreements start? What should researchers do?

“They don’t have to do anything different. By simply making it clear that they have a LiU affiliation by, for example, stating that they work at LiU and using their LiU email address, they will come a long way. If they’re uncertain about anything, we’ll be happy to help,” says Tanja Blixt.

Tanja Blixt has seen that international attitudes have changed.

“It was not only negotiations between Sweden and Elsevier that broke down in the summer of 2018: other European countries were also involved. Later major universities also joined, such as the University of California, and this affected Elsevier’s sales dramatically. Now, 18 months later, we have been able to reach an agreement with the publishers. It is important to be able to read Elsevier journals, not least in medical research.”

Tanja Blixt hopes that all publicly financed research will eventually be open. The Plan S initiative, which is the brainchild of several Swedish research funding bodies, has stimulated a development in this direction. “These agreements are transformative, and the journals that are currently hybrid journals will eventually become pure open access”, says Tanja Blixt. “It will become increasingly easy to make research results widely known, and to have others read your articles. This is a development that benefits research.”


More information about open access is available here


Foto by Magnus Johansson

Translated by George Farrants

Elisabet Wahrby 2019-12-16

Page manager: elisabet.wahrby@liu.se
Last updated: 2019-12-18