[Survey on consequences of Swedish cancellation of Elsevier journals]

As you may be aware, Swedish universities and government agencies through the National Library of Sweden and the Bibsam Consortium (the Swedish library consortium) cancelled their agreement with Elsevier 30 June 2018 (https://openaccess.blogg.kb.se/bibsamkonsortiet/qa-about-the-cancellation-of-the-agreement-with-elsevier-commencing-1-july/). Elsevier has not been able to meet the demands of the Bibsam Consortium:

  • immediate open access to all articles published in Elsevier’s journals by researchers affiliated to one of the consortium’s participating organisations;
  • reading access to Elsevier’s 1 900 journals for participating organisations, and
  • a sustainable price model which makes a transition to open access possible.

How has this affected you?…”

Survey on how the cancelled agreement with Elsevier has affected Swedish researchers, students and government agency users – OpenAccess.se

How has the cancellation affected Swedish researchers, students and government agency users? Users from the 44 Swedish institutions that subscribed to Elsevier at the time of cancellation are asked to respond to this survey.…”


Elsevier Gets Blocked in Sweden After it Legally Requires Internet Providers to Make Sci-Hub Locally Inaccessible | Open Science

Even though Elsevier, which had failed to sign journal subscription contracts with Swedish university libraries over their demands for Open Access, has won a battle against Sci-Hub, an illegal platform for sharing scientific articles, in local courts in Sweden, Bahnhof, a local internet service provider, both complied with the injunction not to offer access to pirated content and effectively counter-blocks local attempts at browsing the websites of Elsevier and the Swedish court….”

Sweden stands up for open access – cancels agreement with Elsevier

Large science publisher Elsevier does not meet the requirements of Swedish universities and research institutes

In order to take steps towards the goal of immediate open access by 2026 set by the Swedish Government, the Bibsam Consortium has after 20 years decided not to renew the agreement with the scientific publisher Elsevier, as the publisher has not been able to present a model that meets the demands of the Consortium. To be able to make the necessary transition from a subscription-based to an open access publishing system, the Bibsam Consortium requires immediate open access to all articles published in Elsevier journals by researchers affiliated to participating organisations, reading access for participating organisations to all articles in Elsevier’s 1,900 journals and a sustainable price model that enables a transition to open access. The current agreement will be cancelled on the 30th of June.


Swedish researchers publish approximately 4 000 articles per year in Elsevier journals. In 2017 € 1,3 million was spent on article processing charges, on top of the  € 12 million that organisations spend on licensing fees for reading the Elsevier content….

Researchers from participating organisations will continue to have access to articles published during 1995-2017 according to the post-termination terms in the current agreement, however, the publisher will not give access to new subscription-based content that is published after June 30th on the publisher’s platform. Information about alternative ways to access articles can be found here:  http://openaccess.blogg.kb.se/bibsamkonsortiet/alternative-routes-to-scholarly-articles-and-research-outputs/ …”


Heard on the Net: The New Deal May be No Deal

“With the advent of the worldwide financial downturn a decade ago, many libraries, in particular many medium-to-large academic research libraries in North America, found they could no longer afford the escalating costs associated with big deal journal packaging from major academic, commercial publishing houses. The results from the initial round of cancellations were scaled down versions of big deals. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has a tracking mechanism of big deal cancellations which can be found here: <https://sparcopen.org/our-work/big-deal-cancellation-tracking/>. There are currently around 30 instances noted on their spreadsheet, indicating where deals were reduced or switched over to ordering specific titles as requested/needed by faculty in North America. In addition, SPARC has also added where negotiations from big deal packages have failed worldwide.

Jacob Nash & Karen McElfresh note in their 2016 article “A Journal Cancellation Survey and Resulting Impact on Interlibrary Loan” there was, in fact, little to no impact on Interlibrary Lending of content that made up their big deal cancellation. (DOI: <10.3163/1536-5050.104.4.008>). This study appears to be indicative to what many others have reported once they lose their big deal. There does not appear to be a significant upswing in ILL once a deal ends or is significantly reduced….

Given this fear and often great concern, my goal became to listen to librarians from Germany and Sweden about their consortial decisions regarding the biggest publisher in the mix, Elsevier. Bibsam, a consortia for Swedish academic institutions was unable to reach an agreement with Elsevier, and their content access ended July 1, 2018 for all content published after this date. For Germany, the lack of a renewed DEAL contract has resulted in a cascading loss of access among higher education institutions and research institutions. In both Germany and Sweden, it is still very early days with their non-renewal of Elsevier deals. For Germany, a few research institutions continue to have access to content up through the end of 2018. In addition, their previous contracts supply perpetual access for the years to which they were subscribed, so backfile access for numerous titles has been retained. My two interviewees are Irene Barbers (IB), who is Head of Acquisitions, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Zentralbibliothek/Central Library, and Lisa Lovén (LL), Librarian, Licensing Coordinator, Stockholm University Library, Stockholm University. Both responded to four questions posed by me….”

100 days post cancellation of Elsevier – OpenAccess.se

“One hundred days have now passed since the contract with Elsevier was terminated. The cancellation has received a lot of attention, both from within Sweden and abroad. Questions and comments from researchers to libraries have been much fewer than expected, something which can partly be explained by the summer vacation period, but most probably due to the fact that users have not been greatly affected since they still have uninterrupted access to all material published until the first of July 2018.

Comments from researchers have been both positive and negative. The support for open access is strong and many also regard the high profit margins of the publisher as unreasonable. Those with negative comments mostly concern problems accessing the articles they need for their research. All comments receive a reply with a description of the current situation, and underline the fact that all Swedish Vice-Chancellors collectively stand behind the recommendation to terminate the contract.

Some higher education institutions (HEIs) have used the money saved post-cancellation to pay for their researchers’ article processing charges in pure open access journals. Part of the money has also been used to pay for the extra costs involved when important articles have to be ordered via on-demand document delivery services….”

Read and Publish: Is It Good for the Academy? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“With Elsevier cutting off access to its licensed content products at dozens if not hundreds of German and Swedish universities as a result of contract lapses, the European dynamics are taking another interesting turn. On Elsevier’s side, its financial performance for the first half of the year is apparently not impacted by the contract lapses, suggesting that it will be prepared to dig in for a long dispute if necessary. As for the negotiating consortia in the two countries, there is thus far no evidence that their researchers are causing libraries to scramble for access, suggesting that they too are preparing to dig in. Lines of communications between German negotiators and Elsevier remain open, so it should surprise no one if at least one major Read and Publish agreement is eventually reached….

PLOS and several other new entrants have grown up on the promise of APC-driven competition. And the gold promise has long been that APCs would ensure scholar-driven article-level price competition among journals. But Read and Publish threatens to put a lid on this competition….

Will Read and Publish agreements make it harder for new competition to emerge and for recent entrants to compete?…”

[Urging Germany and Sweden to hold firm in negotiations with Elsevier]

“The background to this story is that Germany and Sweden have been setting a great example to the rest of the world by refusing to let Elsevier walk all over them in negotiations. (My own country, the UK, talked tough and then meekly accepted a deal that basically changed nothing.) Interestingly, Elsevier decided at first not to cut off access to its journals. Why might they have done this? My interpretation, which could be wrong, is that they were afraid of the world seeing that an entire country can walk away from its expensive subscriptions to ScienceDirect, the Elsevier platform, and continue to function without any major inconvenience. 

But of course, that left them in an awkward position: if they are letting you read their articles for no charge, then you have no incentive to reach a deal where you will start to pay for them — quite the reverse. So now they have done what I suppose they had to do and finally cut off access to their papers. This is a very important moment: please, Germans and Swedes, hold firm. If it becomes clear that your academics are suffering badly, then maybe you’ll have to do something, but it is in the interests of the whole world that you should do this experiment properly so that we get an idea of how serious the consequences are of not having access. Of course, I’m expecting that they will not be all that serious, which would, in principle at least, hugely improve the bargaining position of everyone who negotiates with Elsevier.”

Stockholm University gives researchers more support to get published in full Open Access journals

“The money that Stockholm University saves at the cancelled agreement with large science publisher Elsevier will be used to publish research in full Open Access journals.

Sweden’s research libraries have, through the national consortium Bibsam, terminated its agreement with Elsevier as of 1st of July. The reason why is that the parties could not agree on a reasonable price model and a sustainable solution for a transition towards open science.

According to Stockholm University, the transition to open science is slow and the publishing in hybrid journals, where you publish separate articles Open Access in an otherwise subscription-based journal, does not urge the development quickly enough.

Stockholm University will therefore use the money deposited on the terminated agreement to support those of the university’s researchers who want to get published in full Open Access journals. According to the university, publishing in full Open Access journals with all publishers help to urge the development towards a sustainable transition to open science….”

YERUN Statement on Open Science | investigación + biblioteca [I+B]

Google English: “The network of young European research universities YERUN (Young European Research Universities Network) has just published YERUN Statement on Open Science

The YERUN network is constituted by the following universities: Bremen, Konstanz and Ulm (Germany); Antwerpen (Belgium); Southern Denmark (Denmark); Autonomous University of Barcelona, Autonomous University of Madrid, Carlos III of Madrid and Pompeu Fabra (Spain); Eastern Finland (Finland); Paris Dauphine (France); Dublin City University (Ireland); University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy); Maastricht (The Netherlands); New Lisbon (Portugal); Brunel and Essex (United Kingdom); Linköping (Sweden)….”