Since 2006 The National Library of Sweden (NLS) has worked with advancing open access to scholarly output. In 2017 the NLS received an appropriation directive from the Swedish Government to act as a national coordinating body in the work towards a transition to open access to scholarly publications.
The National Library of Sweden shall promote and coordinate the work of introducing open access to scholarly publications. The directive includes submitting a comprehensive survey, analysis and assessment of the national work with open access to scholarly publications. In carrying out the directive, the National Library shall consult with the Swedish Research Council, universities and higher education institutions.
(From the appropriation directive 2021)
Interim report on the coordination mission
In October 2021, NLS submitted an interim report to the Government focusing on providing an overview of the current situation regarding the transition to an open access publishing system. Among other things, it reported that the number of open access articles has increased from 33% in 2017 to 57% in 2020. It also included a description of the Bibsam consortium's work to negotiate open access publishing with scientific publishers and the consortium's collaborative efforts to redirect payment streams to an open access publishing system.
The report also notes that total expenditure on scholarly publishing has increased from SEK 498 million to SEK 675 million over the period 2017 to 2020.
The report highlights supporting structures and collaboration for open access publishing, and includes a new review of Swedish universities' and research funders' policies for open access to scientific publications. Other issues highlighted include the copyright conditions for open access and current initiatives to promote and support immediate parallel publishing.
Read the interrim report
National studies on open access
In the Swedish Research Council’s report Proposal to National Guidelines for Open Access to Scientific Information, a number of obstacles to a transition to an open access publishing system were identified. On the basis of this report the National Library of Sweden during 2017–2018 coordinated the following studies concerning:
- The current merit and resource allocation system versus incentives for open access
- Funding for a transition from a subscription-based to an open access publishing system
- Open access to scholarly monographs
- Financial and technical support for converting peer-reviewed and scholarly journals from toll access to open access
- Monitoring of compliance with open access policies and mandates
The aim of the studies was to produce recommendations on national solutions to specific challenges, in order to support the researchers in the transition to open access and to reach the government’s national goal for immediate open access. Five national working groups was formed on the above topics, with stakeholder representation from Swedish funding agencies, HEIs, researchers and the National Library of Sweden.
The five studies including national recommendations, as well as a summarizing report were reported to the Swedish Ministry of Research and Education in March 2019.
- The transition to an Open Access scholarly publishing system (Summary) (pdf)
- The merit and resource allocation system versus incentives for open access (Study 1) (pdf)
- Funding for a transition from a subscription-based to an open access publishing system (Study 2) (pdf)
- Open access to books (Study 3) (pdf)
- Financial and technical support for open access scholarly journals (Study 4) (pdf)
- Monitoring requirements regarding open access to publications, and recommendations concerning Creative Commons licences (Study 5) (pdf)
Immediate open access
The national goal is that all scientific publications resulting from research financed with public funds should be published immediately open access and that research data, on which the scholarly publication is based, should be made open access together with the publication.
The national approach is that the products of research must meet the FAIR principles as far as possible, that scientific publications arising from publicly funded research should be openly accessible immediately on publication from 2021 at the latest, and that the cost of scientific publication must be transparent.
The transition to open access to scholarly publications, research data and artistic works should be fully implemented in 2026 at the latest. It is a shared responsibility for all stakeholders within the research system to work towards the goal.
Also, the Government states that clear incentives and mechanisms are needed in order to encourage researchers to publish their research output immediately open access.
Additional assignments concerning open access to scientific publications
In 2018, the National Library of Sweden (NLS) received two new assignments regarding open access to publicly funded scientific publications from the Swedish Government.
- Information folder Pdf, 248.6 kB. (English)