Funders in joint open access initiative
The research funders Swedish Research Council, Forte, Formas, and Vinnova have made a strategic decision on a funding model to support publication with publishers that exclusively publish fully open access journals.
A large portion of Swedish research is published with immediate open access. However, the output of the major, traditional publishers is still dominated by expensive hybrid journals with a substantial percentage of paywalled articles.
Fully open access publishers present an important alternative to the traditional publishers. These four funders have now agreed, as a first step, to jointly cover publishing costs with open access publishers during 2024 and 2025.
The goal is for as many publishers as possible to be included in this initiative, which will be implemented gradually over the coming years. Negotiations have begun during the fall, and an important part of these agreements is that all researchers affiliated with any of the organisations participating in the Bibsam Consortium will be covered. In line with the conclusions of the EU's Council of Ministers, stating that the costs of scholarly publishing should not burden either readers or authors, with this initiative, the funders contribute to promoting an open access publishing system.
"The higher education institutions have today, through the transformative agreements, essentially taken over the costs of open access publishing with the commercial publishers", says Astrid Söderbergh Widding, President of Stockholm University and chair of the Bibsam Consortium’s Steering Committee. "It is therefore very positive that the funders have agreed to finance articles from fully open access publishers. In this way, higher education institutions and funders in Sweden are now working together for the transition to open access."
About the Bibsam Consortium
The National Library of Sweden has, since 1996, negotiated licence agreements for electronic information resources and publishing agreements on behalf of Swedish universities and university colleges, as well as public agencies and research institutes.