Bibsam Consortium

Since 1996 the National Library of Sweden negotiates licence agreements for electronic information resources on behalf of Swedish universities, university colleges, as well as public agencies and research institutes.

95 institutions are a part of the Bibsam Consortium.

Since the Bibsam Consortium is not a legal body, the parties of an agreement are each individual institution ("the Licensee"), and the vendor ("the Licensor"). A power of attorney from participating institutions allows the National Librarian to sign the agreements.


The National Library of Sweden has six members of staff dedicated to negotiate and administrate the 49 licence agreements for approximately 100 e-resource packages.

These include agreements with scholarly journal publishers as well as abstract and indexing databases, reference works and e-books.

The turnover is EUR 60 million (2023), and the 10 largest Universities account for 70% of the turnover.

Eight representatives (library directors and a vice-chancellor as chairperson) from the participating institutions form the Bibsam Consortium Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is focusing on developing strategies and overall principles regarding negotiations, price models and content.

Bibsam Consortium’s action plan

The Bibsam Consortium action plan is intended to guide negotiations with scholarly publishers. The aim is to facilitate the open publication of scholarly results, to bring about a redirection of payment streams from a subscription-based to an open access publishing system, and to achieve transparency, an overview of and reduced expenses for scholarly publishing.

Against this background and the SUHF recommendation regarding charting Sweden's path beyond the transformative agreements (2023:7) External link., the Bibsam Consortium Steering Committee has adopted the following action plan:

  • that the Consortium should not sign agreements for reading and publishing in so-called hybrid journals, and instead only negotiate for publication in open access journals; this approach should be implemented from 2026 and apply to all open journals, regardless of publisher
  • that new pathways to open publishing are promoted and supported and alternative business models are developed, and that researcher-driven journals that want to migrate from traditional publishers to other platforms are supported
  • that publication occurs under an open license, in accordance with the FAIR principles, and that copyright conditions to promote open access, for example via so-called secondary publication rights, are explored


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