Cost of scholarly publishing

The National Library monitors Swedish higher education institutions’ (HEIs) expenditure for scholarly literature and open access publishing in Sweden. It is important to overview the total cost of publishing incurred during the transition towards an open access scholarly publishing system.

The National Library started drafting the total cost of scholarly publishing a couple of years ago. The cost is reported with a one year delay to include a full year’s data. Therefore, this year’s presented data covers 2019. The total cost of publishing is presented in diagrams and downloadable data to make it accessible and of practical use to many.

In 2019 the total cost of publishing for Swedish HEIs was at least 504 million Swedish kronor (SEK). The reported total cost is lower than the actual expenditure incurred since not all data is available.


The table contains information about the cost of subscriptions (Bibsam and local), transformative agreements (Bibsam), fully open access agreements (Bibsam), open access publishing and acquisitions. The total cost is 504 million Swedish kronor.

Expenditure item

Million Swedish kronor (SEK)

Subscriptions, Bibsam¹


Local subscriptions


Transformative agreements, Bibsam


Fully open access agreements, Bibsam


Open Access publishing




Total cost of publication


Overview of the total cost of publishing 2019. The reported total cost is lower than the actual expenditure incurred since not all data is available. The Swedish library Consortium, Bibsam, negotiates licence agreements on behalf of Swedish organisations.

Total cost of publishing 2017–2019 in Swedish kronor

Cost of scholarly publishing – background and methods 

The National Library has published reports on the cost of scholarly publishing for three years, starting in 2017. The second and third reports are only available in Swedish. In the first report, covering the expenditures for 2017, the methodology and terminology are discussed and a background is presented.

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