Setting a trend? Norway and Elsevier enter into a two-year transformation pilot agreement – OpenAIRE Blogs

On April 23, Elsevier and the Norwegian Unit jointly issued a press release, announcing a two-year pilot agreement on access to research and open publishing. This news took many by surprise since Unit only the month before had announced its decision not to renew their agreement with Elsevier. This decision came after a lengthy period of negotiations and was not made lightly. We quickly got back to our talks with Elsevier, however, and were able to work out the details of the pilot in a very short time. The agreement is made up of a standard Science Direct Licence with an “Elsevier – Unit Open Access Pilot Terms” added at the end. The licence was signed with a confidentiality clause but stated that it is without prejudice to the applicable Norwegian public Act and Public Administration Act. Within a couple of days after announcing the agreement, a Request for Information came from a university paper claiming the right of these Acts. After consulting with Elsevier, the licence including the Open Access Terms was sent over, and duly published in the paper Khrono. We then published the licence on our website (we will also publish our agreement with Wiley shortly) and have registered both of them in the excellent ESAC registry.  …”

UK signals move away from journal subscription model | Times Higher Education (THE)

“The UK could soon follow the example of Norway and Germany in ditching costly journal subscriptions in favour of more “read and publish” agreements, according to its lead negotiator.

Liam Earney, director of licensing at Jisc Collections, said it was clear that UK universities, like those in many other countries, were “no longer willing to pay for outdated systems” pushed by commercial publishers of the likes of Elsevier….

His comments followed news that the UK sector has signed a £9.6 million, three-year agreement to extend its read-and-publish deal with Springer Nature via the consortium. The deal allows UK researchers access to 2,150 Springer titles, but does not include access to Nature journals. Crucially, members will be able to make their articles freely available in Springer’s hybrid-model journals, a move that the publisher said was in keeping with open access guidelines under the Plan S initiative….

“From our point of view, we want to continue to work with Springer Nature. But it’s important that they put a workflow in place to support the transition to open access. That promise cannot just be rhetorical,” he said. “If we renew this next time around, I would hope that upfront [subscription] payments would be redundant.” …”

The push for open access is finally reaching a tipping point | Times Higher Education (THE)

Last week, Norway signed a landmark open access agreement with Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific publisher. It came barely a month after the country cancelled its subscription contract: a step that several other countries and organisations had already taken.

In early 2017, a consortium of about 700 German universities and research organisations cut ties with Elsevier because the publisher would not agree to what would have been a transformative open access deal. In spring 2018, Swedish universities followed. And in December, Hungary and the powerful Max Planck Society took their stand.

We at the University of California also ended our Elsevier subscription in December and terminated negotiations in February.

We are not small customers. The California contract reached nearly $11 million (£8.5 million) in 2018, and the German contract was considerably larger….”

Norway deals boost research strategy | Research Information

The country of Norway has signed two major deals to further its national scholarly communications strategy.

Norway’s UNIT (the Directorate for ICT and joint services in higher education and research) has chosen the Web of Science Group as its sole data provider for a new national research evaluation project….

Secondly, John Wiley & Sons and UNIT have announced a combined open access and subscription agreement. This three-year agreement will provide 33 Norwegian institutions with continued access to Wiley’s subscription journals and enables their affiliated authors to publish open access articles in Wiley titles.


As part of the agreement, all eligible researchers and students will be automatically identified and notified of the opportunity to publish open access through their institutional connection, at no additional charge. The 33 institutions will also have access to a distinct open access account dashboard for easy administration of their account, quick article approval, and in-depth reporting….”

Elsevier and Norway Agree on New Open-Access Deal | The Scientist Magazine®

“After unsuccessful negotiations between a coalition of Norwegian organizations and the academic publisher Elsevier culminated in cancelled subscriptions earlier this year, the two have successfully established a new nationwide licensing agreement. The deal, which was announced yesterday (April 23), is a pilot program that covers a period of two years, during which articles with corresponding authors from Norway will be published open access in most of Elsevier’s journals….”

Elsevier and Norway Agree on New Open-Access Deal | The Scientist Magazine®

“After unsuccessful negotiations between a coalition of Norwegian organizations and the academic publisher Elsevier culminated in cancelled subscriptions earlier this year, the two have successfully established a new nationwide licensing agreement. The deal, which was announced yesterday (April 23), is a pilot program that covers a period of two years, during which articles with corresponding authors from Norway will be published open access in most of Elsevier’s journals….”

Norway and Elsevier meet a nine million Euro agreement including a Gold Open Access clause » scidecode

“The Norwegian consortium for higher education and research and the publishing house Elsevier agreed two days ago to a national license. This provides Norwegian researchers not only access to articles published in Elsevier’s journals (including the society journals as The Lancet or CELL Press) but also the opportunity to publish their results Open Access. Seven universities and 39 research institutions will benefit from the two-year agreement….

In similar agreements, e.g. in Finland, an Open Access publication was by far not allowed in all Elsevier journals. But according to the contract covers up to 90 percent of the articles published by scientists from members of the consortium. Only the society journals (about 400 in total) will be excluded….

Just as with the Wiley DEAL in Germany, this agreement also strengthens the allegedly unpopular Hybrid Open Access, which was even disallowed by Plan S. The agreement with Elsevier in France is different and should strengthen Green Open Access.”

Elsevier’s Norway U-turn seen as attempt to stem cancellations | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Some believe commercial pressure could finally be pushing the publisher to change how it deals with universities….

Elsevier’s surprise decision to strike a deal with Norwegian universities has been seen by some as a significant change of direction in response to years of negative headlines about cancelled contracts, which in one case hit its parent company’s share price.


While the “publish and read” contract does not go as far as some open access campaigners would like, and it excludes publication in some well-known journals such as Cell and The Lancet, it is seen as a significant departure from the publisher’s previous deals….”

Elsevier strikes its first national deal with large open-access element

After a year of talks, Dutch publishing giant Elsevier has struck a deal with a group of Norwegian universities that will allow academics to publish the vast majority of their work under open-access terms.

The two-year pilot scheme marks the largest such agreement — often called a ‘read and publish’ deal — that Elsevier has made with a national consortium of research libraries….

Under the agreement, scientists in the 46 Norwegian universities and research institutes represented by the consortium will have access to 2,800 Elsevier journals. It will also allow 1,850 articles authored by those academics to be immediately free to read on publication in Elsevier titles. On the basis of historical data, this total should cover about 90% of Norwegian academics’ yearly publications in the company’s journals.

The universities’ previous subscription contract expired on 31 December, and negotiators had begun talks with Elsevier about renewing their licensing agreement in spring last year. The publisher allowed researchers in Norway to continue accessing its latest articles even though the contract had lapsed….”

Elsevier in €9m Norwegian deal to end paywalls for academic papers | Financial Times

“Elsevier, the academic publisher, will on Tuesday announce a €9m deal with a Norwegian consortium under which published research will be freely accessible. The agreement follows several contract terminations by universities in the US and Europe who accused the company of not meeting demand for open access to scientific studies published in its journals. The deal with the seven Norwegian universities and 39 research institutions known as Unit will be biggest for Elsevier since it lost an $11m contract with the University of California last month….Under the two-year Norwegian pilot “open access” publishing agreement, research from academics associated with Unit will be freely accessible. Rather than charge a subscription fee for access to its journals, which is how the publisher has structured most of its deals, Elsevier will bill the Norwegian institutions for the close to 2,000 articles they expect to publish each year….”

Open access journal publishing in the Nordic countries

Abstract:  The number of open access (OA) journals and their share of all scholarly journals are usually estimated based on indexing in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). DOAJ’s coverage of OA journals from different regions of the world is, however, far from complete, particularly of journals publishing in languages other than English. Using alternative data sources for identification and manual verification, 437 scholarly OA journals published in the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) were identified, and some key characteristics were studied. Of these, only 184 were indexed in DOAJ. A vast majority of the journals was published by scholarly societies or universities. Social sciences and humanities dominated as topics, and few journals charge authors. National or university-specific OJS portals have played a major role in enabling OA publishing. Around a third of the Nordic scholarly journals are currently OA.

Norway becomes latest country to ditch Elsevier | Times Higher Education (THE)

Norway has become the latest country to sever its contract with Elsevier in a move that could cost the publisher €10 million (£8.6 million) a year.

It follows Germany, SwedenHungary and the University of California system, which have ditched the publisher over complaints of high prices and insufficient progress towards open access….”


Norske forskningsinstitusjoner har besluttet å ikke forlenge avtale med forlaget Elsevier | Unit

From Google’s English: “The offer from Elsevier is far from fulfilling the requirements of Norway for open access to research articles. Nor is there any movement in the agreement’s period against paying for publishing instead of paying for reading access. The agreement with Elsevier is therefore not renewed for 2019. The Rectorates at BOTT (the universities in Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø and Trondheim) support the decision.

The Government’s goal is for all Norwegian scientific articles financed by public funds to be openly available by 2024. The main objective is to go from paying to read articles via subscription to paying for having articles that are openly available. Unit – The Directorate for ICT and Joint Services for Higher Education and Research has, since the Government’s national goals and guidelines came in 2017, negotiated with Elsevier about an agreement that will ensure such open access to articles published by Norwegian researchers. Unit negotiates and manages agreements on behalf of Norwegian research institutions. The agreement with Elsevier, known as the Science Direct Freedom Collection, has 44 Norwegian participants from universities, university colleges, research institutes and health enterprises. It is the largest deal unit dealer.

  • In order to succeed with the transition to open publishing, the negotiations have been carried out based on a set of principles:
  • Articles with corresponding authors from Norway shall be openly available at the time of publication
  • Open publishing should not increase the total cost of the agreements
  • Full transparency in license terms, costs and business models
  • Permanent access to content published in subscription journal
  • Movement is to be shown against agreements where costs are related to the volume of Norwegian institutions’ publication….”

Norway Joins List of Countries Canceling Elsevier Contracts | The Scientist Magazine®

“Norway has become latest country to cancel its contracts with Elsevier following a dispute over access to research papers. In a statement published yesterday (March 12), the Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research (UNIT), which represents a consortium of research institutions in the country, rejected Elsevier’s offer to lower some of its costs for Norwegian institutions because it didn’t go far enough to promote free access to published research.

“The offer from Elsevier is far from fulfilling the requirements of Norway for open access to research articles,” the agency says in a statement (translated by Google). “Nor is there any movement in the agreement [about] paying for publishing instead of paying for reading access. The agreement with Elsevier is therefore not renewed for 2019.”

Norwegian institutions had been arguing for a so-called “read-and-publish” arrangement. Currently, most institutions pay both to read articles on Elsevier, which hosts around academic 2,500 journals, and to provide open access to their own articles on the platform. A read-and-publish deal would combine those costs into one and make papers immediately available on publication….”

?Norwegian research institutions have decided not to renew their… – Unit – Direktoratet for IKT og fellestjenester i høyere utdanning og forskning

“The offer from Elsevier is a long way from fulfilling the Norwegian requirements for open access to research articles. There is also no movement in transitioning the agreement from paying to read to paying for open publishing. The agreement with Elsevier will therefore not be renewed for 2019. The rectorates at the universities of Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø and Trondheim all support this decision….”