OA articles for Nature journals have been used up


Publishing at Nature and Nature Research journals was much higher than anticipated, resulting with the premature end of article quota.

It’s no longer possible to publish open access at Nature journals with FinELib’s agreement. The article quota, which was acquired has been used up, and there are no more articles left in the current agreement, which is in effect until December 31, 2024.

The open articles acquired for Nature and Nature Research journals were used up noticeably faster than expected. The acquired article quantity was based on publication data available at the time, but the amount of published articles was much higher than anticipated.

With the FinELib agreement, total of 33 open articles were published in the Nature and Nature Research journal family's hybrid journals.

The FinELib consortium's Nature agreement covered open publishing in hybrid journals belonging to the Nature and Nature Research family of journals. Fully open access journals were not included in the agreement. With the agreement, the corresponding authors affiliated with a consortium member were able to publish their article open access without a publication fee.

Costs of scientific journals have reached unsustainable level – The future of subscriptions in jeopardy


Publishers are demanding increasingly higher fees for reading scientific journals and open access publishing, even though the scientific community can't sustain even the current costs. The expenses have risen to a level that doesn't correspond to the benefits received from the services.

Finnish universities and research institutions have long been facing financial challenges. Many of them have had to reduce their staff through negotiation processes. Meanwhile, scientific journal publishers have systematically raised fees for reading scientific journals and open access publishing, even though publishers essentially receive researchers' articles and their reviews as unpaid work.

The FinELib consortium has negotiated agreements with scientific publishers that cover both reading scientific journals and open access publishing. Through these agreements, the costs of reading scientific journals have been shifted to enable researchers to publish openly without charges. However, the overall costs have still risen to an unsustainable level.

"The idea of open science is to make all research produced with public funds openly accessible, but publishers have seen this as an excellent way to increase their profits," says Kalle-Antti Suominen, Chair of the FinELib Steering Group and Vice Rector at the University of Turku.

"Publishers have hindered the transition to open publishing in various ways, allowing them to collect both subscription and publication fees. This is an unsustainable pattern for universities and the scientific community, both economically and in principle. The situation won't change unless we are genuinely ready to reject unreasonable contract proposals and critically reflect on our publication practices," Suominen emphasizes.

The FinELib consortium's steering group has determined that significant discounts must be obtained for the currently negotiated journal packages [link: https://finelib.fi/kustannukset-saatava-kuriin-tiedelehtien-avoimuudesta-neuvotellaan-jalleen/ ] to continue the agreements. Kalle-Antti Suominen highlights that the discounts must be real and not a result of reducing the content of the agreement.

"Reducing the price solely by limiting access to journals or decreasing publication quotas doesn't mean that an otherwise overpriced contract proposal would become acceptable," Suominen explains.

The consortium is prepared that if the goals are not achieved, it's possible that not all current scientific journal agreements can be continued.

The FinELib consortium is currently negotiating seven scientific journal agreements with a combined value of over 16 million euros in 2023. In 2022, these agreements enabled a total of 3660 Finnish scientific articles to be freely accessible. The publishers involved in the negotiations are the American Chemical Society (ACS), Elsevier, Emerald, IEEE, Oxford University Press (OUP), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and Springer.

For more information, please contact:

Kalle-Antti Suominen, vice-rector for research, University of Turku, Kalle-Antti.Suominen@utu.fi

Arja Tuuliniemi, head of licencing, National Library of Finland, arja.tuuliniemi@helsinki.fi

The costs must be reduced – FinELib negotiates on openness of scholarly publications


FinELib's steering group has stated that the prices of journal packages being negotiated this year must be significantly reduced. This is crucial for higher education and research institutes to continue to license the materials.

Read & publish agreements have significantly increased open publishing in the FinELib consortium, but the current cost level of the agreements is not sustainable.

This year the consortium is negotiating the renewal of seven journal contracts:

  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Elsevier
  • Emerald
  • IEEE
  • Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and
  • Springer.

With these agreements, the total of 3660 scientific articles were published open access in 2022. The total value of these journal packages is over 16 million euro in 2023.

In addition to a fair price, the consortium requires publishers to commit to furthering open publishing. New agreements must also meet the FinELib acquisition principles, which define the minimum requirements for journal usage rights and open publishing.

Open publishing in Lippincott and Taylor & Francis journals continues


Open publishing was suspended in early 2023 as the negotiations were prolonged. Open access publishing has now restarted in the journals of both publishers.

New FinELib agreements with Wolters Kluwer’s Lippincott journals and Taylor & Francis journals give the researchers from the subscribing institutions the right to publish their articles open access without additional payment. The agreements cover both years 2023 and 2024.

It's estimated that FinELib’s agreements with these publishers now cover all articles from eligible researchers until the end of 2024.

Agreement with Taylor & Francis covers open publishing in almost 2,000 hybrid journals published by T&F from the fields of social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. The agreement also includes reading rights T&F Social Sciences & Humanities and Science & Technology Libraries.

Lippincott subscribers get access to approximately 250 paywalled medical journals. Researchers can also publish open articles free of charge in approximately 290 journals. The publication right applies to both hybrid and fully open journals.

Open access publishing included in new ACM and Nature Research agreements


Two new FinELib agreements containing open access publishing rights came into effect in the summer: ACM and Nature Research.

The ACM agreement covers access to ACM Digital Library and open access publishing rights in ACM’s  journals and conference proceedings. The Nature agreement includes access to titles picked by the subscribing institution and the right to publish open access in all Research-titles.

Authors from institutions taking part in the agreements have the right to publish their articles open access without paying article processing charges. Articles that are accepted for publication during the agreement term are eligible for this benefit.

Both agreements are in effect until the end of 2024.

FinELib partners with the Open Library of Humanities


FinELib and the not-for-profit Open Library of Humanities have signed a three-year (2022–2024) agreement that provides support for OLH through its Library Partnership Subsidy Model.

The partnership with OLH is FinELib’s first with a scholar-led diamond OA publisher.

Journals that have joined OLH include Glossa: a journal of general linquistics, Ethnologia Europaea, Architectural Histories as well as OLH's flagship journal, the multidisciplinary Open Library of Humanities Journal.

Participating Finnish institutions:

  • Abo Akademi University
  • University of Eastern Finland
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Jyväskylä

Based in Birkbeck, University of London, Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is an award-winning, academic-led, diamond open access publisher of 28 journals from across the humanities disciplines.

Its costs are covered by payments from participating libraries, with charges neither to readers nor authors.

For more information, see Open access publishing in Open Library of Humanities' journals

FinELib strikes open access deal with Frontiers


The agreement allows participating institutions to benefit from a 10% national discount, streamlined submission and payment workflows, and other benefits.

FinELib and Frontiers have announced a new three-year (2022-2024) open access agreement. The agreement is the FinELib's first with a fully open access publisher and allows participating institutions to choose from three invoicing schemes (invoiced individually, monthly, or prepayment).

While making it easier for authors to publish their work open access, the agreement also allows institutions to remain in full control as each APC will be verified before being paid. Further benefits include frozen maximum APCs for the duration of the agreement and improved transparency of OA expenditure through detailed reports.

Read Frontiers' press release here.

Participating institutions:

  • Aalto University
  • University of Lapland
  • National Defence University (incl. the military schools)
  • Tampere University including Tampere University Hospital
  • Abo Akademi University
  • Laurea University of Applied Sciences
  • Tampere University of Applied Sciences
  • Natural Resources Institute Finland
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

FinELib pledges to support arXiv


FinELib and arXiv have signed a three-year (20222024) agreement through which six new Finnish universities have committed to funding arXiv, currently promoted by SCOSS (The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services) in its third funding cycle.

arXiv is a curated open platform and open access archive that currently hosts over 2 million scholarly articles.

Maintained by Cornell Tech and founded three decades ago, arXiv covers eight major subject areas including physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.

The agreement is a testimony to the importance of arXiv to the Finnish and global scientific community.

Participating Institutions:

  • Abo Akademi University
  • Tampere University
  • Tampere University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Eastern Finland
  • University of Jyväskylä
  • University of Turku

Cell Press agreement enables open access publishing


FinELib and Elsevier have signed a Read and Publish agreement for Cell Press journals for the term 2022–2024.

With the new agreement, researchers affiliated with the participating organisations can publish their articles open access without extra costs in about 40 Cell Press hybrid journals in the field of medical and natural sciences.

The agreement covers 10 FinELib member organisations, who yearly have published about 30 articles in total in Cell Press hybrid journals.

In addition, the agreement allows researchers and students to access Cell Press journals subscribed by the organisations.

More information on how to publish open access in Cell Press journals

The license agreement 2022-2024

More and more scientific articles available to all


Researchers from Finnish universities and research institutions, can publish their articles open access thanks to the FinELib Consortium agreements. A total of 2929 open articles were published in 2020. The number of open access articles increases as more and more researchers utilise the open access benefits included in the consortium agreements. You can track the yearly development in the number of open access articles on FinELib’s new web page.

FinELib's website summarizes by publisher how many open access articles, have been published with the help of the scholarly journal agreements negotiated by the consortium. The information covers the number of open access articles since 2017, when the FinELib consortium first started negotiating agreements covering open access publishing.

FinELib agreements give researchers the right to publish articles open access free of charge or with a reduced article processing charge. The reduced charges are typically associated with fully open access journals. There are currently 12 agreements that contain an open access benefit. In 2020, the Finnish research community published altogether 5120 articles in the scholarly journals covered by the agreements, of which nearly 60% as open access articles. In the future researchers will be able to publish all their articles open access in many scholarly journals, with the benefits included in FinELib agreements.

FinELib has been able to negotiate an increasing number of agreements that contain terms for open access publishing as well as better terms for existing agreements.  More and more articles can be published open access in the future. The aim is that all research results are published open access at a reasonable cost, and agreements would be used to pay for open access publishing only and not for reading. Once full openness has been achieved, all research results are freely available to the entire scientific community and to citizens.

On FinELib’s Open Publications page, you can follow the number of articles published open access.

Follow-up of open publication elsewhere:

Open Science Monitor on the European Union website

Briefing Paper on Open Access Monitoring on Science Europe website

Open APC - a project that contains the author fee information of organizations in multiple countries