New FinELib agreements published


FinELib agreements with Wiley, Wolters Kluwer and the American Chemical Society have now been published as a response to the FOI request.  Agreements are available online, see  section “Signed agreements”

FinELib signed an agreement with the American Chemical Society


The FinElib-consortium and the American Chemical Society (ACS) have signed a 3-year agreement (2018-2020). The agreement covers access to ACS journals and free credits for open access publishing. Detailed information on the agreement, total fees per consortium member and the instructions to the authors are available online.

FinELib agreements published


The following agreements have now been published as a response to the FOI request: Emerald agreement 2018-2020 and IEL agreement 2018.

See  section “Signed agreements”

The other agreements requested in the FOI will be published once the agreements have been signed and prepared for publication.

We thank you for your patience.

Wolters Kluwer Agreement Signed



The FinELib-consortium and Wolters Kluwer have reached a 5-year agreement (2018-2022) regarding access to the Lippincott Total Access minus Neurology collection. The agreement covers access to 300 journals in the fields of medical care and nursing. In addition the agreement includes free vouchers for open access publishing, see additional information in English and in Finnish. More details about the agreement will be published shortly.

Emerald agreement signed


The FinELib-consortium and Emerald have reached a 3-year agreement (2018-2020) regarding access to the Emerald Premier collection. The agreement covers access to 310 journals in the fields of management, library studies, education, engineering and health&social care. In addition the agreement includes free vouchers for open access publishing, see additional information in English and in Finnish. More details about the agreement will be published shortly.

IEEE yields to libraries’ pressure:

license agreement signed between FinELib-consortium and IEEE


FinELib-office is pleased to report that FinELib-consortium members and IEEE have signed a license agreement regarding online use of the IEL–database. The agreement ensures access to journals, conference proceedings and standards mainly in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. The agreement doesn’t contain an open access element. More details about the agreement will be published shortly.

The negotiations came to a standstill in the fall of 2017 when IEEE attempted to move from a consortium agreement to dealing individually with each consortium member‘s library. While the libraries appreciate an individual approach in other areas such as customer training, when it comes to contract negotiations they rejected it and insisted upon continuing to use the FinELib-office’s services. They voiced this to the publisher individually and also through their co-operative bodies: Council for Finnish University Libraries and AMKIT-consortium and the FinELib steering group.

The libraries’ clear stance on the issue convinced IEEE to return to negotiations with FinELib in December. This goes to show that libraries can possess considerable power when they share mutual goals.

The libraries are very pleased that IEEE respected their choice, an agreement was reached, and researchers, teachers and students we able to continue accessing the database without interruption.

FinELib’s Elsevier agreement and transparency – questions and answers


The FinELib-Elsevier agreement has generated a lively discussion in Twitter about open access, licensing negotiations and most of all transparency. Many voices have demanded publication of this agreement, and understandably so.  The FinELib office thanks everybody for the active commenting. We would like to tell about our efforts to increase transparency now and in the future as well as the limitations we encounter.

What we have published so far:

  • Total prices for agreement terms 1.1.2017-31.12.2017 and 1.1.2018- 31.12.2020
    • total price on the consortium level and total prices per consortium member
    • Why publish total prices instead of annual prices? The Act on the Openness of Government Activities regulates what is public information.In section 24 it is stated that “Unless specifically provided otherwise, the following official documents shall be secret: documents containing information on a private business or professional secret, as well as documents containing other comparable private business information, if access would cause economic loss to the private business, provided that the information is not relevant to the safeguarding of the health of consumers or the conservation of the environment or for the promotion of the interests of those suffering from the pursuit of the business, and that it is not relevant to the duties of the business and the performance of those duties;”

      Under Finnish law it is not clear cut what is a business secret or comparable private business information and what isn’t. However the Helsinki administrative court has specifically ruled that the total price of a licensing agreement cannot be a publisher’s business secret (decision 15/0593/ given August 7th2015).  This cannot be overridden by a non-disclosure agreement.

  • Elsevier agreement text for the current agreement term
  • Permitted and prohibited uses of the licensed content
  • Open Access discount, conditions and process

How we aim to increase transparency of FinELib agreements in the future:

  • We are working towards a system where we can routinely publish licensing agreements. We aim to increase transparency, taking into account that licensing agreements may contain publishers’ business secrets and/or confidential information even if there is no formal non-disclosure agreement.
  • FinELib consortium continues to take part in the Ministry of Education and Culture’s annual data gathering of publisher costs.

FinELib consortium appreciates the requests for transparency. FinELib, together with the other Nordic consortia, support LIBER’s principles and aim to meet them in publisher negotiations. Achieving open access and the highest possible level of transparency requires work from the whole research community including consortium members and individual researchers.

Nordic Consortia support LIBER’s Five Principles for Negotiations with Publishers



All Nordic consortia have signed the OA2020 “Expression of Interest in the Large-Scale Implementation of Open Access to Scholarly Journals” and are working for a transition from a subscription-based scholarly journal model to an open access publishing model.

The Association of European Research Libraries, LIBER, has published a strategy: “Five Principles for Negotiations with Publishers,” which is in line with the mission of OA2020.

Nordic consortia would hereby like to endorse LIBER’s principles and aim to meet them in publisher negotiations. Nordic countries have different national open access strategies, and, consequently, the relevance of all LIBER’s principles may differ from country to country.

LIBER’s Five Principle for Negotiations with Publishers:

1. Licensing and Open Access go Hand-in-Hand

The world of subscription deals and APC-deals are closely linked. Nobody should pay for  subscriptions and pay APCs at the same time (‘double dipping’). Each new license agreed  on should therefore contain conditions about both sides of the coin. Increased spending on  APCs should result in proportionately lower spending on subscription fees.

2.No Open Access, No Price Increase

There is enough money in the system already. Libraries have paid annual price increases of  up to 8% for years, supposedly to allow publishers to innovate. A key feature of innovation  for the research community is that research outputs are freely available. Therefore if an  agreement with publishers on Open Access cannot be reached in our contracts, future  price increases should not be accepted.

3. Transparency for Licensing Deals: No Non-Disclosure

The practices of libraries should fully reflect their commitment to Open Access. Licensing  agreements should therefore be openly available. Society will not accept confidential  agreements paid for with public money in the form of non-disclosure agreements, as recent developments in Finland and The Netherlands have shown.

4. Keep Access Sustainable

To avoid putting more money in the system, and to strengthen Open Access, some libraries  have given up their rights to perpetual access in license agreement. Perpetual access is,  however, critical in a quickly-changing publishing environment. Libraries must secure sustainable access to content.

5. Usage Reports Should Include Open Access

Although APC-buyouts are becoming more common, reporting about Open Access is still  rare. Just as libraries receive reports about downloads and usage in the subscription world,  they should also receive reports on Open Access publications. It is normal to receive insight  into what we pay for.


Bibsam Consortium
Iceland Consortium

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FinELibin ja Elsevierin välinen sopimus: pääsy tieteellisiin lehtiin ja 50 prosentin alennus kirjoittajamaksuista


FinELib-konsortio ja Elsevier ovat solmineet kolmivuotisen sopimuksen Science Direct Freedom Collection –kokoelmasta. Sopimus takaa pääsyn 35 FinELib-konsortion jäsenelle noin 1850 tieteelliseen lehteen.  Lisenssisopimuksen kokonaisarvo on vajaa 27 miljoonaa euroa.

Uutena mahdollisuutena sopimus tarjoaa tutkijoille mahdollisuuden julkaista artikkelinsa avoimena 50 prosentin alennuksella. Alennusta voivat käyttää ne vastaavat kirjoittajat, joiden organisaatiot ovat mukana sopimuksessa. Alennuksen piirissä on yli 1500 Elsevierin tilausmaksullista lehteä ja yli 100 täysin avointa lehteä. Lue lisää alennuksen ehdoista ja prosessista.

Lehdistötiedote sopimuksesta (englanniksi) löytyy täältä.

IEEE refuses to negotiate with FinELib


IEEE, provider of the IEL-database continues to refuse to negotiate with the FinELib-consortium regarding renewal of the IEL-license agreement. FinELib member organizations have repeatedly stated their will to continue subscribing via FinELib. Instead IEEE demands that each library negotiate its own contract, thereby reducing the libraries’ negotiating power.

The FinELib-consortium office was formed for the sole purpose of taking care of the negotiating work on behalf of the consortium members. Its job is to protect the members’ interests in the negotiation process and to ensure fair terms on their behalf. The libraries want to continue using FinELib office’s expertise and do not see any reason why IEEE should prevent that. Ulla Ohvo, library director of Lappeenranta University of Technology, says: “We are very disappointed that IEEE is ignoring what its customers want. This is not what we expect from a publisher who has collected a lot of money in subscription fees from us over the years.”

The FinELib steering group, Council for Finnish University Libraries and AMKIT-consortium have yesterday contacted IEEE to demand that IEEE return to the negotiations with FinELib-office but IEEE has refused. If IEEE does not listen to its customers’ demands and resume the negotiations with FinELib, there is a risk of a cut in access to the database when the current agreement term ends 31.12.2017.