More than 1,000 open access articles under FinELib agreements


More than 1,000 open access articles were published in 2018 in the journals of various publishers under agreements negotiated by the FinELib consortium. The articles can be read by anyone and used, for example, as course material within the framework of the relevant CC licence.

Last year, FinELib had eight journal package deals that included a component promoting open access publishing. Figures concerning the open access articles made available under these agreements can be seen in the table below. Some of the agreements only cover a publisher’s hybrid journals, while others also include fully open access journals.

* Springer: October through December (from the beginning of the agreement)

Various models for the transition period

What we are seeing both in Finland and abroad is a shift towards agreements in which the articles of all corresponding authors can be made openly available without additional charges. Agreements that enable open access publishing during the transition period are one of the key means of achieving this goal. In addition, the aim is to instigate a rapid change towards eradicating journal paywalls and to make open access publishing standard academic practice.

At present, FinELib uses various models with different publishers: under the current agreement with Elsevier, researchers receive a 50% discount on article processing charges, whereas the 2017–2018 agreement with Taylor & Francis offered a discount of 60%.

The agreements with Lippincott, Emerald and the American Chemical Society (ACS) include a certain number of open access articles to be made available without additional charges. Under the agreement with Springer signed in October 2018, virtually all articles can be made openly available.

Other funding models for open access publishing include the SCOAP3 cooperation, in which researchers from any country can publish open access articles on high energy physics in the partner journals. The costs are paid by an international consortium, which also includes Finland.

The share of Finnish articles made openly available in journals covered by the agreements depends on the agreement model:

* Springer: October through December (from the beginning of the agreement)

The number of open access articles published by Finns has increased considerably from the previous year. For example, whereas Springer journals published just a few dozen open access articles in 2017, they issued a total of 185 such articles in the first three months of the consortium agreement.

Publishing process affects numbers

Negotiations have also drawn attention to the process of publishing open access articles. Publishers use a variety of models, some good and some not so good. The smoothness of the process has quite a major impact on how easy it is for a researcher to publish open access articles.

For example, Sage offers a considerable discount on article processing charges, but does not announce this at any point in the publishing process. This is clearly reflected in the figures for Sage, with just 5% of corresponding authors taking advantage of the discount in 2018.

* Springer: October through December (from the beginning of the agreement)

Who, how and where?

Open access benefits can be used by corresponding authors affiliated with an organisation involved in a FinELib agreement. (This does not apply to SCOAP3, in which the article must focus on high energy physics, and the corresponding author’s affiliation has no relevance.)

For information on the open access benefits available under FinELib agreements, please click here. Please note that the FinELib agreements do not necessarily encompass all of the journals of a given publisher, so be sure to check the status of your prospective journal!