Negotiations 2019 – aiming for open publishing


Traditionally, scholarly articles have been published behind a paywall. These articles can only be read by the researchers whose organization can afford the steep subscription payments. FinELib aims to provide its member organizations and their researchers both the right to read and use research articles as well as the right to publish their articles open access with ease and without additional payments.

The aim of the FinELib consortium is to move the funds previously used for subscription payments into enabling the researchers in Finnish higher education and research institutes to publish their articles open access.

At the same time, the FinELib consortium will hold on to the reading and usage rights of the articles that have been or are still published behind a paywall.

The FinELib consortium’s negotiations are part of a global movement, where an increasing number of countries and consortia are making open access publishing agreements with scholarly publishers. The worldwide aim is that in the next few years the majority of scholarly articles will be published open access, thereby making subscription payments unnecessary.

In the future, instead of making individual researchers pay for the costs, the expenses of open access publishing could be covered, for example, by research funders and higher education and research institutes along with their libraries.

FinELib is currently negotiating the renewal of agreements expiring on December 31st 2019

The current agreement with Wiley covers approx. 1 250 journals without any open access benefits. FinELib’s open access negotiations with Wiley have lasted for several years already. A one-year extension agreement was made for 2019 to give the negotiations more time.

A one-year agreement with Sage covers approx. 950 journals with a substantial discount on open access publishing article processing charges (APC’s). FinELib’s aim for the new agreement is to have it include open access publishing without any expenses to Finnish researchers.

The 2019 agreement with Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) covers 40 journals on chemistry with open access publishing in these journals. By July 2019, 28 articles were published open access. The renewal negotiations of this agreement are ongoing.

So far, some publishers have failed to offer any models that would make a move towards open access publishing. For the 2019 negotiations, this is the case for Elsevier’s Cell Press journals, Springer Nature’s Nature journals, AAAS’s (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Science journals, and IEEE’s (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) electronic library IEL.

Negotiations with these publishers are particularly challenging.

The agreement between FinELib and Taylor & Francis expired at the end of 2018. In 2019 Taylor & Francis have not made a new offer to the FinELib consortium. At the moment, there are no ongoing negotiations with Taylor & Francis.