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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