National Open Access Desk

  • Beate Eellend |
    • The Swedish Government’s direction for the next ten-year research policy, as set out in the Swedish Research Bill 2016, includes the goal that scientific publications which are the result of publicly funded research should be made immediately open access on publication. 

      In the Research Bill Knowledge in Collaboration the Government states that open access to research results contributes to maintaining and furthering excellence in research. Open access to research output can advance science by making it possible for more researchers to validate and build on previous work. Further, that open access plays an important role in society at large and that research and innovation to a large extent is carried out within industry and in the business and public sectors. All stakeholders have a common responsibility in fulfilling this objective. The Government states that clear incentives and mechanisms are needed in order to encourage researchers to publish their research output immediately open access. 

      At the beginning of 2017 the National Library of Sweden received an appropriation directive from the Swedish Government to act as a national coordinating body in the work towards a transition to open access to scholarly publications. On implementation of the Government Directive, the National Library of Sweden intends to continue its collaboration with national and international stakeholders.

      In the Swedish Research Council’s report Proposal for National Guidelines for Open Access to Scientific Information (2015), a number of obstacles to a transition to an open access publishing system were identified. On the basis of this report the National Library of Sweden initiates and coordinates the following studies concerning:

      • The current merit and resource allocation system versus incentives for open access
      • Funding for a transition from a subscription-based to an open access publishing system
      • Open access to scholarly monographs
      • Financial and technical support for converting peer-reviewed and scholarly journals from toll access to open access
      • Monitoring of compliance with open access policies and mandates

      Representatives from all main stakeholders with a key role in the national transition to an open access publishing system will participate in one working group for each study. This includes HEI’s, research funders and researchers. The studies will result in further recommendations to the Government on how to nationally solve the identified obstacles. The work will be coordinated and facilitated by the National Library of Sweden

      Support and landscape

      National initiatives

    • The proportion of sk. gold OA has more than doubled from 8% to 18% during 2010-2016 and the proportion of Hybrid OA has been fivefold in 2010-2016.

      OpenAIRE statistics

      277,072 OA publications in 53 repositories
    • National policy

      In 2015, VR developed a proposal for national guidelines for open access to scientific information , including publications, research data and artistic works. The proposal was produced in collaboration with the National Library of Sweden and other relevant actors. It presents a proposal for how national guidelines should be formulated and includes suggestions for further assignments, investigations and allocation of responsibilities, together with a proposal that a national coordination function be set up at the appropriate authority, with the mandate to coordinate the work.

      In 2017, the National Library of Sweden received the Government's assignment to nationally coordinate the implementation of open access to publications and to do this in consultation with the Swedish Research Council. The NLS has initiated five studies with the aim to produce recommendations on how to solve different obstacles to the realisation of open access to publications. During 2017-2019 five working groups with representation from HEIs, research funders, the research community and the NLS are studying the following five topics. The current merit and resource allocation system versus incentives for open access; Funding for a transition from a subscription-based to an open access publishing system; Open access to scholarly monographs; Financial and technical support for converting peer-reviewed and scholarly journals from toll access to open access; Monitoring of compliance with open access policies and mandates.

      In 2017 VR received the Swedish government’s assignment to nationally coordinate the implementation of open access to research data. The assignment shall be accomplished in consultation with the National Library of Sweden and the National Archive of Sweden. VR intends to be a driving actor for policies regarding open access to research data, in particular with regards to developing guidelines and generating incentives for researchers to make their research data open access.

      In December 2017 the Swedish Government assigned the National Library of Sweden (NLS) to develop indicators to assess the extent to which scientific publications, which have been fully or partially produced by public funding, meet the national objective of open access being fully implemented in 2026. The indicators should enable an assessment of whether scientific publications are immediately available on publication. In parallel the Government instructs the Swedish Research Council (VR) to develop criteria to assess the extent to which research data, which has been fully or partly produced by public funding, complies with the FAIR principles. Based on the assessment indicators presented, the National Library shall also propose a method that shows a comprehensive picture of scientific publications and research data together at both national level and for publicly funded research institutions, respectively. The assignment shall be reported to the Government Offices no later than 28 February 2019.

      Since 2018, the government has requested that the National Library of Sweden to compile the total expenditure for scientific publishing. The NLS will pay particular attention to costs for subscriptions, APCs and administrative expenses.

      ROARMap Sweden
      OpenDOAR Sweden

      Institutional policy

      All major universities have policies or strategies with recommendations to publish their research results in open access. Almost all other HEIs also have similar recommendations for open access. Four HEIs have Open Access mandates; these include Blekinge Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Malmö University and Umeå University.

      Funder policy

      There are four national agencies distributing research funding in Sweden and advising the government on research-related issues. Three of them, the Swedish Research Council (VR), Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas) and Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte) have mandates for open access to publications. The fourth, the Swedish Innovation Agency (Vinnova), has no open access mandate.

      VR is the largest Swedish funding agency for basic research in Natural Sciences, Technology, Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences at Swedish HEIs. VR signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2005 and adopted an OA mandate in 2010. Researchers receiving grants from VR must either publish their journal articles in electronic journals in open access (the mandate does not apply to monographs and book chapters). Alternatively, they have to archive the article in an open institutional or disciplinary repository immediately after, or within at most 6 (Natural Sciences, technology and Medicine) or 12 (Educational Sciences or Humanities and Social Sciences) months, of its publication in a traditional journal. Since 2015 only OA publications can be reported in the project reporting form for VR funded research. Starting in 2017, researchers who pay for APCs (Article Processing Charges) with funding from VR are required to publish their outputs with a CC BY licence. Formas adopted an OA mandate in 2010, and in 2011 Forte did likewise. These mandates align to a large extent with the VR mandate. Other councils have not yet adopted any OA mandates.Formas recommends the projects being funded by Formas to make the research data and meta-data openly available, as long as it does not conflict with the national Data Protection Act.A number of public and private actors funding research and development have OA mandates. The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences - Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) – in 2010 adopted an OA mandate, demanding to make research publications open access within 12 months of publication. The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation have been including an open access mandate in their grant policies since 2010. This private foundation is an important funder for research, research networks and equipment in the Technical, Natural Sciences and Biomedical fields. In 2011, the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies also adopted an OA mandate.

    • Key networks and aggregators

      • Almost all universities and major university colleges have open access repositories for publications. Available full-text contents include doctoral and licentiate theses, journal articles, conference papers, reports, books and book chapters. There are approximately 40 repositories in Sweden registered in OpenDOAR. The majority of Swedish research publication repositories are members of a consortium based on DiVA, developed and run by Uppsala University. Others, like Gothenburg University, Karolinska Institutet, Chalmers Technical University and Malmö University, have implemented open source software like DSpace or created their own institutional repositories. The repositories include meta-data from all the academic publications of the institution and have been created to meet the needs of research evaluation and visibility.

        Most of the records from the HEIs’ local repositories are harvested and can be found in the Swepub search service run by the National Library of Sweden. Swepub is the national publication database, which is also developing services for national analyses and bibliometric data, e.g. statistics on open access publishing in Sweden.

      Data repositories

      There are four national data centres registered in the re3data database. Two of these collect climate and environmental data (Environment Climate Data, ECDS and Bolin Centre Database), one is for the Life Sciences (National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden (NBIS)), and one, the Swedish National Data Service (SND), is a service organisation for researchers within the Humanities, Social Sciences and Health Sciences. SND, hosted by Gothenburg University, is a national resource that facilitates access to new and existing research data from researchers in Sweden and internationally . SND also provides support to researchers in Sweden throughout the process of data management. Some of the HEIs like the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Lund University and Stockholm University, have already adopted or are planning to adopt a local strategy for managing and storing research data. Also, some HEIs are already using their local database or DiVA for storing small datasets.

      Another national infrastructure for research data is SNIC, the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing. SNIC provides resources and user support for large scale computation and data storage to meet the needs of researchers from all scientific disciplines and from all over Sweden. Also, SUNET, the Swedish University Computer Network, provides Swedish HEIs with access to national and international data communication, national academic identity infrastructure and related services. For instance, SUNET has signed a consortium agreement with ORCID Inc, so that all libraries and research organisations in Sweden have access to ORCID’s technical system.

      National publishing initiatives

      National agreements with publishers

      The Bibsam Consortium drives the transition to open access by combining open access and licensing in negotiations with international publishers of scientific research. The goal is to redirect the payment flows from a subscription based to an open access publishing system, to reach transparency and to monitor the total costs of scientific publications, and to facilitate open access to scholarly publications. There are currently fourteen agreements where an open access parameter is included as e.g. discount, offsetting or “big deal”. Also, an open access clause is included in all multi-year e-journal agreements with all publishers. E.g. this clause implies that publishers shall inform the Consortium of any alternative business models, including but not limited to models taking into account both subscription journals and Author Processing Charges for open access publishing in hybrid journals.

      OA books

      Kriterium is a portal for review, publication and dissemination of high-quality academic books, in accordance with the principles for open access. Kriterium is a new quality label for Swedish academic books. To receive the Kriterium stamp of approval, all publications will undergo stringent peer review according to set guidelines. All books with the Kriterium label will be freely available through open access, in print as well as online

    • For all communication and support activities, please visit the swedish open access website: www.openaccess.se

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