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OpenAccess.se – a National Programme for Promotion and Coordination of Open Access in Sweden

altThe programme OpenAccess.se
The national programme OpenAccess.se was started by the National Library of Sweden in 2006 as a project with the aim to promote Open Access (OA) to the works produced by researchers, teachers and students and to coordinate OA activities at Swedish institutions of higher education.
The project OpenAccess.se ran during 2006-2009 and was then evaluated positively by international experts in 2009. In 2010 it was transformed into a permanent programme addressing OA policy issues, development of infrastructure, user services and information to researchers in Sweden. The programme is today run by the National Library of Sweden in partnership with the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF), the Swedish Research Council, the Royal Swedish Academy of the Sciences, the Swedish Knowledge Foundation, and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.
The daily activities of the programme are run by a secretariat of 1.5 persons employed by the National Library and it is governed by a steering committee with representatives from the supporting organisations. It has two working groups - one for infrastructure and user services and one for information and guidance - with representatives from Swedish higher education institutions and research funders.
Activities of OpenAccess.se
The programme regularly arranges workshops on OA related issues. One of these is the yearly two-day meeting called Meeting Place Open Access for staff and researchers at Swedish higher education institutions.
The programme is running a website - openaccess.se - with information about the Swedish OA scene and a blog - openaccess.kb.se - with OA related news and room for discussions from people engaged in OA activities in Sweden.
The programme has so far funded about 40 OA related projects, details of which can be found at the programme website. Their focus of the projects has been to promote the growth of the volume and diversity of material in Swedish OA repositories and the access to and use of content in Swedish OA repositories and OA journals.

SwePub - a national publication system
One major project initiated by the programme was the creation of SwePub - a national search system for scholarly publications from Swedish higher education institutions, run by the National Library. The system can be found at the address swepub.se and today covers over half a million records harvested from the publication databases of Swedish higher education institutions. About 10 per cent of the publication records in SwePub contain links to the full text of publications deposited in open archives at Swedish higher education institutions or subject-specific repositories.

Directory of Open Access Journals
Another important service that is supported by OpenAccess.se is the Directory of Open Access Journals - DOAJ - that covers freely accessible quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals worldwide. The service that is run by the Lund University Libraries can be found at address doaj.org and today (2012) lists over 8000 OA journals. The National Library of Sweden originally co-financed the development of the service and has been one of the main sponsors for the further development and maintenance of the service since 2005.

Open Access mandates
A major achievement related to the activities of OpenAccess.se is the adoption of OA mandates from the Swedish research funding agencies. In 2010 the research funders the Swedish Research Council and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond issued OA mandates and other major Swedish research funders soon followed. Most of the mandates were developed in cooperation with OpenAccess.se. During the lifespan of the programme 17 Swedish higher education institutions have also adopted an OA policy or an OA recommendation.

A national OA policy
One of the main goals for OpenAccess.se has been to promote the creation of a national OA policy in Sweden. The steering committee of the programme sent a call for a national OA policy to the Ministry of Education in the fall 2011 and the EU commission also issued a recommendation for OA policies from the member states in the summer 2012. In the Swedish research bill for 2013-2016 presented in the fall 2012 the Swedish government commissions the Swedish Research Council to develop forms and national guidelines for OA. This can be considered as very close to a national OA policy for Sweden and thus this major goal for OpenAccess.se can be considered as to be fulfilled within the near future. 
by Ulf Kronman