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 upon 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, it states that open access plays an important role in society at large and that research and innovation to a large extent is carried out within the industry and in the business and public sectors. All stakeholders have a shared 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 and the Swedish Research Council received appropriation directives from the Swedish Government. According to directives, the National Library shall act as a national coordinating body in the work towards a transition to open access to scholarly publications and the Swedish Research Council shall coordinate the national work in establishing open access to research data. The National Library of Sweden and the Swedish Research Council shall do this in mutual consultation with each other.

In the Swedish Research Council’s report Proposal for National Guidelines for Open Access to Scientific Information (2015), a number of challenges 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. More information can be found here:

As a part of the work with the assignment, the Swedish Research Council will:

  • Contribute to and facilitate constructive discussions on research data management and research data access
  • Be policy driving in questions regarding open access to research data, e.g. concerning the production of guidelines and creating incentives
  • Work both nationally and internationally (e.g. lessons learned and cooperations)
  • Work in close cooperation with research

More information about work with the assignment can be found here:

national overview