Nordic consortia endorse LIBER’s open access principles

LIBER, the Association of European Research Libraries, has recently published a new strategy for publisher negotiations containing five open access principles. The new strategy aligns with OA2020 and their mission outlined in ”Expression of interest in the large-scale implementation of open access to scholarly journals,” which all Nordic consortia have signed. As a consequence, the Nordic consortia would hereby jointly like to endorse LIBER’s principles and aim to meet them in negotiations. As all Nordic countries have different national open access strategies, the relevance of all LIBER’s principles may differ from country to country.


Photo: miguelb, Wikimedia Commons

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 on 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 agreements. 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.

More information

Bibsam’s statement on LIBER’s five principles
LIBER’s Five Principles for Negotiations with Publishers
OA 2020 Expression of Interest in the Large-Scale Implementation of Open Access to Scholarly Journals

Nordic Consortia

Bibsam Consortium 
Iceland Consortium 


Britt-Marie Wideberg, Coordinator, the Bibsam consortium
britt-marie.wideberg [at]