Update on Elsevier negotiations

Prior to the Christmas break, a high-level meeting with Elsevier took place on December 18th at Stockholm University. This was the first meeting with Elsevier to take place since the Bibsam Consortium decided not to renew the national license agreement for Elsevier journals in July 2018, due to the publisher’s unwillingness to meet the national consortium’s demands for open access.

Representing Elsevier at the meeting were Mr Jörg Limberg (Vice President Europe), Mrs Gemma Hersh (Vice President Open Science & Policies), Dr Nick Fowler (Chief Academic Officer & Member of the Board), and Mr Jason Roof (Regional Account Director Northern Europe). Representing Sweden were concerned stakeholders from the Ministry of Education, the Swedish Research Council, the National Library, and representatives from the Bibsam Consortium’s Steering Committee.

The aim of the meeting was to discuss how to, through a transformative agreement, find a sustainable way to achieve 100% open access to articles published by researchers at Bibsam-affiliated organisations by 2020.

During the meeting, the parties agreed to start working on a Memorandum of Understanding that will set a framework of principles on how renewed negotiations can commence. It is clear however that the parties are still far from reaching an agreement.

On other countries’ negotiations with Elsevier

The Netherlands
has extended their current agreement until June 30th 2019 while negotiations continue. Read more

Germany is demanding 100% open access and reading rights without further price increases. Approximately 200 universities are without an agreement since 2016/17. Germany’s chief negotiator Prof Horst Hippler says: “We see that the transition to open access is too slow, and I am utterly upset and concerned about this”. Read more

Norway has extended their current agreement until January 31st 2019 while negotiations continue. Read more

Hungary terminated their agreement with Elsevier after December 31st 2018 since the publisher could not meet their demands for open access. Read more

For more information on termination of “big deal”-agreements around the world, the SPARC organisation is compiling a survey.