Why are the contracts with publishers not renewed?

The national goals and guidelines for open access to scientific articles demand that all Norwegian scientific articles funded with public money should be openly accessible by 2024.

The guidelines also demand that this goal should be reached without a cost increase. Unit, who negotiate on behalf of Norwegian higher education institutions, are currently in negotiations with several academic publishers. Some publishers have not been willing to comply with Unit’s demands:

  • Immediate open access to all published articles by researchers with affiliation to one of the consortium’s participating institutions
  • Reading access to all journals for participating institutions
  • Sustainable price model, which makes the transitions to open access possible
  • Openness surrounding terms of agreement

Questions and answers about Springer Nature

When will the agreement expire?

The current consortia agreement with Springer Nature for Springer journals, expired on 31 December 2018.

To which products do we maintain access?

For the majority of journals covered by this agreement, you will still have access to all articles published prior to 1.1.2019. In addition, we maintain access to:

  • Journals from Nature and Palgrave
  • All Springer e-books
  • The databases Springer Materials, Springer Protocols and Zentralblatt MATH)
How much money is spent on Springer Nature in Norway?

The total spend within the consortium agreements with Springer Nature in 2018 was about NOK 30.2 million incl. VAT (about EUR 3,384,000 (excl VAT)); divided as follows:

  • Journals, databases and ebooks from “old” Springer (prior to merging with Palgrave and Nature): about NOK 19.45 million incl. VAT (about EUR 2,500,000 (excl VAT))
  • Content from Palgrave: about NOK 350,000 incl. VAT (about EUR 29,000 (excl VAT))
  • Nature: about NOK 10.36 million incl. VAT (about EUR 855,000 (excl VAT))
How much do Norwegian researchers publish in the journals?

In 2017 researchers affiliated with Norwegian institutions published 1,276 articles in Spinger-journals (that are part of the subscription agreement).

How much do Norwegian researchers pay to make their scientific articles open access?

Publication fees (the so-called Article Processing Charges or APCs) are paid by research funders, universities, university faculties but also by researchers themselves.

For 2017, it is estimated that these publication fees paid by the Norwegian institutions to Springer Nature amounted to about NOK 2.5 million (incl. VAT).

Will access to the journals be closed?

Based on signals from the publisher, we are prepared for a situation where access to articles in issues published from 1 January 2019 is closed. However, according to the post-termination clause of the agreement and buying of archival content, there will be access to articles in issues published during the years paid for. In practice that will encounter all content up to 1 January 2019 (with the exception of about 175 journals).

How can I access articles after 1 January 2019?

Many articles are freely accessible via parallel publishing in subject or institutional repositories. Read more about How you may find accessible scholarly articles

Please contact your library for detailed information on which access you are entitled to at your own organisation, as access to titles and articles from previous years varies at different organisations.

More information/concepts

Who are the Unit consortium?

Unit negotiates and manages 39 licensing contracts on behalf of Norwegian libraries – mainly within research, higher education, and hospitals, in the public sector. The contracts focus on access to digital resources such as, journals, referencing databases, dictionaries and encyclopedia.

Unit is also the national coordinator for open access in Norway. For more information in the Unit consortium, see their website.

What do we mean by open access?

Open access enables everyone to read, download, copy and use scientific publications – i.e. articles in scientific journals.

Open access to scientific literature is a premise for open research. Access to read scientific information increases

What is OA2020?

OA2020 is a global alliance committed to speed up the transition open access in scientific publishing. One of the measures applied to reach this goal, is converting existing scientific journals to open access journals. The fundamental principal of OA2020, supports by recent development and studies, is that the transition from a subscription based business model to a model that ensures the openness and reusability of research results is possible within current economic limits.

In Norway, Unit, NTNU, UiO, UiB, UiT and other institutions signed the OA2020 “Expression of Interest”.

What is plan S/coalition S?

Plan S is an initiative to ensure open access to scientific publications funded by national and European research councils and research funders (among these the Norwegian research council).

cOAlition S signals a commitment to ensure this open access (Plan S) within 1 January 2020, through such journals or platforms as fully support the requirements openly published scientific literature must meet.

Hybrid open publishing (paywall for articles in subscription journals) is not compatible with Plan S.

Open archives will remain essential in securing long-term access to archives and editorial innovation.

Funders will follow the development of Plan S compatible journals/platforms, and they will impose sanctions on those that are not compatible.

For more information, see the press release from the Norwegian research council.

What is Springer Nature?

Springer Nature is one of the world’s largest scientific publishers with more than 3,000 subscription and open access journals accessible via their platform Springer Link. The turnover of Springer Nature in 2017 was about EUR 1,640 million. Springer Nature is one of the largest publishers of open accessible content and is among others publishing; Scientific Reports og BioMedCentral.