Elsevier and Norwegian consortium sign a €9 million open access deal

Elsevier and Norwegian consortium sign a €9 million open access deal

Elsevier, one of the leading academic publishers, has signed a new open access deal with the Norwegian consortium of universities and research institutions. The €9 million (around US $10 million) pilot agreement will allow Norwegian researchers to publish in an open access format in most of Elsevier’s journals. This agreement comes a month after the Norwegian consortium announced that they will not renew their agreement with Elsevier.

Under the two-year pilot license, researchers at 7 universities and 39 research institutions in Norway will gain access to articles published in over 2,500 Elsevier journals and at the same time publish their articles in an open access format. According to a Norwegian open access website, the deal will ensure that Norwegian researchers can publish in an open access format in nearly 90% of Elsevier’s journals. However, around 400 journals owned by academic associations as well as those by third party publications like The Lancet and Cell Press are excluded from the agreement.  

Roar Olsen, director general of the Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research (Unit), which represents the institutions said, “We are very pleased to have signed this groundbreaking pilot agreement that enables Norwegian researchers to read and publish in the vast majority of Elsevier’s high quality journals.”

Several European Union nations like Germany and Sweden as well as the University of California have made similar demands to combine the cost of accessing paywalled articles and publishing in open access models. However, the negotiations to strike such a deal failed, due to which the consortia of these nations terminated their contracts with Elsevier.

We look forward to continuing to support Norwegian researchers” said Gino Ussi, Executive Vice President at Elsevier and added that the deal gave “fair value to both sides.”

Norway’s deal with Elsevier has given a new direction to the open access conversation and it remains to be seen whether more countries show interest in signing deals like this in the future.

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