The FinELib consortium is renegotiating its agreements with two major publishers, Wiley and Taylor & Francis. Current agreements will expire on 31 Dec 2018.
FinELib’s goal in the negotiations is to enable the consortium members to have access to scholarly journals and their researchers to publish open access without increasing the consortium’s total costs. Unfortunately both of the Taylor & Francis and Wiley want to increase these costs significantly. Depending on how the negotiations proceed, these potential outcomes could materialize:
What are the negotiations about?
FinELib wants to achieve transformative agreements and transfer the licensing costs to open access publishing. Currently the FinELib consortium pays several million euros to access Taylor & Francis’ and Wiley’s journals. The publishers require that a lot of new money is put into the system to include open access publishing, but the FinELib consortium does not see this as a fair or sustainable solution.
“The change towards open access must be quick, and achieved with cost neutral agreements. The Finnish university rectors cannot recommend the renewal of agreements that do not achieve these goals. We expect publishers to work with us on this issue”, says Seppo Parkkila, the vice rector of the University of Tampere, and the chair of FinELib’s strategy group for negotiations.
A global change toward open access
Enabling publishing in hybrid journals via the consortium agreements is FinELib’s goal for a transition period only. The ultimate goal is a publishing system, where subscription and hybrid journals have evolved to fully open journals. Open access gives research more visibility and the shared knowledge benefits the entire society, both in Finland and worldwide. This goal is shared globally by an increasing number of countries, research funders, and universities, as has been seen recently, for example, in the Plan S statement, the Berlin Open Access conference, China’s support to Plan S and the University of California’s and Sweden’s negotiations with publishers.
FinELib’s current contracts with Taylor & Francis and Wiley will expire on December 31, 2018. As that date approaches, the FinELib consortium members are preparing for various scenarios to provide scholars access to necessary articles with minimal disruption or delay, regardless of what happens with the negotiations.
China backs bold plan to tear down journal paywalls (Nature, 05.12.2018)