May 22, 2022

Sweden: Bibsam Consortium Decides Not to Renew Contract with Elsevier

From a Bibsam News Released (also posted on the Blog):

In order to take steps towards the goal of immediate open access by 2026 set by the Swedish Government, the Bibsam Consortium has after 20 years decided not to renew the agreement with the scientific publisher Elsevier. To be able to make the necessary transition from a subscription-based to an open access publishing system the Bibsam Consortium requires:

Immediate open access to all articles published in Elsevier journals by researchers affiliated to participating organisations
– Reading access for participating organisations to all articles in Elsevier’s 1,900 journals
– A sustainable price model that enables a transition to open access


The agreement will be cancelled 30th of June

Elsevier has not been able to present a model that meets the demands of the Bibsam Consortium and the current agreement will not be renewed after 30th of June.

Swedish researchers publish approximately 4 000 articles per year in Elsevier journals. In 2017 € 1,3 million was spent on article processing charges, on top of the  € 12 million that organisations spend on licensing fees for reading the Elsevier content.


Researchers from participating organisations will continue to have access to articles published during 1995-2017 according to the post termination terms in the current agreement, however the publisher will not give access to new subscription-based content that is published after June 30th on the publisher’s platform.

About the Bibsam Consortium

Since 1996 the National Library of Sweden negotiates license agreements for electronic information resources on behalf of Swedish universities, university colleges, governmental agencies and research institutes. 85 organisations participate in at least one of the 68 agreements and the total turnover 2017 was € 35 million [$41.2 million/USD].

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

See Also: Two New Articles: “National Licence Negotiations Advancing the Open Access Transition” – Views from Sweden and UK (April 24, 2018)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.