January 22, 2021

New Research Article: “Swedish Researchers’ Responses to the Cancellation of the Big Deal with Elsevier”

The article linked to below was published online today by Insights.

Title

Swedish Researchers’ Responses to the Cancellation of the Big Deal with Elsevier

Authors

Lisa Olsson
Stockholm University Library

Camilla Lindelöw
National Library of Sweden

Lovisa Österlund
Linköping University Library

Frida Jakobsson
Karolinska Institutet University Library

Source

Insights 33 (1): 25.
DOI: 10.1629/uksg.521

Abstract

 In 2018, the Swedish library consortium, Bibsam, decided to cancel big deal subscriptions with Elsevier. Many researchers (n = 4,221) let their voices be heard in a survey on the consequences of the cancellation. Almost a third of them (n = 1,241) chose to leave free-text responses to the survey question ‘Is there anything you would like to add?’. A content analysis on these responses resulted in six themes and from these, three main conclusions are drawn. First, there is no consensus among researchers on whether the cancellation was for good or evil. The most common argument in favour of the cancellation was the principle. The most common argument against cancellation was that it harms researchers and research. A third of the free-text responses expressed ambivalence towards the cancellation, typically as a conflict between wanting to change the current publishing system and simultaneously suffering from the consequences of the cancellation. The general support for open access in principle reveals a flawed publishing system, as most feel the pressure to publish in prestigious journals behind paywalls in practice. Second, it was difficult for researchers to take a position for or against cancellation due to their limited knowledge of the ongoing work of higher education institutions and library consortia. Finally, there are indications that the cancellation made researchers reflect on open access and to some extent alter their publication pattern through their choice of copyright licence and publication channel.

Direct to Full Text Article

Also Available: Survey Data – Researcher Responses

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Share