The ongoing debate between universities and publishers on open access

Swissuniversities released this statement concerning its ongoing negotiations with major academic publishers for the promotion and adoption of open access practices

The 2019 round of negotiations between swissuniversities and Elsevier, Springer-Nature and Wiley came to an end on 13 December 2019. The results are as follows:

  • Access to content published by Wiley will remain unchanged in 2020. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with this publisher, and negotiations will continue in 2020 with the aim to conclude a “Read & Publish” contract in 2021.
  • Access to Elsevier content in 2020 is guaranteed by the signature of a “Read & Publish” contract announced for March 2020.We will inform you concerning the “Publish” conditions of this contract, which should allow you to publish your articles with Elsevier in Open Access.
  • No contract with Springer-Nature.The parties have left the negotiating table without a result. From January 2020, and until further notice, Swiss universities will no longer have an agreement with Springer Nature (non-contractual status).

The non-renewal of the contract with Springer Nature could at some point imply a lack of access to works published after January 2020 (previous publications will remain accessible). However, it is worth noting that researchers from Dutch and German universities have continued to have access to publications in the past, despite facing a similar contract discontinuation situation. Furthermore, swissuniversities argues that experience abroad has shown that the publication of research results is guaranteed even without a contract.

The worst-case scenario would certainly limit the access to literature but should not fundamentally hinder your research and teaching activities. Indeed, a series of options exist that provide access to scientific resources. swissuniversities has compiled a list in collaboration with the consortium of Swiss university libraries and is available as a factsheet. swissuniversities points out that “the illegal clandestine library Sci-Hub is not mentioned, even if its private use is authorised in Switzerland”.

Follow the link to view this great resource!