Elsevier and the Finnish Consortium Collaborate on the Open Access Agreement

Elsevier has been having disputes with several universities across the globe, such as Germany, South Korea and now Finland. Recently, Elsevier and South Korean universities entered into an agreement to gain access to ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s database of journals. The Finnish Consortium, FinELib, comprising universities, research institutions, and public libraries in Finland, have followed the South Korean universities. Elsevier and FinELib, jointly issued a press release outlining two exciting goals. In their three-year agreement, Elsevier and the Finnish consortium are:

  • Providing Finnish academic organizations to Elsevier’s extensive research collection.
  • Encouraging Finnish researchers to open access publish their articles in Elsevier’s journals by providing discounts.

Let us review the agreement between Elsevier and Finnish researchers.

Gaining Subscription Access

This agreement of the Science Direct Freedom Collection allows 13 Finnish universities, 11 research institutions, and 11 universities of applied sciences, and grants subscription access to around 1,850 journals on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect. These journals include over 1,500 Elsevier owned hybrid-journals and over 100 full open access journals. Elsevier society-owned titles (e.g., Cell) published by Elsevier are not included. Another bonus is Elsevier’s citation impact, which is “30 percent above market average .”

According to reports, Finnish research published by Elsevier increased by 37.5 percent between 2011 and 2015. However, the total number of Finnish articles published grew by 15.8 percent during that same period. These numbers demonstrate the value Finnish scientists attach to publishing in Elsevier’s high-quality journals.

Encouraging Open Access Publishing with Discounts

As for publishing open access, Elsevier’s Your Guide to Publishing Open Access states that open access allows FinELib-associated entities to access “published research, combined with clear guidelines for readers to share and use the content.” Gino Ussi, Executive Vice President of Elsevier, explained that the Finnish research community and Elsevier collaborated to aim at improving the already high standard of Finnish research. They wish to achieve this by paving the way for open access publishing and leveraging the full potential of Elsevier’s ScienceDirect platform.  They believe this will improve the way researchers search, discover, read, understand and share scholarly research.

To encourage researchers even more, FinELib states that the Open Access agreement offers researchers a new opportunity to publish their articles. They will also be provided a 50% discount on article processing charges (APC). This discount is available for all corresponding authors in organizations that are parties to the agreement. The discount is offered for articles published in over 1,500 subscription journals and over 100 full open access journals. Researchers may check the FinELib website for more information.

Enriching the Academic Finnish Community

FinELib and Elsevier have enriched the Finnish community by bringing all necessary resources together to succeed. Keijo Hämäläinen, the main FinELib agreement coordinator and Rector at the University of Jyväskylä, explained that Elsevier’s high-quality scientific, technical and medical research publications have significant value for Finnish researchers. It would help them to stay in competition with the scientific community globally. Continued subscription access at competitive rates has therefore been a key priority for us. Hämäläinen also stated that they are very pleased with Elsevier taking concrete steps to support our open access goals. With this new development, the Finnish research community and Elsevier are providing options for authors to publish open access.

The agreement is an important development on the dispute of Elsevier with the different universities. In case you have missed the previous updates on this dispute, you can check the infamous events that made academia headlines in 2017 (part 1).”

How beneficial do you think this collaboration would prove for the Finnish researchers? Do you think other universities should form similar collaboration with Elsevier? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.





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