Swiss researchers to lose access to prestigious journals over open access

Failure to reach a deal with Springer Nature means that researchers will not be able to read over 2,100 titles. Keystone / Martin Ruetschi

Negotiations over a contract with academic publisher Springer Nature have failed over the issue of open access and costs leaving researchers without access from January 2020.  

This content was published on December 18, 2019 - 17:48
swissinfo.ch/ac

On Monday, swissuniversities (the umbrella organisation for universities in the country) announced that it had not been able to reach a “Read & Publish” deal with Springer Nature, the world’s largest academic publisher best known for its journal “Nature”.  

A Read and Publish agreement would mean paying a fixed sum to the publisher for allowing Swiss researchers access to articles as well as the right to publish their articles in journals in open access format. Without this agreement, universities would be charged a separate fee for the latter known as Article Publishing Charges (APC). Annual fees on such agreements can increase by 3% to 6%, according to swissuniversities.  

Failure to reach a deal with Springer Nature means that researchers will not be able to read over 2,100 titles.  

“Based on what I see from the debates on Twitter, Swiss researchers accept that there will be some obstacles but overall they feel it is good for the promotion of open access,” Josefa Haas, head of communications at swissuniversities told swissinfo.ch.  

Negotiations with other major academic publishers have been more promising. Elsevier has agreed to a Read and Publish agreement for 2020 while Wiley has accepted one for 2021 (negotiations are ongoing for 2020). In total, Switzerland spent €22.4 million (CHF24.5 million excluding tax) in 2019 on access to scientific journals and APC. 


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