Denmark has had discussions on open access issues for many years. This has increased, culminating in the national Open Access Committee’s recommendations (2011) towards a green open access policy in the country, enhancing the visibility and recognition of research output in a relatively small country.

As of July 2015 there are 12 OA repositories registered in OpenDOAR. DOAJ indexes 37 OA journals. But several universities now use OJS and have built journal collections, including also older institutional journals: Aalborg University (6 journals), Roskilde University (14 journals), Copenhagen Business School, (11 journals). State and University Library (34 journals).

In June 2014, the Danish government announced its national strategy for Open Access. The main goals of this national OA strategy are:

Green Open Access: By 2017, 80% of all peer-reviewed research articles produced by Danish research institutions and published in 2016 to be made available in OA from repositories and from 2022, 100% of all peer-reviewed research articles produced by Danish research institutions and published in 2021 to be made available in OA from repositories.

29 January, 2014: The Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) introduced an Open Access mandate which applies to all written publications published by the NCM from 1 June 2014 onwards. The mandate and its effectiveness is to be evaluated annually by the NCM. In a second step, planned to be initiated during 2014, the Open Access mandate will be further developed and made applicable also to all written publications funded or co-funded by NCM grants or under NCM contracts. It was recommended that all written publications published by the NCM are published with a Creative Commons license, preferably CC-BY or CC-BY SA. This mandate applies to the NCM secretariatNordForsk, Nordic InnovationNordic Energy ResearchNordicomNordic School of Public HealthNordregio, and Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues. The Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) is a publically funded co-operation between the governments of the Nordic countries (

Currently, 8 OA policies are registered in ROARMAP.

Enabling Environment:

Although there are institutional mandates at almost all universities the Berlin Declaration has been signed only by few Danish institutions: The Royal Library (2005), Roskilde University (2006), Copenhagen Business School (2008), Denmark’s Electronic Research Library (2008), The Danish Council for Independent Research (2011) and Aalborg University (2012).

The Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF), the Danish Council for Strategic Research, the Danish National Research Foundations, the Danish Advanced Technology Foundation, and the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation all want to establish Open Access as the standard in scientific publishing and therefore demands green Open Access. Embargoes from 6-12 months are allowed. Open Access policy for public research councils and foundations 

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education has through the Danish Agency for Research and Innovation focus on Open Science covering the work of implementing Open Access to research publications in the form of scientific peer-reviewed articles, as well as preserving and ensuring access to research data. In 2009 an Open Access Committee, ten members of the country’s library, research and academic communities, were tasked with developing an OA strategy and compliance with Council of the European Union Council’s conclusions on scientific knowledge in the digital age. The OA Committee recommendations (2011) include establishing a national OA policy; a green OA policy with quality assurance in conjunction with scientific publishers; promoting OA in all scientific, research and academic institutions; establishing one common national research database; developing activities within EU.

Potential Barriers:

  • Still insufficient awareness of OA amongst individual researchers.
  • Still uncertainty on OA models amongst researchers and still uncertainty on the funding.
  • No universities have an OA fund (Copenhagen Business School did plan to have one, but refrained).

Major Projects/Initiatives:

Denmark's Electronic Research Library (DEFF) is collaborating in Knowledge Exchange (KE), along with JISC (UK), SURFfoundation (Netherlands) and DFG (Germany) - Open Access is one of the main subjects in the DEFF strategy 2012-2016: “Libraries as catalysts for the development of Denmark as an innovative society”. OpenAIRE

The Danish Open Access Network: A network with representatives from all the universities in Denmark. The purpose of the network is to share experience and knowledge about Open Access and disseminate information on Open Access. The network has been supported by Denmark’s Electronis Research library (DEFF), but funding has ended 2013 and the future is undecided.

Current OA-related project: The Open Access Barometer. A DEFF financed project. (Symposium 2. December 2013). Support Open Access Publishing (DEFF project) ORCID/DK (DEFF project) Publication strategies (DEFF project)

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

The above mentioned Danish Agency for Research and Innovation (former Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation) and Denmark’s Electronic Research Library appointed the Open Access Committee in 2009 for the purpose of providing suggestions on how the EU Council’s recommendations on Open Access could be implemented.The Committee published their final report in 2011 titled: Recommendations for Implementation of Open Access in Denmark. In this report 16 recommendations are outlined. The first and basic recommendation says: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation establishes an official Danish Open Access policy. This is indeed expected within short time now phrased on the basis of green Open Access.

7 out of 8 Danish universities have Open Access policies, although not all policies are officially released. In general they are, however, more of a declaration of intent, and not being strict mandatory, apart from Technical University of Denmark and Aalborg University, both being mandatory.

Details of Key Organizations:

Danish Agency for Research and Innovation

Overview: Serves and oversees a wide range of independent councils, commissions and committees which support and advise on research and innovation. It is the lead agent for the OA recommendations.

Denmark’s Electronic Research Library (DEFF): 

Technical University of Denmark, DTU, participates in the FP7 project OpenAIRE and is a member of the Open Access working group under the international collaboration of Knowledge Exchange between Holland, the UK, Germany and Denmark.

The Royal Library, Roskilde University, Copenhagen Business School, State and University Library.

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

May 2015: Young Alliance Against Cancer (Denmark): “Leveraging open science to facilitate interdisciplinary cancer research.” This was a FOSTER-supported training programme organized in partnership with EIFL with the aim of setting in place sustainable mechanisms for EU researchers to Foster Open Science. This was one of the 24 training programmes organized in 2015 for the the research communities of 17 other EU countries.

27 October 2014: Open Access Seminar for Research Administrators; Aarhus University Library, Aarhus, Denmark.

14-15 August, 2014: 'What is the Status of Open Access to Research Data in the Nordic Countries?' To increase and exchange knowledge about the respective Nordic countries’ views on Open Access, NordForsk invited representatives of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the European Commission to a workshop on 14-15 August to discuss Open Access to research data. Workshop participants were: Hanne-Louise Kirkegaard (Ministry of Higher Education and Science in Denmark), Sami Niinimäki (Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland), Jurki Hakapää (Academy of Finland),  Ásdís Jónsdóttir (Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in Iceland), Roar Skålin (Research Council of Norway), Anna Wetterbom (Swedish Research Council), Leif Laaksonen (Research Data Alliance Europe (RDA) Project coordinator, Finland), Tómas Jóhannesson (Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Nordic Centre of Excellence SVALI), Johanna Ekström (Nordic Biobanking and Molecular Resource Infrastructure (BBMRI Nordic)), Gudmund Høst (Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC)), Riita Mustonen (NordForsk), Anni Hellman (European Commission).

21-26 June 2014: Euroscience Open Forum 2014; Copenhagen, Denmark.

A number of OA projects have been completed with the support of Nordbib: Aiding scientific journals towards open access publishing; An e-print archive for Nordic arts and humanities; Development of information environment architecture for Nordic countries; Networks and knowledge dissemination in Nordic Asian study institutions; ScieCom Info - Nordic-Baltic forum for scientific communication (finished & extended);  OA-barometer 2009; License to Publish : promoting Open Access and authors' rights in the Nordic social sciences and humanities; Networks and knowledge dissemination in Nordic Asian study institutions - phase 2. 

A final project was launched in 2009 with the title "Retrodigitization of common Nordic scholarly journals." This project will target journals that are truly Nordic in nature and digitalise them into an Open Access context and attempt to use Creative Commons as a means of negotiating potential rights issues.

Danish Open Access Network has just been funded for another year from October 2011 – October 2012.

Public Access to research was funded by DEFF in 2007 – 2008 to raise awareness of OA-policies and self-archiving.

There is an active OA Committee who recently reported upon OA implementation and made recommendations (2011) for future OA work The report is under revision and together with a proposed national OA strategy for Denmark, will be presented for government consideration in December 2011

List of Publications

Price, A. Open Access in Denmark Sciecom Info 2 (2014)

Open Access Committee (2011) Recommendations for implementation of Open Access in Denmark: Final Report. Danish Agency for Libraries and Media / Denmark's Electronic Research Library in collaboration with the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

DOAJ (2011) The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing
Dorch, B and  Christensen-Dalsgaard, B  (2008) Open access in Denmark ScieCominfo Vol 4, No 1 2008.
Duke and Jordan Ltd (2009) Evaluation of Nordbib: Final report to the Board June 2009. Undertaken on behalf of the partner organsiations.
Elbæk, M.K. (2009) From Repository Manager Workshop to a Danish OA network: a report from the Danish OA day 31. March 2009
Sciecominfo, 2, 2009.

Houghton, J.(2009): Cost and benefits of alternative publishing models: Denmark. DEFF.

Houghton, J. (2009): Open Access - What are the economic benefits? A comparison of United Kingdom, Netherlands and Denmark. Knowledge Exchange.

Houghton, J., Swan, A. and Brown, S. (2011): Access to research and technical information in Denmark

Mikkelsen, L (2011) Central Open Access activities in Denmark ScieCominfo Vol 7, No 2 2011.

Mikkelsen, L (2010) Recommendations for implementation of Open Access in Denmark – extraction of comments from the hearing process ScieCom info Vol 6, No 4 2010.

Price, A (2009) Danish Open Access Network (DOAN) - A new Open Access network established ScieCominfo Vol 5, No 3 2009.

Sivertsen, G. and Larsen, B. (2012): Forskningsformidling i danske tidsskrifter (The dissemination of research in Danish journals). 

Thorsteinsdóttir, S (2010) OA Mandates and the Nordic Countries  ScieCominfo, Vol 6 No 1 2010.



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