Open Access to research publications started in the late 90s and has been driven by the university library sector and the National Library through the Swedish OpenAccess.se programme through which an active and multi-faceted OA programme is managed. Most of the higher education establishments have OA repositories but there is little OA publishing.

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 (www.norden.org).

In 2014, under the advice of the government, the Swedish Research Council produced a proposal for guidelines for both scientific publications/artistic works and research data (Proposals for National Guidelines for Open Access to Scientific Information). The proposal, which also contains recommendations on what needs to be further investigated, was submitted to the Government 15 January 2015.

As of July 2015, there are 63 OA journals published in Sweden which are indexed in DOAJ. Currently, 11 OA policies are registered in ROARMAP.

Enabling Environment:

Swedish Association of Higher Education (SUHF) signed the Berlin Declaration in 2004 and urged its 42 members to adopt OA policies. It Blekinge Institute of Technology (2007), Chalmers University of Technology (2010) and Malmö University (2010) have mandatory OA policies. Universities of Lund and Stockholm have strong OA recommendation statements. OpenAccess.se coordinates a variety of OA initiatives. Various European initiatives e.g.UKCORR (UK Council of Research Repositories) and OpenAIRE network provide support.

Major Projects/Initiatives:

OpenAccess.se programme is a national OA initiative run by the National Library in partnership with the Association of Swedish Higher Education, the Swedish Research Council, the Royal Swedish Academy of the Sciences, the Swedish Knowledge Foundation and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. 

Publication database SwePub: currently hosts ~ 60 000 Swedish Publications.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
DOAJ is maintained by Lund University. It aims to make available information on OA scientific and scholarly journals through its comprehensive coverage of all OA journals with valid issn, that use a quality control system (peer-reviewed or editorially) to guarantee the content . Registration access to all journal content is free. 

Contact: Director, Lund University Libraries, Box 134 SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden; e-mail: publicera(at)lub.lu.se

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

Sweden's New Research Bill: The Swedish Government has decided to give a mandate to the research funders Swedish Research Council Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency, Formas and the Swedish National Space Board to develop a basis for the Government prior to the research policy bill, which is to be presented in Autumn 2016. The documnet is intended to be reported to the Government by 25 October, 2015.

Swedish Research Council, Royal Swedish Academy, Swedish Association for Information Specialists, Stockholm University, National Library of Sweden. Swedish Research Council, Swedish Library Association (SLA) and SUHF have signed the Berlin declaration. The impact of this is much wider with SUHR recommending OA to its 41 member institutions and the SLA membership of almost 4 000. The OpenAccess.se programme holds OA mandates for providing information and advice; development of infrastructure and services and coordination of OA policy.

Government Funding Councils:

Swedish Research Council, 2010
Overview: The Swedish Research Council is a government agency that provides funding for basic research of the highest scientific quality in all disciplinary domains with the aim of making Sweden a leading research nation. The organisation funds research and develops strategy, analysis, and research communication. The Council aims to achieve effective funding of research  through identifying strategic areas for research; communication between research and society; making research accessible and available to sectors where they can be best used; provision of advice to government on research matters; promoting gender perspectives in research; promoting national and international collaboration.
OA mandate: Peer-reviewed publications and conference paper outcomes of research funded by SRC to be deposited within 6 months of publication in OA archives. This does not apply to monographs or book chapters.

Communication address Västra Järnvägsgatan 3 Box 1035, SE-101 38 Stockholm; Tel +46(0)8-546 44 000; Fax: +46(0)8-546 44 180

Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS)
OA mandate: Peer-reviewed publications and conference paper outcomes of research funded by SRC to be deposited within 6 months of publication in OA archives. This does not apply to monographs or book chapters.

Communication address: Formas, The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, P.O. Box 1206

SE -111 82 Stockholm, Visitors: Kungsbron 21. Tel: Phone +46 (0)8-775 40 00; Fax +46 (0)8-775 40 10.

Forte, 2011


Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)
Overview:  An independent foundation with the goal of promoting and supporting research in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
OA mandate: Requires research funded by RJ to be published in OA (since July 2011).

Communication address: Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Box 5675, SE-114 86 Stockholm. Kungsträdgårdsg. 18, Sweden; e-mail: rj(at)rj.se

Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation, 2010Technical, Natural Sciences and Biomedical fields.

The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2011

Details of Key Organizations:

Association of Higher Education (SUHF)

SUHF is a membership organisation established for institutional co-operation on a voluntary basis. All 42 universities and university colleges with research output have institutional depositaries.
SUHF aims to safeguarding the interest of the institutions and strengthening their international interests. The association addresses strategic issues as well as concrete ones through discussions and decisions. The association has direct contact to the Parliament, the Government and governmental commissions. SUHF has a strategic collaboration with the National Library, established in the Forum för Bibliotekschefer vid Svenska Universitet och Högskolor who inform them on issues e.g. access to publication archives. OA publishing is addressed through subcommittees. SUHF is a member of the OA Steering Committee.

Contact: Sveriges universitets- och högskoleförbund, Tryckerigatan 8, S-111 28 Stockholm; Tel: +46 (0)8 321388 | Fax: +46 (0)8 329370;

Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet)
The Swedish Research Council is part of Ministry of Education and Research and the largest Swedish funding agency for basic research at Swedish universities, colleges and institutes with an annual budget is around SEK 4 billion annually for first-class basic research in Sweden.
The SRC advises the government on research-policy and identifies strategic research areas and works to communicate research findings to  the public. It works through three sscientific Councils: Humanities and Social Sciences; Medicine; Natural and Engineering Sciences.
The Research Council is responsible for broadening discussion about OA and putting the subject on the agenda and as early as 2005 signed the Berlin Declaration SINCE 2010 has included an OA publication requirement from all funded researchers. This was followed by the announcement from the Swedish Research Council Formas – which funds research on sustainable development – of an OA mandate for its research.  

Contact: Swedish Research Council, Box 1035, SE-101 38 Stockholm, Sweden. e-mail: vr(at)vr.se; Tel: +46 8 546 44 000; Fax: +46 8 546 44 180.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Science (Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien)
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is an independent organisation with the aim of promoting the sciences through inter-subject research and influence research policy priorities. It works through 6 research institutes and awards the prestigious  Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the Crafoord Prize. The Academy has signed the Berlin Declaration.

Contact: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Box 50005, SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden; Visiting/Delivery address: Lilla Frescativägen 4A, SE-114 18 Stockholm. e-mail:  info@kva.se +46 8 673 95 00; Fax: +46 8 15 56 70.

National Library of Sweden
The National Library of Sweden is both a national library and national research library authority. It contains all material printed in Sweden or in Swedish since 1661 and is available to the public. Since 2010, it also houses the Department of Audiovisual Material (previously the Swedish National Archive of Recorded Sound and Moving Images) collects TV and radio programs, films and videos distributed in Sweden, Swedish music and multimedia recordings.
The National Library is also a humanities research library that purchases scholarly literature in several languages. We coordinate services and programs for all research libraries in Sweden and administer and develop LIBRIS, the national library catalog system.
It has supported the development of repositories and promoted Open Access for a number of years. It coordinates and funds the OpenAccess.se programme, run partnership with Association of Swedish Higher Education, the Swedish Research Council, the Royal Swedish Academy of the Sciences, the Swedish Knowledge Foundation and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and develops OA policy, infrastructure/user services and information to researchers. The programme has so far funded about 30 projects that have focussed on the growth of the volume and diversity of material in OA repositories; access to and use of content in OA repositories and OA journals; publishing in OA journals and the migration of Swedish scientific journals to an OA model.
The NLS also acts as the coordinating agency for the Swedish e-licensing consortium. In this role it actively promotes a development where licensing deals support Open Access publishing of Swedish researchers. 

Contact: The National Library of Sweden/Kungl. Biblioteket, Box 5039, SE-102 41 Stockholm, Sweden; Street address: Humlegården. e-mail: kungl.biblioteket(at)kb.se, Tel: +46 (0) 10 709 30 00; Fax: +46 (0) 10 709 39 25

Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives

All OA initiatives are coordinated through the Open Access.se project at the National Library of Sweden

Contact Details: Jan Hagerlid, Coordinator of the OpenAccess.se programme; e-mail: jan.hagerlid(at)kb.se; Tel: +4610 7093633.

There are 15 OA projects, some of which have now been completed. They are:

  • OER - a resource for learning
  • Model for increased usage of open digital learning resources
  • Retro digitalization of recent research in Humanities and Social sciences Open Archives and their significance in the Communication of Science
  • Complex digital objects in open archives within artistic higher education and research
  • Research Data in Humanities and Arts sciences - Open Access?
  • Open Access in the humanities and legal science. Mapping ...
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • Access to Nobel Prize awarded work – a pilot project
  • Open Access Domain models …
  • Parallel publishing of scientific articles (PAVA)
  • Aiding scientific journals towards open access publishing
  • Copyright in a new publishing environment
  • Unified access to and reporting of Swedish scientific publications
  • Automatic identification of citation in monographs in Swedish digital academic repositories

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

5 May 2015: Open Data for Academics- Keynotes and Panel Discussion; Stockholm, Sweden.

14-15 April 2015: Motesplats Open Access 2015; University of Malmö, Sweden

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).

1-2 April 2014: Annual Swedish Open Access Conference – Mötesplats Open Access in Växjö.

26 March 2014: Seminar on Open Data and Cultural Archiving;  Malmö University, Sweden

12 March 2014: Breakfast Seminar on Open Access; Molmö University, Sweden

Past and Future Projects/Initiatives

Details of completed OA projects are available and include:

  • Best Practices Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing
  • Creating OA information for researchers
  • Evaluating advantages and problems with Open Access for biomedical journals Learning objects in open archives - new demands and connections
  • Journal information for researchers - Journal Info 2.0
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) in open digital archives
  • Model for managing complex objects in open archives - from the perspective of art and design
  • Citation patterns in OA journals
  • Open Access and information provision to private businesses
  • Long-term access - from prototype to tools in operation
  • Self-archiving and decision support for researchers when publishing
  • Development of Linköping University Electronic Press Publication Service
  • Research data in Open Access repositories and University archives
  • Support for Open Access publishing for researchers
  • Open Access - tutorial for researchers
  • A portal for doctoral e-Theses in Europe : lessons learned from a demonstrator project
  • ScieCom - Swedish Resource Centre for Scientific Communication
  • Testbed for interoperability - test of a common search service for Swedish academic e-publications
  • Search service for Swedish scientific publications
  • Electronic journals - library support for publishing
  • Quality assurance of Swedish digital academic repositories through certification

Future projects include:

  • Developing a OA strategic framework to include policy and strategy at all levels;  
  • OA Knowledge Network at institutional level in order to build on and maintain key competencies;
  • Promoting OA (green and gold publishing and archives);
  • Copyright issues (guidance, service, mandate, publisher contracts);
  • Institutional embedding of repositories (Complex data models, Research data, learning Objects);
  • Quality of content and services;
  • Funding of OA publishing (financing models, migration from subscription to OA licenses);
  • Quality & evaluation tools/methods (Peer review models, Citation & usages metrics);
  • Sustainability of results/services;
  • International collaboration – direct or indirect by participation or reuse of models and experience.

List of Publications

Gilbert, J and Lindholm, J (2011) Editorial: Establishing an Open Access Culture among Researchers: Experiences and Challenges at Two Academic Organizations in Sweden 2011, Serials Review vol 37, issue 2: pp 67-69.

Hagerlid, J (2011) The role of the national library as a catalyst for an Open Access agenda: the experience in Sweden Interlending & Document Supply, vol 39, no 2: 115 – 118.

Hagerlid, J., 2007. Scholarly open access journals and libraries in  Rundkvist, M. (ed.). Scholarly journals between the past and the future.
KVHAA Konferenser 65. Stockholm.

Hedlund, T and Rabow, I (2007) Nordbib, Copenhagen.

Laakso M, Welling P, Bukvova H, Nyman L, Björk B-C, et al. (2011) The Development of Open Access Journal Publishing from 1993 to 2009. PLoS ONE 6(6): e20961. Creative Commons License.

Linde, P (2010) Beyond OA-policy Sciecom Info 2 (2010) Open Access.

Lindholm, J & Nilén, P (2011). A new open access policy for Malmö University, Sciecom Info 7, 1 (2011 ) Open Access.

Rabow, I (2008) Open access in Sweden. Sciecom Info1 (2008) Open Access.

Stange, K (2005) Library consortia and open access initiatives InfoTrend 60 (2005)4.

Stenson, L The development of Directory of Open Access Journals Sciecom Info (7), 1. Open Access.

Strategy for the openaccess.se programme 2011-2013. Adopted by the Steering Committee for OpenAccess.se at their meeting 2011-05-23. c.
Swedish Research Council (2010). Decision on open access.

Thorsteinsdóttir, S (2010) OA Mandates and the Nordic Countries  Sciecom Info, (6), 1. Open Access.

Waaijers, L and Kværndrup, H.M.  (2009) Evaluation of OpenAccess.se, The Swedish national OA programme 2006-2009. Free Download Ebooks Documents file type pdf.



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