Swiss national contract negotiations with academic publishers

This webpage provides you with updated information regarding the negotiations with the main scientific publishers.

  Latest information for each publisher

JAN 2023 | Transformative agreement signed with ACS for 2023-2025

EPFL affiliated corresponding authors can publish in Open Access at no cost in full gold and hybrid ACS journals , in addition to a full access to all ACS publications.

During the contract term (2023-2025), the number of Open Access articles taken in charge is restricted at a national level (138 articles in 2023, 177 in 2024, and 216 in 2025). If this quota is reached, a reduced APC ($3000) will apply.

All the articles published in the framework of SNSF-funded projects are excluded from this agreement. However, they will be charged to authors at a reduced rate ($3,000).

DEC 2021 | Transformative agreement signed with AIP for 2022-2024

Starting in January 2022, EPFL affiliated authors will publish in Hybrid Open Access journals at no cost. EPFL community will have an unlimited access to journals and their backfiles.

During the contract term, the number of Open Access articles taken in charge is restricted at a national level (2022:136, 2023:140, and 2024:142 publications, respectively). If in any year the maximum number of articles included in the agreement is exceeded, or if the eligibility of the authors has not been validated by EPFL, the publishing invoice will be directly sent to authors.

DEC 2020 | Read & Publish agreement with Cambridge University Press (2021-2023)

In the frame of the agreement with Cambridge University Press, the Open Access publication in 330 Hybrid and 40 Gold Open Access journals from the Full Collection will be at no cost for EPFL affiliated authors. The EPFL community will also have an access to the Full Collection (403 titles).

DEC 2023 | No contract (yet) with Elsevier for a new Read and Publish agreement from 2024

The negotiations with Elsevier, started early 2023, have not yet resulted in a mutually acceptable Read and Publish agreement, which meet the requirements of swissuniversities.

While the negotiation team continues its effort to find a solution with the publishers, the EPFL Library in coordination with the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries is preparing for a scenario without agreement as of 2024, given that the current contract will end on December 31st.

  • Publishing options
    All articles submitted before 31 December 2023 will be still eligible for being published Open Access under the conditions of the current agreement with Elsevier for 2023 (i.e. you will not have to pay any APC).
    In 2024, publishing in Elsevier’s hybrid and Gold Open Access journals will remain possible for EPFL researchers. However, the usual benefits under the current agreement may not apply. We will provide further information about Open Access publishing options as soon as it is available.

    The APC of articles submitted to Gold Open Access journals after 31 December 2023 can be reimbursed under the same conditions of the Gold Open Access fund (however the limitation of 2 articles per laboratory won’t apply).
    The APC will be reimbursed until 30.06.2024. The situation will then be reassessed according to developments in the negotiations.
    The APC of articles submitted to hybrid journals remain not eligible for reimbursment with the Library Open Access fund.

  • Reading options
    Publishers usually grant a grace period. Hence, reading access might not be disabled immediately. However, access to new journal content from 2024 onwards may be restricted.
    Please check our factsheet to find out more information about alternatives routes to access articles.

APR 2020 | Read & Publish agreement with Elsevier (2020-2023)

The first transformative agreement Read & Publish with the publisher Elsevier has been nationally negotiated by swissuniversities and signed by Swiss institutions for 4 years (2020-2023). EPFL affiliated authors can now publish in Open Access at no cost in more than 2,000 hybrid and fully Gold Open Access journals. EPFL community will have an unlimited access to Elsevier articles.
More information


DEC 2019 | Negotiations with Elsevier

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Elsevier for the conclusion of a Read & Publish agreement that will be valid from January 2020. swissuniversities supports the agreed framework conditions. The contract will be fully negotiated between the parties by the end of March 2020. 

DEC 2021 | Transformative agreements signed with IEEE for 2022-2024

The agreement includes read access to the IEEE Electronic Library (Journals, Conference Proceedings and Standards) plus 44 APC tokens per year to publish in Gold Open Access Journals, in total 132 APC tokens for the 37-months agreement. The yearly APC tokens can be used by all swiss licence participants on a first come, first serve basis. If they are not used up in one year they will be transferred to the next year.

DEC 2021 | Transformative agreements signed with IOP for 2022-2024

From January 2022, EPFL affiliated authors can publish in Hybrid Open Access journals at no cost, and no limit in 57 titles within IOPscience extra plus 18 fully OA titles. EPFL community will also have access to 84 titles within IOPscience extra plus 18 fully OA titles.

APR 2021 | Read & Publish agreement with Wiley

A transformative agreement Read & Publish has been signed by swissuniversities with academic publisher John Wiley & Sons. For 4 years (2021-2024), EPFL affiliated authors can publish in Hybrid Open Access at no cost in 1’396 Wiley journals and have an unlimited access to 1’474 titles available on https://www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/.
More information


DEC 2020 | Ongoing negotiations with Wiley

Despite mutual efforts, the current negotiations between swissuniversities and academic publisher John Wiley & Sons have not resulted in a Read & Publish agreement. At the end of November, the negotiating parties decided to continue negotiations at the beginning of 2021. Access for current licenses of Wiley Journals and the Cochrane Library will be maintained until the negotiations are concluded.


DEC 2019 | Negotiations with Wiley

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Wiley for the conclusion of a Read & Publish agreement for 2021. Negotiations with Wiley will continue in 2020. Institutions that already have a license agreement with Wiley have been offered an extension on unchanged terms for one year.

JAN 2023 | New transformative agreements with OUP (2023-2024)

During the two-year contract (2023-2024), Open Access publication in OUP hybrid journals will be at no cost for EPFL affiliated corresponding authors. The number of articles covered by the agreement is limited at the national level (298 articles in 2023, 304 in 2024).
The EPFL community will also have an access to the OUP Full Collection.


DEC 2022 | Access to OUP 2022 content open to the EPFL community

As part of the negotiations for a transformative agreement starting in 2023, access to Oxford University Press 2022 content is once again open to members of the EPFL community.


MAY 2022 | No-deal with Oxford University Press

We invite EPFL researchers to check and use effective alternatives put in place by EPFL Library to legally access publications no longer available through OUP. Please note that continuing access is guaranteed for articles published up to the end of 2021.

The negotiations for a Transformative Agreement started two years ago. The Consortium of Swiss University Libraries regrets that due to different requirements regarding prices and conditions, it was not possible to find a solution that satisfies all needs. In addition, whether in terms of cost neutrality or Open Access conditions for the benefit of the authors, this agreement does not meet swissuniversities’ requirements.

We will keep you posted on any new developments.

More information


JAN 2022 | Ongoing negotiations with Oxford University Press

Despite mutual efforts, the current negotiations with academic publisher Oxford University Press have not resulted in a satisfying Read & Publish agreement in line with swissuniversities recommendations. At the end of December, the negotiating parties decided to continue talks at the beginning of 2022.

For now, access for current licenses of Oxford University Press will be maintained until February 2022.

We’ll keep you posted on ongoing discussions.


DEC 2021 | Ongoing negotiations with Oxford University Press

Following extensive negotiations, the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries and Oxford University Press (OUP) could not reach mutually acceptable terms towards renewing EPFL license and transitioning to a Read and Publish 2022 agreement, thus leading to a no-deal. This no-deal situation may affect EPFL researchers.

DEC 2020 | Supporting OA agreement with Scientific.net (2021)

A supporting Open Access agreement has been signed with the publisher Scientific.net, leading to a 50% discount on the APC (Article Processing Charges) for EPFL authors, in addition to a full access to all titles.

JAN 2023 | Transformative agreement with Springer Nature (2023-2025)

swissuniversities and Springer Nature have signed a second three-year Read and Publish agreement (2023-2025). This new contract covers both the Springer Compact and Nature Branded portfolios.
EPFL affiliated corresponding authors can publish in Open Access at no cost in the Springer hybrid journals, with an increasing article quota covered by the agreement (1479 articles in 2023, 1520 in 2024 and 1566 in 2025). The same applies to Nature Branded hybrid journals, although a limited article quota is available here (the quota will cover around 50% of publications in 2023, around 55% in 2024 and 60% in 2025).


JUL 2020 | Read & Publish agreement with Springer Nature (2020-2022)

A transformative agreement Read & Publish with the publisher Springer Nature has been signed by swissuniversities for 3 years (2020-2022). EPFL affiliated authors can now publish in Open Access at no cost in more than 2’000 hybrid journals and have an unlimited access to SpringerLink.
More information


MAR 2020 | Springer Nature access maintained

Access to journals published by Springer Nature will be maintained beyond 31.03.2020. Swissuniversities’ negotiations for a national Read & Publish licence are ongoing.
swissuniversities information


JAN 2020 | Springer Nature access maintained

Springer Nature maintains access to newspaper articles (Springer and Nature titles) until the end of March 2020. After this deadline, Swiss academic institutions, including EPFL, may have to call upon the services of the libraries to obtain the articles.


DEC 2019 | Negotiations with Springer Nature

The existing license agreement with Springer Nature was extended by one year in 2018. In 2019, despite mutual efforts, it was not possible to agree on a Read & Publish agreement that met the requirements of the swissuniversities mandate. Springer Nature was unable to accept a further extension of the contract that would have no impact on costs. To date, the parties have left the negotiating table without result. From January 2020 and until further notice, the Swiss universities will no longer have an agreement with Springer Nature (non-contractual status). As a consequence, there will be access restrictions on new articles in Springer Nature journals next year.

DEC 2023 | No contract (yet) with Taylor & Francis for a new Read and Publish agreement from 2024

The negotiations with Taylor & Francis, started early 2023, have not yet resulted in a mutually acceptable Read and Publish agreement, which meet the requirements of swissuniversities.

While the negotiation team continues its effort to find a solution with the publishers, the EPFL Library in coordination with the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries is preparing for a scenario without agreement as of 2024, given that the current contract will end on December 31st.

  • Publishing options
    All articles accepted before 31 December 2023 will be eligible for being published Open Access under the conditions of the current agreement with Taylor & Francis for 2023 (i.e. you will not have to pay any APC).
    In 2024, publishing in Taylor & Francis’ hybrid and Gold Open Access journals will remain possible for EPFL researchers. However, the usual benefits under the current agreement may not apply. We will provide further information about Open Access publishing options as soon as it is available.

  • Reading options
    Publishers usually grant a grace period. Hence, reading access might not be disabled immediately. However, access to new journal content from 2024 onwards may be restricted.
    Please check our factsheet to find out more information about alternatives routes to access articles.

DEC 2020 | Read & Publish agreement with Taylor & Francis (2021-2023)

Starting in January 2021, EPFL affiliated authors will publish in Gold Open Access at no cost in more than 2,000 Hybrid and Gold Taylor & Francis journals and will have an unlimited access to Science & Technology and Social Science & Humanities collections.

During the contract term (2021, 2022, and 2023), the number of Gold Open Access articles taken in charge is restricted at a national level (260, 366, and 450 publications, respectively). If in any year the maximum number of articles included in the agreement is exceeded, or if the eligibility of the authors has not been validated by EPFL, the publishing invoice will be directly sent to authors.

  Why negotiate?

The licensing and publishing context

Licensing: current agreements for access to content of major STM publishers see high annual fee increases and most often do not comply with national and funder’s strategies and policies on Open Access.

Publishing: more and more researchers publish their results in Open Access, while

  • hybrid journals practice double-dipping (charging separately for access and Gold Open Access publishing), and
  • fees for this publishing model are high and tend to increase.

According to the EPFL Open Access policy, implemented in February 2019, EPFL researchers are required to make their research outputs Open Access via Gold (incl. hybrid OA) or Green OA. If the Green OA is chosen, a maximum embargo of 6 months is mandated. This embargo duration is not always compatible with some journals policies.

  New models for licensing

Traditional licensing models to access scientific publishing are based on different patterns for pricing, often based on the subscribing institution size (FTE) and historical print subscription expenses. They don’t consider the expenses made for Gold Open Access publishing (Article Publishing Charges, APC). Annual fee increases on these agreements vary in average between 3% to 6%, but could be much more.

Transformative agreements aim to bundle negotiated pricing conditions for accessing scientific publishing and publishing activities in a sole agreement, to rationalize the expenses and avoid double-dipping:

  • Read & Publish Agreement

This agreement bundles into the same contract the payment (fixed sum) for reading (providing access to entire journal portfolio for the subscribing institution) and publishing (allowing the authors affiliated to the institution to publish in OA without paying specific APCs);

  • Publish & Read Agreement

Through this agreement model, institutions pay (price settled on the publishing activity basis) the publishers only for their Open Access publishing services (the authors affiliated to the institutions can choose to publish in OA without paying APCs). The access to the entire journal portfolio is included at no additional cost.

  Swiss context: the swissuniversities mandate

A negotiation team commissioned by swissuniversities has been negotiating since January 2019 with the three major publishers Elsevier, Springer-Nature and Wiley to find a satisfactory agreement for the Swiss scientific community on the Read & Publish principle.

The negotiation team negotiates on behalf of all Swiss institutions of higher education, including EPF Lausanne and ETH Zürich.

Single institutions agreed not to run parallel negotiations with these three publishers until the objectives of the current negotiation have been met.

Solidarity with this initiative implies acceptance of a no-deal situation (= no subscriptions, no access) after the termination of current agreements if the negotiation objectives are not achieved.

On February 3, 2022, the plenary assembly of swissuniversities adopted an updated mandate for the second round of negotiations with the major international publishers, in the context of access to scientific information.
This approach follows directly the national Open Access strategy and the corresponding action plan.

Further information on negotiations led by swissuniversities.

  Negotiation objectives

  • Licensing and Open Access go hand-in-hand: articles published by researchers of Swiss universities in journals belonging to the 3 above publishers must be immediately accessible in Open Access.
  • Sustainable access to the entire content of all journals of the publishers must be granted as part of the package.
  • Cost neutrality: no Open Access = no price increase. If an agreement with publishers on Open Access cannot be reached in the contracts, future price increases should not be accepted.
  • Transparency for licensing deals: no non-disclosure clauses in the agreements.

   No-deal scenario consequences

  • No access to articles published from the negotiation end-date onwards.
  • Archival access for articles published before the negotiation end-date is granted.
  • Grace periods to access content during the pursuit of negotiations could be granted, although for the moment there is no clear information about that from the publisher.

In case of a no-deal scenario, alternatives routes to access their articles exist, please check out our factsheet for more information.

   We are not alone: the international situation

The Swiss context fits into the international trend. Several institutions in many countries are facing the same difficulties with the publishers and are running negotiations sharing all the same goals.

Useful links

“How to get articles” factsheet

Some alternatives to access the publications essential for your research, when EPFL doesn’t have a current subscription.

Contact

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