Swedish consortium Bibsam and Frontiers sign national transformed agreement - momentum is building

Open access publisher Frontiers has entered into a national agreement with Sweden’s academic consortium Bibsam that will allow unlimited publishing in all Frontiers' journals without charge to authors or to institutions.

A single annual payment from the Bibsam Consortium, covered by four national funders, will defray all publishing fees for all Bibsam participating institutions, including universities, public agencies and research institutes. 

Under this collaborative agreement, participating universities and research centers are empowered to facilitate their affiliated researchers in publishing an unlimited number of peer-reviewed articles across all Frontiers journals and Frontiers' partner journals. Researchers at those institutions can now publish an unlimited number of peer-reviewed articles in all Frontiers journals and partner society journals without charge.

The agreement, which runs in a year-long pilot through 2024, is evidence of growing market appetite for simplicity, transparency, and frictionless publishing. It builds on the momentum to remove the author-facing article publishing charge reflected by the succession of four flat-fee deals in the last six months.   

In December 2023, the publisher entered a three-year national agreement in Germany with the German National Library of Medicine consortium (ZB MED), in what it called the world’s largest fully open access agreement, that followed flat-fee partnerships with the University of California and the University of Kansas.

This transformed, single-payment model removes financial and administrative burdens from researchers to fully focus their efforts on scientific content and sees librarians able to lower operational costs and simplify budget management. This agreement builds on the partnership Frontiers and Bibsam begun in 2018.   

Kamila Markram, CEO and co-founder of Frontiers, said: "We share the Bibsam Consortium's vision for open science and are delighted to deepen our partnership with Sweden's leading institutions. Bold, national, flat-fee deals like this one are transforming steps towards the realization of a new system for academic publishing, one which is fully open, fair, transparent,  driven by author choice, and that allows institutions and consortia to manage their budgets securely. At Frontiers, we want to see all science open, so that scientists can collaborate more and innovate faster, so that we collectively solve global challenges, especially relating to climate and health. That is our social purpose as a business. We can drive that outcome with transformed agreements that bring institutions and funders the predictability, transparency, and lower operational costs they need."   

Anna Lundén, Director, Department for Collaboration, National Library of Sweden, said: “Sweden prioritizes open science and global collaboration. High-quality, transparent, open, trustworthy, and equitable scholarly publishing serves as a central pillar of this approach. Our agreement with Frontiers, made possible by the joint efforts of Swedish research funders, reflects a pragmatic approach that eliminates paywalls hindering access to research output. This new open access model streamlines administrative processes and significantly expands access to research outputs, fostering a more inclusive academic environment.”

For more details about this open access agreement, please visit this page. If you want to learn more about our institutional agreements, contact us at institutions@frontiersin.org or visit our website.

If you are a researcher and want to find out more about Frontiers' submission process under this agreement, please visit our researchers page.

About Frontiers    

Frontiers is the 3rd most-cited and 6th largest research publisher. We publish groundbreaking discoveries by the world’s top experts. Scientists empower society and our mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by making science open. We place the researcher at the center of everything we do and enable the research community to develop the solutions we need to live healthy lives on a healthy planet. Featuring custom-built technology, artificial intelligence, and rigorous quality standards, our research articles have been viewed more than 2.6 billion times, reflecting the power of research that is open for all.

About the Bibsam Consortium

Since 1996 the National Library of Sweden has negotiated licence agreements for electronic information resources on behalf of Swedish universities, university colleges, as well as public agencies and research institutes. 95 institutions are a part of the Bibsam Consortium. More information on the consortium can be found here.   

The costs of this agreement are jointly covered by the Swedish Research Council, Formas, Forte, and Vinnova, following their strategic decision in October 2023 to support publication with publishers that exclusively publish fully open access journals. More information on that decision can be found here.