Open access for scholarly publications, part 12 – A national database

The National Library of Sweden has held the appropriation directive from the Swedish Government to produce recommendations for the change to an open access scholarly publication system. These recommendations are presented by Henrik Schmidt, librarian here at KIB, in a series of blog posts.

This blog post series has now reached the National Library’s (KB) 12th recommendation regarding the transition to an open access scientific publication system. While previous recommendations primarily addressed at educational institutions and research funding agencies, the 12th recommendation is directed at the Swedish government. This recommendation suggests that KB should be commissioned and provided with the resources necessary to establish and maintain a national database over research published in scientific journals in Sweden.

The KB investigation identifies approximately 250 Swedish scientific journals. Many are well-established and contribute in an essential manner to the national as well as international scientific communication. The purpose of providing a single entry point to these journals’ material is to raise visibility for and improve access to research published in Sweden. Such a solution would also enable better searches, better possibilities to digitalize older but still useful research, and guarantee continued storage of publications and research results.

In other words, despite the fact that these publications may be accessible through other platforms, the KB investigation strongly recommends a single entry point to scientific journals published in Sweden (with the quality of the content assured) as a necessity. Similar databases already exist in many European countries, for example the Finnish journal.fi.

To ensure that such a database both becomes a reality and is sustainable, KB recommends both updating Swedish law regarding legal deposits (only in Swedish), and providing journals with economic compensation. The export of data, including structured metadata, should adhere to international standards. Scientific articles should be published in a machine readable format and also be adapted to ensure equitable access according to the Swedish Agency for Accessible Media (MTM). It is suggested that, besides people from KB, a group consisting of members from those scientific associations that publish the journals, as well as representatives from other scientific disciplines are included to develop and maintain the database.

Recommendation 12 reads as follows: That the National Library of Sweden be commissioned to develop and maintain a national database or database application for open access scientific journals published in Sweden.

Find out more about the description of and argument in favour of this recommendation in the report: Ekonomiskt och tekniskt stöd till tidskrifter som publicerar med öppen tillgång (only in Swedish).

All blog posts in this series

Henrik Schmidt (on leave)

Librarian engaged in research support in various forms. Teaches doctoral students and researchers in areas related to literature search, publishing strategies and publication analysis.