The Finnish Open Science and Research Initiative (ATT) collected the publisher costs 2016. This data release is a continuation of last year's release, when the ATT announced the academic publisher costs for 2010-2015. The latest data release is from year 2017.
The Finnish universities and research organisations paid last year 35 million euros for electronic resources of scientific publishers. The biggest publisher, Elsevier, collected over 10 million euros and five biggest publishers gathered about 80 % of total publisher costs.
By opening the publisher cost data ATT Initiative wants to display the costs of the current publishing model, advance open science and support FibELib in its negotiations with the scientific publishers. FinELib's requirements in these negotiations are increased open access and affordable pricing.
To continue the discussion please use the hashtag #publishingcosts
This dataset includes academic publisher costs paid by Finnish research organizations to publishers and suppliers during the years 2010–2017. The dataset includes total costs of license contracts made with individual publishers or suppliers. The dataset also includes information on the different material packages the contracts included. Also included is the information on how the materials were acquired.
Please note that some values are missing from the data, the structures of the organisations and the material packages have changed during the time period, and that the costs have been converted to euros.
This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The creator is the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland and its Open Science and Research Initiative 2014-2017. Publisher and holder of rights is the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland.
You are free to share and adapt the data for any purpose, with author attribution and indication if changes were made using the following citation.
Academic publisher costs in Finland 2010-2016, Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland and its Open Science and Research Initiative 2014-2017 http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:csc-kata20170613104454620616
- Questions regarding the information request: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions regarding the data: email@example.com
- Questions regarding the website, application or possible errors in the dataset: firstname.lastname@example.org
Promotion of open science and transparency of public spending are cornerstones in the science policy of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Digitalization and change in the publication paradigm related to open science has created new service provider models for scientific publishers. The multiple effects on the operation and expenditure of research performing and funding organizations have not yet been fully identified.
With this initiative the Ministry of Education and Culture wants to promote transparency and fair competition in scientific publishing as well as support high-quality and sustainable operation of publicly funded research organizations and their libraries. The Council of the European Union has set a target of 100% open access by 2020. In order to reach this target, actions are needed in managing both service models and total costs. Transparency of publisher costs is widely recognized as a central concrete measure to increase openness (eg. Amsterdam Call for Actions 2016).
In Finland the data collection began when an information request was made to the Aalto University by Leo Lahti on behalf of the Open Knowledge Finland Open Science working group. This information request resulted in an administrative law settlement, where the total cost paid to the publisher was found to be public based on the act on the openness of government activities.
It is rational to collect publisher costs all at once and in aggregate form, so that the benefits obtained would be as large as possible. Transparency of the subscription prices reveal the costs of the publishing model that is based on subscription payments. Author publication charges (APC) were not possible to survey for the present due to too eclectic practices, but it is estimated that in Finland they amount to a total of at least EUR 1 million per year. In the future also APCs will be surveyed more precisely.
DATA collection and variables
Collection of the data
Publisher costs were first collected during the spring 2016 from Finnish research organizations. The collection was conducted by the Ministry of Education and Culture. This data collection was based on a precedent, in which the Helsinki administrative court ruled on the 7th of August 2015 with its decision 15/0593/5 that Aalto University Foundation has to provide the total costs of individual license contracts with Elsevier. These acquisitions are public based on the law of the publicity of official documents.
For the updated data on 2016 and 2017 the publisher costs were collected during the spring 2017 and 2018. The organizations were given a chance to sumbit the acquisitions made through FinELib-consortium straight by the FinELib. All separate contracts were submitted by the organizations themselves.
The research organizations were asked to provide the total costs of individual license contracts with scientific publishers.
This dataset is compiled of the answers that research organizations provided to the request of publisher cost information.
To construct the compiled dataset the spelling of the answers given by the research organizations was unified and the costs were converted to euros when needed. In the following you can find the data variables and information on the changes made to unify the data.
The type of the research organization that made the acquisition
The organizations that have made the acquisitions have been divided in four groups in the data set: University, University of applied sciences, Research institute, Other
The name of the organization that made the acquisition
The organization names are in format: "Organization name (abbreviation, if there is one)". For example: "Government Institute for Economic Research (VATT)"
The publisher or supplier of the acquired materials.
The names of the publishers and suppliers were unified in the dataset whenever it was possible to interpret based on the provided answers.
The year of the acquisition on an annual level.
The data set covers years 2010 – 2017.
The total cost of the acquisition in euros.
The costs in the dataset are reported in euros with zero decimals, rounded to nearest integer and without value added tax (VAT 0%). If the cost was provided in currency other than euro, these costs were converted to euros with the annual exchange rates of the European Central Bank.
The name or names of the acquired materials
The name or names of the materials have been reported in the dataset in the extent the organizations provided them in their answers to the request of information. If more than one name was provided, they were separated in the data set with a semicolon ";".
The type or types of the acquired materials
The type or types of the materials have been reported in the dataset in the extent the organizations provided them in their answers to the request of information. If more than one type was provided, they were separated in the data set with a semicolon ";".
The dataset includes seven resource types: Full text materials, Reference resource, eBook package, Reference database, Dictionary, Other electronic service, Other
Way of acquisition
The way of acquisition of materials
The ways of acquisition of the materials have been reported in the data set in the extent the organizations provided them in their answers to the request of information. If more than one type was provided, they were separated in the data set with a semicolon ";".
The dataset includes three resource types: FinELib consortium, AMKIT consortium, Separate contract
The collection of publisher cost information was initiated by Open Knowledge Finland and the Open Science Working Group, on whose behalf Leo Lahti made a first request for information to Aalto University. This request led to the subsequent decision by the Administrative Court. Information on the information request and related matters in respect of the relevant parties has been collected on GitHub. This activity has also been supported by the Open Science Finland Facebook group.
The actual consolidated information request to research organizations was sent by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland in cooperation with the FinELib consortium.
The Open Science and Research Initiative has acted as a coordinating party, which carried out harmonization of the dataset together with other parties involved in the request for information.
A web application for the publication of the dataset was also produced within the project. Its source code is available on GitHub.
Data collection and its compilation would not have been possible without the libraries and staff of universities, research institutes and other organizations, who answered the request for information. We thank the following organizations for providing information: