Reduced access to journals and Norwegian agreements

Norwegian universities have national agreements on access to scientific literature with several academic publishers. UNIT is now negotiating with the publishers to secure sustainable agreements based on National goals and guidelines for open access to scientific articles.

USN’s journal subscription agreement with academic publisher Elsevier has expired. After lengthy negotiations, it is now clear that Norwegian research institutions are unable to reach an agreement with the publisher Elsevier to renew subscriptions. The Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education & Research (Unit), informed us in March 2019 that there will be no agreement with academic publisher Elsevier in 2019. This means that USN might lose access to a number of journals from Elsevier (through their database ScienceDirect). We do not know if, or when Elsevier will shut of access. Researches may still publish or do peer-review in Elsevier journals.

How to access articles in Elsevier’s journals

Reduces access to articles from Elsevier journals
•    All Norwegian higher education institutions lose access to Elsevier journals. The same currently applies for institutions in Sweden and Germany where satisfactory agreements have not been reached.
•    Other ways to get access to articles in journals



•    In the current subscription system, scientific articles are behind paywalls, and the large international publishers are charging more and more for subscriptions. Norwegian institutions are currently paying more than 330 million NOK every year for reading access to scientific articles, including those written by scientists in Norwegian institutions.
•    Norway’s goal is that all publicly-funded Norwegian research articles should be made openly available by 2024 to the general public.
•    Institutions and consortia that negotiate agreements with publishers shall ensure that these agreements promote open access without increasing total costs, and that the terms and conditions are open and transparent.
•    The board at USN has adopted a policy document for open access to research publishing
•    National goals and guidelines for open access to research articles (Background document, Norwegian government)

Press releases about the agreements

Questions about the negotiations?

Contact if you have any questions regarding the negotiations

You can find more information about the negotiations here:

Open Access - Information from Cristin

Freequently asked questions about the Norwegian negotiations