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The Swedish Government’s direction for the next ten-year research policy, as set out in the Swedish Research Bill 2016, includes the goal that scientific publications which are the result of publicly funded research should be made immediately open access on publication.
In the Research Bill Knowledge in Collaboration, the Government states that open access to research results contributes to maintaining and furthering excellence in research. Open access to research output can advance science by making it possible for more researchers to validate and build on previous work. Further, that open access plays an important role in society at large and that research and innovation to a large extent is carried out within the industry and in the business and public sectors. All stakeholders have a common responsibility in fulfilling this objective. The Government states that clear incentives and mechanisms are needed in order to encourage researchers to publish their research output immediately open access.
All major universities have policies or strategies with recommendations to publish their research results in open access. Almost all other HEIs also have similar recommendations for open access. Four HEIs have Open Access mandates; these include Blekinge Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Malmö University and Umeå University.
There are four national agencies distributing research funding in Sweden and advising the government on research-related issues. Three of them, the Swedish Research Council (VR), Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas) and Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte) have mandates for open access to publications. The fourth, the Swedish Innovation Agency (Vinnova), has no open access mandate.
VR is the largest Swedish funding agency for basic research in Natural Sciences, Technology, Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences at Swedish HEIs. VR signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2005 and adopted an OA mandate in 2010. Researchers receiving grants from VR must either publish their journal articles in electronic journals in open access (the mandate does not apply to monographs and book chapters). Alternatively, they have to archive the article in an open institutional or disciplinary repository immediately after, or within at most 6 (Natural Sciences, technology and Medicine) or 12 (Educational Sciences or Humanities and Social Sciences) months, of its publication in a traditional journal. Since 2015 only OA publications can be reported in the project reporting form for VR funded research. Starting in 2017, researchers who pay for APCs (Article Processing Charges) with funding from VR are required to publish their outputs with a CC-BY licence. Formas adopted an OA mandate in 2010, and in 2011 Forte did likewise. These mandates align to a large extent with the VR mandate.