No to absurd price increases on research articles

The publishers’ prices on research articles and books have increased to a level that the libraries neither can nor won’t pay. Most recent, Annual Reviews has given notice of a 31 % price increase for next year. The researchers can lose reading access to the research that they are themselves contributing to.

Electronic research articles and e-books often appear to be free for researchers and students at the Danish research and educational institutions once the access has been paid for by the libraries. DEFF negotiate the prices for many of the scientific journals in cooperation with the libraries.

“The libraries can, to an increasing extent, no longer afford to pay for access to the e-ressources, as the publishers consistently raise the prices without accordance to inflation. In many cases to an absurd level”, says Dyveke Sijm, team coordinator for the DEFF negotiation team.

Unfounded price increases far above inflation

Price increases often lack an explanation: The internet has removed many of the publishers’ publication expenses and the content is written and edited by researchers who are paid by the universities and not the publishers. That is why the Danish research and educational libraries stand together in the call for a change in the price trend!

The publisher Annual Reviews is an example where the institutions unfortunately see no other choice than to say no to the new pricing model, which presents a price increase of 31 %. This follows price increases of 3 % in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and an increase of 5 % in 2017 - all of these above inflation.

Per Lindblad, Deputy Director of The Royal Danish Library and member of the DEFF negotiation group, explains:

“The publishers have taken it for granted that they can raise prices year after year, but we no longer have the economy nor the will to accept it. The publishers have to - just like the institutions have been forced to - learn to streamline and run an economically viable business”.

That is why the Danish educational and research institutions have decided not to renew their subscription to Annual Reviews if the proposed price increase is not withdrawn from the negotiation.

Further information:

Per Lindblad, Deputy Director of The Royal Danish Library and representative of the Danish academic, research and educational libraries,




Lars Scherchen Bækgaard Andersen
33 74 50 53



This year Denmark’s Electronic Research Library are negotiating agreements with 50 publishers, including Annual Reviews, Cambridge University Press, Optical Society of American, AAAS Science, Elsevier and Ovid. All of the negotiations are expected to be completed by the end of November.

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