Tag Archives: Denmark

Library Publishing Through the IFLA Global Lens

This posting is sponsored by the Library Publishing SIG and published in cooperation with the ARL Section. Members of the Library Publishing SIG reach out to library publishers and invite them to respond to a series of questions.

This post features Jesper Boserup Thestrup, who is an Information Specialist at the Royal Danish Library (https://www.kb.dk/en) (RDL) in Aarhus (https://www.kb.dk/en/visit-us/victor-albecks-vej-aarhus). He works with the publishing platforms Tidsskrift.dk (https://tidsskrift.dk/) and Ebooks.au.dk (https://ebooks.au.dk/aul). More information about his professional work could be found on his LinkedIn profile (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesperboserupthestrup/)

1: Describe your work in library publishing and which infrastructure are you working with?

JBT: I am part of our team working with two Library Publishing servers operated by RDL. Tidsskrift.dk operates on an Open Journal Systems platform (OJS) and is a national open access platform for Danish Scientific Journals. Ebooks.au.dk operates on an Open Monograph Press (OMP) platform. Ebooks.au.dk publish literature for Aarhus University.

The team operates the servers, test, and update the software. We introduce the editorial boards to the software, help the editors to set up the journals, and gives the editors courses about the software. We help to index the journals. We answer question about copyright, CC Licenses, different file formats, data management, and much more. The service is more complex than we expected when the servers started.

Both the RDL and the State and University Library started an OJS-server in 2007. In 2017, the two libraries merged into the RDL and the two servers merged. Today we present 193 journals and yearbooks online via tidsskrift.dk. Most of them are active, some are digitized versions of old journals and some are older versions of active journals. All journals are Open Access but some have embargoes. Today new journals must be Danish Scientific Journals. We make 100.000 articles available.

The OMP server, ebooks.au.dk, only publish books from Aarhus University. Par example technical reports and accepted Ph.D-theses. The service started in 2015 and today we make 329 e-books available.

In relation to the two servers, the RDL functions as a platform provider. We are not a publisher. If the RDL became a publisher, the library would have to offer more service.

2: What values and principles inform your work?

JBT: In order to manage and develop the servers and help the editors my work has to be based on openness. The servers are intended to give access to information and scientific knowledge and help Danish scientific journals to survive online. That can only be done if we share information about our work and are willing to lean from other similar service providers.

3: What partners do you collaborate with?
JBT: We need to cooperate with many different partners in order to maintain and develop our service.

We are a part of the community, which Public Knowledge Project (PKP) has created. Actually, we were in June the local organizers of the latest PKP development Sprint in Copenhagen. A PKP Sprint is a great way to meet the community and I suggest that You participate in one of the Sprints. The next sprint in Europe is in Hannover https://events.tib.eu/pkpsprinthannover2023/.

We cooperate closely with other Danish OJS-servers and are in contact with the Swedish OJS-network and servers in Finland, Norway, France, The Czech Republic, The Netherlands, and hopefully soon in Poland. We always learn new things about Scholarly Publications when we meet with the other servers.

We try to ensure dialogue between us and our editors in order develop our service. This is often difficult. Very often editors see that something needs to be changed, or improved, when a problem is discovered.

We need to cooperate with other institutions in order to ensure a positive development in this sector. We are involved in different projects with LIBER and Knowledge Exchange. Last year we were part of a national a project involving DOAJ, where we got more Danish OA journals index in DOAJ (https://pro.kb.dk/en/danish-open-access-journals-and-directory-open-access-journals).

4: What training resources have you found helpful in your work?
JBT: I, and some of my colleagues, have followed different courses about copyright in order to give advice to the editors. It is sometimes problematic to publish texts and follow Danish copyright regulation. I took a course about the Creative Common (https://certificates.creativecommons.org/). The course had a focus on librarians and it has been quite helpful.

5: What do you think is the impact of library publishing in the broader scholarly communications landscape?

JBT: Funding is becoming a challenge because many journals do not charge APC’s and subscription is not used due to Open Access Policies. At the same time, universities are cutting funding. The library sector can provide infrastructures, which the individual editors cannot fund and thereby partly ensure that journals can give access to scientific knowledge. I see our servers as an example on how university and national libraries can ensure that Scientific Journals can publish in minor languages like Danish, and help new journals to start.

6: What are your hopes and aspirations for the global library publishing community?

JBT: I hope that library publishing infrastructures can help Scholar Publications to become more available globally, help publications in minor languages to survive and overcome the north-south divide. I think that the necessary software and knowhow is available today.

Funding is an issue. It is not free to operate a journal. Somebody need to pay for the infrastructures and pay for typesetters, graphic designers, and proofreaders. It does not appear to be necessary for editors to take care for all the topics related to Scholarly Publication. The editors must focus on the scientific content of their journals.

Librarians from all over the world fly in to meet in Odense @LIBER2022

Author: Bertil F Dorch. Library Director, University Library of Southern Denmark; Associate Professor, Department Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy

Like the birds gathering around a pond in a story by poet Hans Christian Andersen – the ducks, chicken and swans of his fairytales – people from across the world of research libraries will gather around a library in the city of Odense, Denmark, in early July this year.

About a year before his public break-through, the famous Danish fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen applied for a job as a librarian at the King’s library in Copenhagen – the capitol of Denmark. In his application he argued that he wanted the job so that he might be “relieved of the burden of writing”. Luckily, he did not get the job and continued writing. Lucky for us, but perhaps sad for the library. Andersen would probably have made a wonderful librarian: Curious, well-read, hardworking, a creative mind, and a bit odd, too.

It is well known that Andersen’s fairytale about the ugly duckling is an autobiographic metamorphosis story built on his own life, and that the mean ducks and chicken represent the citizens of his birth town Odense, while the swans represent the nobility that he himself so desperately wanted to be accepted among.

Hans Christian Andersen left Odense as a teenager in 1819 for the capital of Copenhagen. If we could bring him back to life and Odense, there would still be many features that he would recognize: The lush stream where his mother used to wash clothes still traverses the city, and the parks alongside its shores remain a green oasis. The narrow, cobbled streets with hollyhocks and roses clinging to the small houses where he grew up are still there, and so is the church where he was baptized.

However, since he left Odense, the number of inhabitants has increased ten-fold from less than 15,000 to more than 150,000 today. The city is the home of a thriving robotic industry and a booming environment for drone developments. Facebook has an enormous data center here.  He would probably be very proud when he saw the newly opened Hans Christian Andersen Museum in the center of the city.  And last, but certainly not least, the city is the home of The University of Southern Denmark, a truly research-intensive university ranked among the 300 top universities in the world.  The University is the working-place of more than 2,000 faculty and staff and 32,000 students, and has the second largest research library in the kingdom.

With such a large student population, Odense has become a ‘young’ city with a vibrant student life with its own increasing demand for a modern and efficient infrastructure, nice restaurants and cafes, and an abundancy of cultural events; and in recent years the city has been almost reborn from a sleepy midsized provincial city to a vibrant student hub, rated among the top 100 of cities to visit in the world.

From July 6 to 8, 2022 Odense and the University Library of Southern Denmark is proud to host the annual 51st LIBER conference, which has not been held as a physical meeting for the last two years.

LIBER does not only mean “book” or “free”, but it is also an abbreviation of Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – the Association of European Research Libraries.

Since the foundation of LIBER in 1971, the LIBER conference has visited Andersen’s country four times (in 1978, 1988 and 2000): Three times in the capital of Copenhagen at the Royal Library – Andersen’s King’s library – with themes related to Interlibrary Lending, Collection Development, and Libraries as Global Information Leaders. The previous LIBER conference in Denmark took place in the country’s second largest city Aarhus – at the State and University Library – and focused on Re-Inventing the Library. This year, the fifth LIBER conference in Denmark than takes place in Andersen’s birth town – the third largest city – with the theme: Libraries in the Research and Innovation landscape.

The conference brings together three keynote speakers who represent the span of theme in an excellent way:

 Darlene Cavalier is a professor at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society.  Professor Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter and a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association.

 Karel Luyben is Rector Magnificus Emeritus of the Delft University of Technology. Luyben is National Coordinator for Open Science in the Netherlands and, among other things, President of the European Open Science Cloud Association.

 Oksana Brui is Ukrainian librarian, a public activist with a Ph.D. in social communication, Director of the Scientific and Technical Library of ‘Kyiv Igor Sikorsky Polytechnic Institute’ and the President of the Ukrainian Library Association, while also serving as member of the working group in the development of The National Plan of the Open Science in Ukraine.

We hope to see library people from all over the world attending the 2022 LIBER Annual Conference physically and in person! To quote Hans Christian Andersen: “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.” (Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life).

And incidentally, since 2022 also marks the 200th anniversary of Andersen’s first book, nothing could be more fitting than that we should be meeting in a library in Odense in July!

More at: https://liberconference.eu/



Elsevier agreement in Denmark: (just) one step forward

During the last few months intense negotiations have taken place between Danish universities and publishing giant Elsevier. The topic was of course license agreements and Open Access.

On January 26 it was announced that Danish universities had entered into a new license agreement for the coming four years, which means that Danish researchers can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now.

The main points of the agreement are:

The price of journal subscriptions remains the same for the entire period. It is based on the 2020 price.
The parties mentioned in the agreement have full, unaltered access to 75% of the Elsevier Freedom Collection (this used to be 100%).
Free Open Access publishing of the final Elsevier version of an article, with a Creative Commons BY license, when the author is corresponding author and affiliated with an institution that is a part of the agreement. However, several hundred Gold Open Access Elsevier journals and a list of about 170 titles under the licenses (not yet specified) are not part of this contract.
A price increase of 1,12% on other Elsevier resources, such as Scopus, for all institutions.

For one of the universities under the agreement, The University of Southern Denmark, this means that about 1.2 million Euros, or about 26% of the library budget for electronic materials, will be reserved to Elsevier in 2021. The funding is distributed with around 1 million Euros paid for subscription to the journal package “Freedom Collection”. In addition, the library subscribes to other resources outside the current agreement: e.g. the reference data base Scopus, the bibliometric data base SciVal, various individual journals and digital reference works, and the software underlying the research registration system, PURE.

The University Library of Southern Denmark has also been paying around 100.000 Euro annually for article processing charges (APCs) for Open Access publishing, which meant that the university’s budget had all been fully spent before yet another agreement. Previous agreements with Elsevier have brought annual price increases of 3-5%.

Therefore, the good news is that this part of the universities’ contract with Elsevier has now been settled.

Remaining issues include the following:

the agreement only covers the Freedom Collection;

the limitation to “corresponding author” has a unknown impact on the national Danish Open Access strategy and library services related to Open Access;
Elsevier still denies Open Access to almost 800 journals;
and the library will only have perpetual access to 75% of Elsevier’s journals – in terms of the journals “value”; it is notyet clear which journals this pertains too, as it depends on the price of the individual journals, as set by Elsevier.

However, the agreement should be seen as the first step in the right direction, which we hope will lead to more reasonable agreements between Danish universities and large publishers like Elsevier.

Nationally and internationall, library budgets are still under huge pressure from price increases on licenses, by far exceeding the increases in public funding. Therefor libraries still experience a massive economic pressure and must still face the need to cancel subscriptions and reduce library services, in order to balance their budgets.

So even though the new agreement with Elsevier in Denmark is no doubt an improvement, the current subscription-based scholarly publishing model does by its nature not present a sustainable future for research libraries: true transformative agreements are still ahead.  

Bertil Fabricius Dorch

Library Director, Associate Professor

University Library of Southern Denmark, SDU


Email: bfd@bib.sdu.dk



Press release from Universities Denmark:


News from University of Southern Denmark: