Press Realease translated from the original Norwegian text

This fall the University libraries attempted to reach a licensing agreement on access to Blackwell Publishing’s electronic journals. Attempts were unsuccessful.

From January 1st 2007, library users at these universities will no longer have electronic access to Blackwell’s 778 journals. The reason for this is that the libraries feel that Blackwell’s licensing agreement and price hikes are unacceptable.

“Blackwell has journals within all our subject areas, so this will be felt by all our users,” states the Director of the University Library of Tromsø. To minimize inconveniences for users, the libraries will offer free inter-library loans. Libraries have experienced that, in practice, publishers dictate prices and conditions for access to their journals. The library directors unanimously agree that this is a situation that university libraries cannot withstand much longer.

Subject and research libraries around the world have become “more and more digital” in recent years with an increasing number of the libraries’ journals collections available to users solely via the net. Journals are no longer acquired in a paper format. Traditional subscriptions are now by licensing agreements with publishers to gain access to their journals databases. Through mergers and acquisitions this market is now controlled by a few large actors. Price increases are disproportionate to increases in the general price index and to moderate increases in library budgets. Internationally, approximately 2.5 million scientific articles are published each year in approximately 24 000 journals. Earlier, scientific knowledge was communicated in the form of printed books and journals, but as for society on the whole, communication channels are now digital, and the lion’s share of library budgets are now tied up in digital information resources.

Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Tromsø,  2 January 2007

Ingar Lomheim, Director of the University Library in Trondheim
Helge Salvesen, Director of the University Library in Tromsø
Bente R. Andreassen, Director of the University Library in Oslo
Kari Garnes, Director of the University Library in Bergen

For more information contact:

Professor Helge Salvesen, Director of the University Library in Tromsø
E-mail:helge.salvesen@ub.uit.noTlf.:  +47 77 64 41 35
Mobil: +47 905 51 874