News Archive

No R&P Licence with Oxford University Press in 2022

Despite three years of negotiations between the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries and the publisher Oxford University Press (OUP), no agreement satisfactory to both parties could be reached to set the conditions for a Read & Publish Licence as of 2022.

As a reminder, this licensing model covers both the consultation of articles from the publisher's journals (Read) and publication in Open Access in these same journals (Publish) as defined in the negotiation objectives set by swissuniversities within the framework of the Swiss National strategy on Open Access. The main challenge of these negotiations was to include Open Access publication of articles (Publish) in the agreement without increasing the costs in order to reach the objective "100% of publicly funded publications are open access by 2024".

More details on these negotiations are available in the Consortium's website.

As a consequence, the UNIGE Library will not subscribe to any of the subscriptions included in the OUP consortial license in 2022. The absence of a contract means that OUP articles published after 1 January 2022 will no longer be accessible. However, access rights are guaranteed for articles in reading mode that have been the subject of a subscription until the end of 2021.

Support measures for access to academic publications

The lack of a contract with OUP will lead to reduced access to scientific literature. The UNIGE Library will take all possible steps to limit the access difficulties that members of our community could face over the coming months. In order to enable the UNIGE community to pursue their research and teaching activities without disruption, the Library has put in place support measures for this

transitional period:



Access to publications

Can I access an article using the "pay-per-view" option?

The Library does not support the use of pay-per-view (one-time access fees for an article, usually limited in time by DRMs). On this page, the Library has compiled recommended solutions for legal access to content that is not or is no longer included in our subscriptions.

Is it legal to use Sci-Hub to get an article?

According to Swiss law, it is perfectly legal for a person to download pirated content (article, music, film...), as long as it remains for the person's private use.

However, the re-distribution or dissemination of such content is prohibited, as in other countries.

How do I access online resources from home?

If you are outside the University, you must install VPN (Virtual Private Network) software to be able to access the UNIGE's electronic resources as if you were on its premises.

You will find the VPN installation procedure according to your operating system (Linux, MacOS or Windows) on this page: (in French).

The installation and use of the VPN software require authentication through an ISIs account.

In case of problems with the installation or use of VPN, please contact the "Centre d'Accueil des Demandes" (CAD):

Understand the challenges involved

What does "Big Deal" mean?

In the field of scientific publishing, a "Big Deal" is an all-or-nothing content delivery model. The publisher offers as the only option the subscription to all its journals, at a flat rate. Libraries cannot choose to subscribe only to titles that are of real interest to their communities. In some cases, subscription to individual titles is possible, but the prices charged are dissuasive. The "Big Deal" is the model used by Elsevier, Springer Nature and Wiley.

What is a "Read & Publish" agreement?

When a library subscribes to a subscription for one or more journals, it purchases read access to protected content for its users. The amount requested by the publisher for this "Read" component generally depends on the size of the institution and the potential number of readers. The institution's researchers, for their part, must pay Article processing charges (or APCs) for their articles to be published Open Access, often with the same publishers to which libraries subscribe, which can lead to "double dipping".

With "Read & Publish" licenses, institutions seek to combine subscription fees and expenses related to Open Access publishing (APCs) in a single invoice, in order to have a high level of cost control and a better view of payments to a publisher. In such a case, the total amount is calculated on the basis of the library's subscriptions and the number of publications issued by the institution.

In a later phase, these licenses will be transformed into "Publish & Read", i.e. the amount of the financial transaction will be fully calculated according to the number of publications, and all journals will be free to read.

What is "double dipping"?

"Double dipping" occurs when the cost of publishing in Open Access in a journal is invoiced by a publisher who also sells the subscription to the same journal to the author's institution's library.

As a whole, the institution pays twice: once to publish in Open Access, and a second time to consult the article that is freely available.

In order to avoid this double payment, institutions try to combine journal subscriptions and publication fees in a single "Read & Publish" agreement. In the absence of such an agreement, they often refuse to cover the costs of publishing in Open Access in journals that remain available by subscription (so-called hybrid journals).

General questions

What can I do to support the University in its efforts to provide fairer access to scientific literature?

When choosing the journal in which to publish the results of his/her research, the researcher should take into account not only the prestige of the journal, but also the economic practices of its publisher, in order to favour journals that offer very wide access, ideally free of charge to the reader.

This is not always easy to do because there are sometimes still no credible alternatives to the main journals in some disciplines. It is nevertheless the author's duty to protect the interests of the academic community and society in general by ensuring that the right to republish or distribute the manuscript is preserved, for example after a short embargo period (6-12 months).

For more information, visit the pages dedicated to Open Access.

Who should I contact if I have any questions?

We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have on this topic at openaccess(at)

April 28, 2022
  Archive of News - 2022