The European University Association (EUA) has published the outcomes of its first Big Deals Survey, an original initiative pursued by the association to gather more information about large scientific publishing contracts from the perspective of universities (known as ‘Big Deals’).
The EUA Big Deals Survey Report: The first mapping of major scientific publishing contracts in Europe presents data from 28 negotiating consortia (including Luxembourg). The data were gathered between July 2016 and June 2017. Data were anonymised and aggregated, thus respecting the confidential nature of the information provided by respondents. The survey focused on the functions and working process of consortia, as well as on the conditions of contracts for big deals concerning scientific periodicals, databases and e-books. The results of the survey show that consortia broadly represent the interests of relevant stakeholders from the university and library sectors and are largely driven by researchers’ needs.
The outcomes of the survey revealed, for the first time on a European scale, the magnitude of spending in big deal contracts with scientific publishers. Stark variations in the expenditure on big deal contracts across different European countries were also identified. In addition, the results of this survey point out the fact that university leadership is only directly involved in the negotiation process with publishers in about one-third of consortia, while funding for these contracts comes largely from the university and public sectors.
The EUA Big Deals Survey was developed by recommendation of the association’s High-Level Group on Big Deals and following the objectives and actions planned in the EUA Roadmap on Open Access to Research Publications adopted by EUA Council in January 2016.
A second edition of the survey will be launched shortly. The findings of the present report and those of the upcoming survey will continue to inform EUA’s work in the policy area of Open Science, namely in the association’s efforts to contribute to a more open, efficient and transparent scientific system.