The Making of a Mandate: A Regional Approach to Open Access.


  • Niels Stern Nordic Council of Ministers



open access mandate,


See video of the presentation.

The Nordic co-operation is one of the world’s most extensive forms of regional collaboration involving
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland. The co-operation is realized through the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) and the Nordic Council with a yearly budget of approx. $ 175,000,000.

The NCM has recently initiated an Open Access project which aims at defining an OA mandating policy and developing an open repository for all publications either published or funded by the NCM.

In order to widen the scope of the NCM initiative and to align with international OA discussions the NCM has entered into dialogue with the research councils of the Nordic countries as well as with the European Commission (the NCM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the EC about the implementation of the ERA in July 2012) and UNESCO. Alongside this dialogue the NCM is part of a network of intergovernmental organizations (IGO) where OA is high on the agenda (e.g. The World Bank and UNESCO already have published policies).

The NCM wears at least three different hats in its OA mandate defining process: One as an institutional publisher, another as a research funder, and a third as an IGO. This split role gives several strengths and opportunities but also some weaknesses – and perhaps there are even some threats involved! For sure, it makes the discussion about the content of the mandate, the objectives of the NCM, and compliance measures more complex and interesting.

The presentation will share with the audience:
* a SWOT analysis of the NCM regional approach to formulating an OA mandate,
* concrete examples and insight into the making of an OA mandate – the discussions, dilemmas, and dangers that arise during the process,
* considerations on how to ensure compliance with the mandate.

Author Biography

Niels Stern, Nordic Council of Ministers

Head of Publishing