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The role of the national library as a catalyst for an open access agenda: the experience in Sweden

Jan Hagerlid (Department of National Cooperation, National Library of Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 31 May 2011




The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of national libraries in developing national open access infrastructure and policy on the basis of the experiences of the National Library (NL) of Sweden.


The paper is descriptive based on the knowledge of a key player in the development of open access in Sweden. The priorities and outcome of the programme are described.


The paper reveals that the NL Sweden since around 1990 has combined the mission of a “traditional” national library with that of a national, research library authority. It has coordinated its support for development of repositories and open access in the programme that ran from 2006 to 2009. The conclusion is that a national library can successfully act as a catalyst for closer cooperation between the main bodies of research and research libraries in advancing an Open Access agenda and developing a digital research information infrastructure. This is because it is usually placed directly under the government and thus closer to national policy making. It is often perceived as unbiased in relation to the different interests of the various parties involved. It is also able to advance development projects into sustainable services.


The role of national libraries in relation to open access has not been discussed widely. The experience of the NL Sweden in this respect has a general interest.



Hagerlid, J. (2011), "The role of the national library as a catalyst for an open access agenda: the experience in Sweden", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 115-118.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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