I’ve become so convinced of the responsibility we have to society that as the rector I intend obliging our researchers to circulate their articles publicly, for example no more than six months after publication.
Henk Schmidt
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Open Access News

What can I do as a member of society?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

What can I do, as a member of society ?

Get a discussion started about the purposes of the society in the age of digital scholarship.

  • Encourage the society to consider open access or delayed open access for their own journals. Serve on their committees and governing boards, and write opinion pieces for their newsletters.
  • If the copyright transfer agreement used by your society’s journals doesn’t allow authors to deposit their papers in open archives ask them to change the policy.
  • Encourage your society to consider how it can help members by evaluating and validating new kinds of scholarly works.
  • Make use of material that is available under a Creative Commons licence.

What can I do as a policy maker or university management?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

What can I do?


Berlin Declaration

The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities calls upon researchers to make their scientific material freely available to one and all. This means not only articles, but also raw data and other research material. Users must not only be able to consult these items and disseminate them further, but also to use them for subsequent works. The only condition is that the original author is mentioned.

The declaration was drawn up in October 2003. Since then it has been signed by a large number of prominent scientific organisations all over the world. Since 2005 all Universities in the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science and SURFfoundation have signed the Declaration.

(back to top)

UKB’s memorandum on Open Access in the Netherlands: the Next Step

At the end of 2008, the UKB (a consortium of the 13 Dutch university libraries and the National Library of the Netherlands) produced a survey of Open Access for the conference of university administrators. That document gives a good idea of national and international trends in the area of Open Access and how Open Access can be taken further in the Netherlands. Click here for the UKB’s memorandum on Open Access in the Netherlands: the Next Step (September 2008) (only available in Dutch).

(back to top)

Set up an Open Access policy

Worldwide more and more institutions are making a policy on archiving and making their research materials open available. ROARmap (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies) gives an overview of these policies.

Read also 'Funders support sharing': many governments and funding agencies are implementing or exploring policies to facilitate the sharing of information and realize the benefits of digital scholarship.

Or use the Open Access Policies Kit, recommended by the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).

(back to top)

Call to Action

In February 2009 amongst others the Association of American Universities and the Association of Research Libraries have identified actions to expand the dissemination of the products of the university community's research and scholarship. Read more inThe University's Role in the Dissemination of Research and Scholarship.

(back to top)

Take your responsibility in sharing with developing countries

"Since the cost of academic journals is prohibitive for many developing countries, scholarly communication is for them severely restricted.This is a huge problem: A survey conducted by the WHO in 2003, for instance, found that in 75 of the poorest countries, 56% of the medical institutions had been unable to access any journals over the previous five years. urthermore, the cost of printing and distributing local journals means that much developing world research is 'invisible' to the rest of the world, isolating research communities and limiting communication with neighbouring countries.

As a consequence, the incorporation of regional knowledge into international programmes remains minimal. Yet with the growth of global problems — think only of HIV/AIDS, avian 'flu, environmental disasters, climate change or crop failure — it is essential that the countries in which these problems are most commonly experienced have access to research findings, and can contribute their crucial experience to finding global solutions.

Without both improved access and regional visibility, the science base of poorer countries will not be strengthened, and it is well documented that without a strong science base economies remain weak and dependent on others.
But thanks to the profound media developments made possible by the Internet, Open Access has created exhilarating new opportunities for the exchange of essential research information. And while this promises huge benefits for all academic research, it will be especially beneficial for developing nations, by providing equality of access for all." says Barbara Kirsop, of the Electronic Publishing Trust for Development in an interview with Richard Poynder.


As a faculty member

  • Work with colleagues in your institution to advance understanding of digital scholarship and foster sharing of research:
  • Encourage your institution to adopt a policy that grants a copyright license from each faculty member that permits deposit of his or her peer-reviewed scholarly articles in the institution’s digital repository.
  • When sitting on grant-review panels or hiring, tenure, or promotion committees, give due weight to peer-reviewed publications. Evaluate new kinds of works on their own merits. And don’t rely solely on prestige or impact factor.
  • Investigate your campus intellectual property policies and participate in their development..
  • If your library is providing publishing services talk about opportunities to work together.
  • Encourage your library to become a member of SPARC Europe, an alliance of European research libraries, library organisations and research institutions, which provides support and tools to bring about.open digital scholarship.

(back to top)

What can I do as a teacher?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
  • Educate the next generation of scientists and scholars about the benefits of sharing their research. Explain that open access is compatible with peer review, copyright, and career advancement.
  • Encourage students to make their own works openly accessible. Support public access to your students’ theses and dissertations.
  • Reserve the right for your own publications to be used in the classroom without fee — use the copyright toolbox or your institution’s toolbox.

What can I do as an editor or editoral board member?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

A journal, press, or monograph series trades on your good name when it lists you as an editor or editorial board member. Be certain you approve of its policies:

  • Read the copyright transfer agreement used by your publisher. If it’s not allowed that authors deposit their works in open archives, ask the publisher to change its policy.
  • If your journal is available by subscription, ask the publisher to provide free access to articles that were published more than six months ago.
  • If you are working with monographs, ask the publisher to make scanned versions of out-of-print works freely available. For new works, encourage the publisher to define a time period after which monographs will be archived and made freely available.
  • Encourage your publisher to investigate open-access business models. Resources to aid in their planning are available from JISC and the Open Society Institute.
  • If the publisher is uncooperative and pursues policies that unnecessarily restrict access, consider following the example of journals in disciplines such as biology and mathematics by “declaring independence.” Resign from the journal and launch a new, open-access journal to serve the same niche. Your library can assist you in planning the transition.
  • Look into whether your library provides publishing services. Many research libraries are working with editors of small journals to develop open access versions.
  • Serve on editorial boards for open-access journals, e-book series, and other kinds of new openly accessible works like wikis.

What can I do as a reviewer?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Without your efforts as a reviewer, journals wouldn’t exist. Use your valuable time wisely:

  • Referee papers for an open-access journal, which will be available to every potential reader.
  • Consider declining to review for journals that don’t allow authors to post their work in an open archive or that are too expensive. The SHERPA/RoMEO Publisher’s Copyright Listing summarizes publisher policies.