Dutch research institutions and Elsevier reach agreement

Elsevier will offer unlimited open access. This is part of the preliminary agreement between the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), The Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), The Dutch Research Council (NWO) and Elsevier.

The framework agreement, with a transition period from January 1 2020 through May 1 2020, provides Dutch researchers with full reading access to all Elsevier journals, and allows unlimited open access publishing in Elsevier journals. In addition, a range of pilots will be undertaken to develop tools and services in support of (open) science and research intelligence. 

VSNU, NFU, NWO and Elsevier acknowledge that especially the development of these new services has been cause for concern in the scientific community. To address this concern, an initial set of clear principles has been agreed by the partner organisations. These principles are: 

1.    Interoperability: no vendor lock in, researchers and institutions can also use their own tools.
2.    Future proof: system should be flexible to different setups and different agreements.
3.    Vendor/publisher neutral: system development is not limited to any specific vendor.
4.    Researchers and/or institutions own their own research data (not Elsevier).

In the coming months, a working group will further define the rules of engagement and the governance structure will be worked out. Gino Ussi, Executive Vice President at Elsevier, says that the agreement ‘marks an important step towards achieving Dutch research and open science ambitions’. NWO President Stan Gielen comments that the agreement ‘is in accordance with Plan S and is a huge step towards 100 procent open access and therefore a major breakthrough for open science in the Netherlands’. 

Press release VSNU

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