In the Netherlands


"Just as the Netherlands is a knowledge society, science is a knowledge community. Both benefit from the free exchange of information. For that reason alone you have my support in your pursuit of Open Science."



Former Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven

The 100% open access ambition

The Dutch government is of the opinion that publicly funded research should be freely accessible. This was the position outlined by State Secretary Sander Dekker in a letter (in Dutch) to the Dutch House of Representatives already in November 2013. He was deliberately opting for the golden route. He aimed to have 60 percent of Dutch academic publication available through open access within five years (2019) and 100 percent within ten years (2024). If not enough progress is made, proposals will follow in 2016 to make open access publication mandatory.

In 2016, the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science was drawn up at an Open Science meeting organized by the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 4 and 5 April 2016 in Amsterdam. The ambition of 100% open access was further strengthened and the date was also adjusted to 100% open access at the end of 2020. The results and actions are formulated in the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science. See the summary and comments on the Call for Action.

The government sets the priotity for the golden route because this is most sustainable in the long term. In addition, the publishers’ business model will change and this route provides the best guarantee that publications are immediately available. The green route often means lengthy embargo periods. 

Managing the transition to open access is the task of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). The VSNU directs the following activities:

  1. Negotiations with publishers. It has been agreed that no new contracts will be entered into without agreements about open access. The VSNU and UKB (the partnership of university libraries and the National Library of the Netherlands) will conduct negotiations in close cooperation, supported by SURFmarket.

  2. Achieving international cooperation in the area of open access

  3. Communications about open access: raising awareness about open access among institutions (both civil society and university) and researchers

  4. Monitoring the number of articles published in open access. For this purpose the national framework was established with definitions about open access to be monitored from 2016.

Extensive information about the progress of the transition to open access and the state of negotiations can be found on the open access website of the VSNU website. Also consult the timeline on this website.

If you wish to be informed about the latest developments, subscribe to the regular VSNU newsletter.

National Platform Open Science

On February 9th, 2017, the report National Plan Open Science (NPOS) was presented in The Hague.

The parties involved have set out ambitions for open science in the Netherlands for the period 2017-2020. These ambitions are divided into four main topics:

Open Science in the European context

Open access for scientific publications and the best possible re-use of research data is a key priority of the Dutch government. During the Dutch EU Presidency in 2016 the Dutch government paid special attention to this subject as well from other EU member states. 

The Netherlands are committed to accelerate the transition from the traditional publication model to open science. European collaboration is crucial here. After all, in science more and more interdisciplinary research and international collaboration takes place.

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Dutch National website providing information for academics about the advantages of open access to publicly financed research

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