What does the government want?


"Let’s all join forces and go for gold together." Dutch State Secretary Sander Dekker

The Dutch government is of the opinion that publicly funded research should in principle be freely accessible. This was the position outlined by State Secretary Sander Dekker in a letter (in Dutch) to the Dutch House of Representatives in November 2013. He was deliberately opting for the golden route. He aims 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.

The government has opted 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. The first results of the monitor to the Ministery of science is fixed in Septemebr 2016

You can find out much more about how the transition to open access is progressing and about the current status of negotiations at the VSNU website. You can also refer to 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

Improving 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 from January until June 2016 the Dutch government paid  special attention to  this subject as well.  On 4 and 5 April a special Open Science conference took place in Amsterdam

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

The conference included different stakeholders: politicians, researchers, representatives of universities and research organizations, as well as scientific publishers.

As main result a Call for Action on Open Science was formulated. See also the summary and comments.

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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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