Open publications

Open access covers all types of peer-reviewed publications, both journal articles and books (monographs).

Initially, the open access movement focused mainly on journal articles and the business model of journals themselves, giving rise to open access journals. The DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) now lists over 13,500 fully open access journals. Some publishers then offered the option of open access publication of individual articles from journals with a subscription model, for a fee (e.g. Springer Open Choice). We call journals that offer this option ‘hybrid’ journals. Academic institutions do not support the hybrid approach because these journals are paid for twice: via subscriptions and APCs.

Open access for books did not happen until later. This is because there is often still a need for a printed copy of a book alongside the online version and the costs of the printed copy need to be recouped. It is not easy to find a cost-covering business model for open access books. A pioneering project relating to open access for books was the European OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) project. The result was the OAPEN Foundation, an international initiative to further expand open access for books. It currently offers two services:


  • The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) is a database that refers readers to open access books on publishers’ websites. These are peer-reviewed books that are published under an open access licence (the CC BY licence) – in other words, books that are ‘free to read’ and ‘free to share’. DOAB contains 12,000 books or chapters from 280 publishers.

  • The OAPEN library is a repository of 3,500 full-text books. Publishers can choose to place their open access books in the OAPEN library. The OAPEN library also contains books that are only ‘free to read’.

More open access publications can be found:

  • Large international open-access platforms are the European based OpenAire (over 22 million publications) and the global OAIster (50 million publications)

  • 70,000 Dutch doctoral theses are available as open access material on the portal of NARCIS (635.000 open access publications) and the international theses platform DART-Europe E-theses Portal (800,000 theses, including those in NARCIS, from 613 universities in 28 countries).                                       

In addition to open access for publications open data will be a key instrument.


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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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