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The Netherlands: Paving the way for open access


VSNU publishes E-zine on Dutch approach

The Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU) is presenting an E-zine today on the successful Dutch approach to achieving open access. The Dutch universities are working together to make scientific articles freely accessible to everyone. Big steps have been taken towards 100% open access, which  has been recognized and applauded in the international academic community. In this publication, fifteen milestones are highlighted, as well as the definition of open access, the role of publishers, the process of negotiations with publishers, and the critical factors for success in the unique Dutch approach.

Open access publishing of scientific research has been a goal in academia for years. For politicians, funding organisations and publishers, too, it is a point of increasing interest. VSNU president Karl Dittrich: ‘The Netherlands is undergoing rapid growth in the field of open access, which is being recognised across the globe. This rapid growth is the result of a unique approach, inspired and supported by other national and international organisations. Although the Netherlands is not alone in its ambitions, I am confident our country is leading the way towards open access.’

Dutch universities have together taken great steps towards enabling open access to scientific articles for everyone. Contracts with large publishing houses have been concluded whereby the articles of our researchers can now be openly accessed online, at no extra cost. More and more publishers are willing to make the switch to open access publishing. Some publishers want to make the switch right away, while others are willing to do so in smaller steps. Our neighbouring countries are benefiting from the road that we have taken in the Netherlands. It helps them to make progress in the field of open access and, conversely, it helps the Netherlands to continue to develop. This reciprocity is necessary, because not all publishers are convinced that the time has come for open access. The Dutch presidency of the EU can help to stimulate its development across Europe. Karl Dittrich: ‘There is still a way to go, but I am confident that open access strengthens the link between science and society!’

Please find the E-zine here:




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Ruben Puylaert


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Liselotte de Langen

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