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Wolters Kluwer contract renewed without open access


The Dutch universities have been in negotiation with publishing house Wolters Kluwer for some time now to secure open access to academic publications by law scholars affiliated with universities in the Netherlands. Regrettably, no deal could be reached for the coming period.

The contract that has now been concluded once more secures reader rights for already published articles over the 2016-2017 period. Additional agreements have been made to retain archiving rights to articles published in the past. Though this is not an acceptable long-term solution for the Dutch universities, the renewal of the existing contract will give both sides a chance to hammer out a deal in the year ahead.   

Speaking about the agreement, principal negotiator Jaap Winter said, 'Unfortunately we were unable to come to a gold open access deal with Wolters Kluwer for this contract period. We will continue to explore the possibilities however and expect to find a good open access solution in the time ahead.'

The VSNU is negotiating subscription fees with the various academic publishers. These are known as the 'Big Deal' negotiations. The universities are only prepared to renew current subscription agreements if publishers take steps towards making open access available. Over the past year, significant steps towards open access have been achieved through agreements with large and smaller international publishers.

Open access improves access to academic knowledge
The Dutch universities and the Dutch government are very much in favour of open access to academic publications. Open access was also a priority during the Dutch presidency of the EU. Open access publications are easier to find, more frequently cited and reach a larger audience. This benefits not just the academic community, but society and the economy at large.

For more information on the negotiations with Wolters Kluwer, visit If you have any questions, please contact Robert van der Vooren (program manager open access VSNU): +31 6 196 45 745.


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Ruben Puylaert


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Liselotte de Langen

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