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New publication opportunities: Knowledge Unlatched and PeerJ

The Library supports innovative open-access initiatives

7 February 2014

In order to provide UvA researchers with still more opportunities to publish in open access the University Library has decided to support two new and promising initiatives: Knowledge Unlatched and PeerJ

Social sciences and humanities: Knowledge Unlatched

Via the non-profit organisation Knowledge Unlatched libraries can share the cost of publishing monographs on open access.

In this model there is no need for financing by an author or institution. When there is sufficient interest from the libraries taking part, your monograph will be published on open access.

How the model works

If the libraries which have joined Knowledge Unlatched acquire a monograph, whether in print form or electronically, they automatically contribute to its being published on open access. Knowledge Unlatched keeps account of how much libraries have paid. As soon as this equals the publisher’s fixed fee ($12.000 on average), the monograph is published on open access. So if 200 libraries acquire the monograph, then they will only have to pay $60 each. By this cooperation the libraries create a sustainable business model for open-access books. Publishers taking part are, just to name a few, Amsterdam University Press, Brill, Cambridge University Press and University of Michigan Press.

What does UvA do? 

The UvA supports Knowledge Unlatched by subscribing to 28 titles from the pilot collection. 

Biological and medical science: PeerJ

A PeerJ lifetime publishing plan for 1 author normally costs $99. The Library buys 100 of these publishing plans, which will enable 100 UvA researchers to publish on open access for the rest of their lives. PeerJ is the name of an open-access peer-reviewed scientific journal. There is also PeerJ PrePrints. Both focus on biological and medical sciences. If you, as a UvA researcher, would like to take part in such a lifetime publishing plan, please contact Saskia Woutersen (mail: , tel. 020 5252412).

Dekker: "In 2024 all scientific publications are open access." 

If it is up to State Secretary Dekker of the Ministry of Education, all Dutch scientific publications will be accessible via open access in 2024. On 15 November 2013 he made this known in a letter to the chairperson of the Lower House of Parliament.

Dekker did not hold out the prospect of extra financing. It is the authors’ institutions which will have to pay for open access. The free alternative (publishing the final author copy via ArXiv or UvA-DARE) was not mentioned by the State Secretary, because he does not consider this a satisfactory solution.

Joost Taverne (MP for the Liberal Party VVD) does, however, see an alternative way and has introduced an amendment to a bill on 10 January 2014. According to the amendment, the author will always retain the right to publish journal articles on open access, provided they were wholly or partly funded by public means. Even if the author transferred all rights to the publisher, the author retains the right (not the duty) to publish the article on open access.

For the text of the bill and the amendment, see the Dutch version of this page.

Libraries: negotiations with publishers 

The UvA Library will continue to aim at including the final author copy in UvA-DARE, as an important step in the open access process.

In the coming months there will be some stiff negotiations between publishers and the University Libraries in the Netherlands, in order to prevent the libraries having to pay twice: both for the subscriptions and for open access. In this way it may be avoided that the extra costs will reside either at the author or the institution. The UvA University Library already has discount agreements with some publishers, which vary from 15 to 90%.

Negotiations with publishers are not only important on account of the State Secretary's letter but also within the framework of Horizon2020: the European Commission will ask authors of Horizon2020 projects to publish their results on open access.

Published by  Library UvA