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The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has, also on behalf of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), reached a draft agreement with academic information provider Elsevier. The draft agreement is a major step in the transition toward open access publishing within the Netherlands. It also gives Dutch researchers continued access to Elsevier’s academic articles.

Open Access

The details of the three-year deal, which will take effect in 2016, will be concluded in the coming period. The agreement stipulates that in 2018, the third year of the agreement, 30% of Elsevier articles by Dutch authors will be available open access to universities without cost. In principle, Open Access means that the author (the university) pays.

Open Access refers to online research output that is free of all restrictions on access. The traditional system of paid subscription currently prevents many from accessing academic material. 

High on the agenda

Professor Dymph van den Boom, rector magnificus of the UvA, accepted the agreement on behalf of the UvA and AUAS. ‘Open Access is of great importance because it allows academic insights to become available quickly and efficiently to everyone. I am satisfied with this draft agreement’, says Van den Boom. ‘Open Access isn’t only high on the agenda in the Netherlands. We are also putting much effort into it within a European context through, for example, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) with its call to sign the statement “Moving Forwards on Open Access”.’

Maria Heijne, director of the UvA-AUAS library, adds: ‘More and more, our efforts are producing results. Earlier this year Dutch universities signed an agreement on open access publishing with Springer publishers. This deal with Elsevier is the next big step that we’ve been able to take.’ In her capacity as director, Heijne was closely involved in the negotiations.

The agreement with Elsevier is in line with the goal set out by Sander Dekker, state secretary for Education, Culture and Science, for academic articles by Dutch authors to be published open access.