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Open Access Publishing

The aim of Open Access is to make publicly-funded research accessible for everyone. Open Access publications are easier to find, cited more frequently and have greater reach.

If you have any questions about Open Access, please contact the Library’s Open Access Helpdesk:

  • 1) 100% Open Access by 2020

    The Dutch government has put Open Science on the political agenda. Firstly at national level, in 2013, and then at European level during the EU Presidency in 2016.

    In order to implement the European agreements in the Netherlands, in February 2017 the National Plan for Open Science (NPOS) was signed by ten parties, including the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), NWO/ZonMw (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research /Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development), the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and the UKB (Dutch Association of the University Libraries and National Library of the Netherlands).

    An important ambition of the NPOS is to achieve 100% Open Access publication by 2020. From 2020, all academic publications funded with public money must provide direct Open Access to everyone and be reusable.

    The VSNU/UKB is the lead agency behind this ambition and is initiating and coordinating joint policy between the main players involved. See also the 2018-2020 ‘Road Map’ to Open Access and the VSNU’s information page on Open Access.

    Further information about Open Access, the latest news, Open Access in the Netherlands and the current Open Access agreements with publishers can be found on the Dutch national information portal

  • 2) Reliable Open Access journals and publishers

    There are plenty of Open Access publishers. Generally, Open Access publishers offer just the same quality as traditional publishers. However, there are some so-called predatory journals that provide few if any editorial services or peer review in exchange for the publication fees. So how can you determine whether a publisher or journal is reliable and of good quality?

    Tip: Use the guidelines on the website Think, Check, Submit for assessing journals or publishers.

    Before opting for a journal or publisher, consult the following:

    • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
      All publishers or journals listed in the DOAJ meet the criteria for transparency and best practice.
    • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
      This lists book publishers and Open Access books that meet the requirements set by the OAPEN Foundation and OASPA.
    • The OAPEN Foundation
      Offers an overview of Open Access book publishers that meet the Open Access conditions of organisations that include the European Research Council (ERC), Wellcome and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
    • Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)
      Publishers affiliated to the OASPA must meet set membership criteria.

    Further information on assessing the quality of Open Access journals and book publishers can be found at

  • 3) Discount schemes with publishers

    Free Open Access publication based on national agreements
    In recent years, the Library has entered into agreements about Open Access publication with the larger traditional publishers at national level. As a result, UvA researchers can now publish in Open Access in almost 9,000 partially open (hybrid) journals either free of charge or with a discount of up to 90% on the article processing charge (APC).

    Overview of publishers and conditions
    There are agreements with the American Chemical Society, Cambridge University Press, Elsevier, Springer and others. You can find a full list of publishers, including the conditions, at

    Open Access Journal Browser
    If you want to know whether a specific journal is covered by the agreements and find out which discount applies, you can look them up in the Open Access Journal Browser.

    Overview of Library discount schemes
    In addition to national agreements with traditional publishers, the Library also has APC discount schemes with a number of completely Open Access publishers. Discount schemes apply with the following publishers:

    BioMed Central (BMC)
    Over 300 Open Access journals in the biomedical and natural sciences and mathematics. UvA researchers receive a 15% discount on the APC if they indicate that the university is a supporting member.
    If you have any questions, please contact Lieuwe Kool, Head of AMC Medical Library.

    Publisher with journals in the biomedical sciences. Corresponding authors can benefit from a 50% APC discount when they publish open access in the hybrid journals: Journal of Endocrinology, Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, Endocrine-Related Cancer, European Journal of Endocrinology and Reproduction.

    A small-scale Open Access publisher in the social sciences. For corresponding authors who use their UvA email address, Open Access publication is also free of charge with Cogitatio.

    IOP Publishing
    Society-owned publisher that publishes more than 85 (full open and hybrid) academic journals, as well as books and conference proceedings in the area of physics, materials science, biosciences, astronomy and astrophysics, environmental sciences, mathematics and education.
    UvA corresponding authors can publish open access without any additional costs in 43 hybrid journals from IOP. Please use your UvA email address and correct affiliation at submission.

    Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie (MAB)
    UvA researchers can publish free of charge in the monthly Dutch Open Access Journal of Accountancy and Business Economics.

    Open Access publisher with a large number of journals in almost all academic disciplines. The first/corresponding author receives a 10% discount on the APC. Select UvA membership when submitting and use a UvA email and/or complete the process from the UvA network.

    Open Library of Humanities
    Open Access platform with around 20 journals in the humanities. UvA researchers can publish free of charge in the Open Library of Humanities.

    Open Access publisher focusing on biology and the medical sciences. Via the Library, UvA researchers can take out a lifetime publishing plan free of charge. There are 50 of these publishing plans availableComplete the process from the UvA network.

    SciPost Physics
    An initiative of UvA researchers, currently still primarily focusing on physics. With open peer review. UvA researchers can publish in SciPost Physics free of charge.

    The Sociology journal also offers free Open Access publishing to UvA researchers.

    Publisher with more than 200 Open Access journals in almost all academic disciplines. UvA researchers receive a 15% discount if they indicate that the university is a supporting member. Use a UvA email address or complete the process from the UvA network.
    If you have any questions, please contact Lieuwe Kool, Head of AMC Medical Library.

  • 4) Open access publication in the UvA repository

    If Open Access publication is not possible with a publisher, Open Access publication of the preprint or postprint of your publication can still be done via the university repository. This can be done via Pure, the research registration system at the UvA. Open Access by means of self-archiving is also known as ‘Green Open Access’.

    After archiving, publications can be downloaded via personal pages, the UvA-DARE repository and via Google Scholar.

    Publishers’ embargoes
    Publishers apply different embargo periods to the self-archiving of journal articles. Details of these can be found in the publisher agreement and on the website  Sherpa Romeo. The Sherpa Romeo information can also be found in Pure.

    If a publisher does not permit self-archiving, you can invoke your right pursuant to Section 25fa of the Copyright Act (see 5 Making publications freely accessible) and still make the publisher’s version public after six months.

    For more information, see the guide to Open Access publishing on the Pure support page.

  • 5) Making publications freely accessible (Section 25fa Copyright Act)
  • 6) Open Access obligations/ Plan S

    Open access obligations
    Most research funding authorities attach an Open Access obligation when providing research funds.

    These Open Access requirements can be found in the guidelines of the various research funding authorities, including the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the European Commission (Horizon2020) and the European Research Council (ERC).

    Always include the costs of Open Access in your project budget. Or take advantage of the discount schemes with Open Access publishers. At the UvA, there are no additional funds available for claiming this type of cost retrospectively.

    Plan S
    Plan S is an initiative of cOAlition S – an international consortium of research funding authorities, including the NWO – aimed at accelerating the transition towards 100% Open Access. With effect from 1 January 2021, publications that result from money from these research funding authorities should be published immediately as Open Access. Plan S primarily focuses on academic articles. The requirements for monographs and book chapters will be published at a later stage.
    NWO will implement the principles of Plan S for all calls that are published from 1 January 2021 onwards and will be applicable to publications related to those calls.

    The implementation guidelines outline how researchers can meet the requirements of Plan S. The most important requirements for publishing academic articles according to Plan S are currently: immediate Open Access, accessible under a Creative Commons licence (CC-BY) and with retention of copyright.
    These conditions can be met by:

    • publishing in an Open Access journal or on an Open Access platform;
    • archiving a final (VoR) or accepted (AAM) version direct in the institutional repository (with a CC-BY license);
    • publishing in a hybrid journal that is party to a ‘transformative agreement’.

    If you have any questions about Plan S, you can ask them at

    Please note: The publication of the Plan S implementation guidelines led to a lot of debate among researchers about the transition to Open Access. Various events were organised and statements published about Plan S.

    The VSNU endorses the ambitions of Plan S while at the same time advising caution.

  • 7) Finding Open Access publications

    Many Open Access publications can be found using the Library’s discovery tool CataloguePlus (filter by ‘availability’ --> open access) and the Google Scholar search engine.
    There are also several search engines that specifically target Open Access publications (articles and books):

    • OpenAIRE – Explore: provides access to over 27 million Open Access publications from 15,000 institutions and 18 research funding authorities.
    • ArXiv: repository with (approx. 1.5 million) academic Open Access publications and pre-publications in mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, economics and statistics.
    • The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) and OAPEN can be used to find peer-reviewed Open Access books.
    • CORE: Open Access search engine providing access to academic repositories across the world. Provides access to 135 million indexed Open Access publications.
    • Unpaywall is a browser extension that detects Open Access versions of articles on publishers’ websites. If the Library has no subscription and you cannot read a publication, this extension can provide a solution if you use the Firefox and Chrome browsers.
  • 8) Definitions

    An explanation of some frequently used Open Access terminology:

    Author Processing Charge (APC)
    The fee paid to publish an Open Access article. In 2017, the average APC was € 1,700. Depending on the journal and publisher, the APC for Open Access articles varies from € 400 to as much as € 4,000.

    Book Processing Charge (BPC)
    The fee paid to publish an Open Access book. The fee for publishing an Open Access book varies according to the publisher and is between € 7,000 and € 15,000.

    Corresponding author
    For the publisher, the corresponding author is the person who submits the article. In order to qualify for a discount scheme, it is usually a requirement for the corresponding author to have an affiliation (employment relationship) with the UvA.

    Creative Commons licence (CC)
    If you declare a Creative Commons licence to be applicable to a publication, this indicates that you are waiving certain statutory copyrights. There are various types of CC licences, of which CC-BY is the least restrictive. Most research funding authorities demand or recommend this licence because this means that the publication is fully accessible according to the definitions of the Berlin Declaration (2003).

    Diamond Open Access
    If an author is able to publish Open Access in an Open Access journal or on an Open Access platform because the costs have already been paid by (academic) institutions, this is referred to as Diamond Open Access. Examples of this include Glossa or SciPost.

    Gold Open Access
    If a publication is immediately published in Open Access by a publisher with a Creative Commons licence, this is referred to as Gold Open Access. Generally, an Author Processing Charge (APC) or Book Processing Charge (BPC) is paid for this.

    Green Open Access
    If a version (postprint, preprint, publisher's PDF) of a publication is made public retrospectively by means of self-archiving in the University repository, for example, this is referred to as Green Open Access. No charges are involved in this.

    Hybrid journal
    A hybrid journal is a traditional subscription journal that also allows Open Access publication in exchange for the payment of an APC. The UvA has agreed discount schemes with the large traditional publishers at national level, enabling UvA researchers to publish free of charge in many of these journals.

    Open Access
    If a publication is freely accessible for everyone and its content can be read, downloaded, copied, distributed, printed, indexed, used in education, searched in and searched for, or otherwise used by anyone in accordance with the legally valid agreements, the publication is referred to as being Open Access. See also the Berlin Declaration (2003).

    However, publications that are only freely accessible (Green Open Access) are often also referred to as Open Access, but they are subject to normal copyright and do not meet the above definition.

    Accepted version after peer review. This is the final version of the publication that will be published, but still without the publisher's specific layout (style, page numbers). This version is also referred to as the author accepted manuscript (AAM).

    The author’s version of the publication. This is the original form in which an author submits the publication to the publisher.