What is Open Access

SPARC defines Open Access as the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.

There are various ways in which open access can be provided, with the two most common methods usually categorised as either gold or green open access:

  • Gold: Publishing in an open access journal. 
  • Green: Self-archiving, the practice of depositing articles in an institutional repository or a subject repository such as arXiv. The institutional repository of EUR and Erasmus MC is called Pure

History of Open Access Publishing

The open access movement began in the 1990s, as access to the World Wide Web became widely available and online publishing became the norm. The forerunners of open access were open source and open courseware.

The Dutch Approach

Despite its relatively small size, the Netherlands is one of the fastest growing open access countries in the world. The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (UNL) identifies four success factors:

  1. Unique bargaining model. UNL negotiated with the publishers on behalf of all research universities and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands, all university libraries, and the National Library of the Netherlands (KB). That is, on behalf of the Netherlands as a whole. 
  2. A powerful delegation. Contrary to normal practice, the UNL and UKB (a consortium of thirteen Dutch university libraries and the National Library of the Netherlands) took negotiations to the highest administrative level. Whereas normally, the boards of the libraries are expected to meet with the publishers, this is now done by a number of Executive Board Presidents of universities, who negotiate through the UNL, with the mandate of all universities and university libraries, and with the support of SURF. This means that there is attention for the subject at the highest administrative level from the outset. This strong foundation has made it possible to negotiate at a different strategic level. 
  3. Fidelity to principles. In the eyes of the Dutch Universities, the transition to open access should be budget neutral. 
  4. Clear political support. State Secretary Sander Dekker, in his letter to the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament on November 15, 2013, stated: “My goal is to complete the full transition to Open Access Gold Road in ten years, i.e., by 2024. To achieve this, in five years at least 60 per cent of scientific journal publications should be available through Open Access.”

[Source: https://www.magazine-on-the-spot.nl/openaccess/eng/the-dutch-approach.html]

UNL publishes second E-zine on Dutch approach:  https://www.magazine-on-the-spot.nl/openaccess/eng/

Where can I find Open Access Journals?

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): comprehensive list of Open Access journals
OpenDOAR: quality-assured, global Directory of Open Access Repositories
OpenAIRE: European platform with access to 56 million publications from 78.000 repositories 
The Lens
BASE Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
Google Scholar
Google Dataset Search
DART Europe (E-Thesis)
DataCite Commons
Semantic Scholar
Open Alex