This is the third e-zine on open access. It comes at the start of an important year full of fresh negotiations, including Elsevier. In this third edition, we will present our 2018 - 2020 Roadmap to open access.
The collective goal of the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands) – together with NWO/ZonMw (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research/Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) and the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) – is to realise 100% open access for all research disciplines
and all types of publications. The development of our own ‘rules of engagement’, with which all service providers must comply, will be of substantial added value to this process. The VSNU's coordination of a vast range of domestic and international partners will help achieve both of these goals. These efforts are a continuation of the course we have set for ourselves, which has already borne a great deal of fruit.
The figures show that the Netherlands has already achieved excellent open-access results in recent times: in 2016, nearly 42% of peer-reviewed articles published by Dutch research universities were open-access publications. This is an excellent result from an international perspective, although it is vital that even more publicly funded research is made available via open access. It is vital to scientists around the globe as it allows them to see and use each other's results much sooner. It is vital
to the business sector as it boosts innovation. And it is vital to anyone interested in hearing the latest developments in science, such as teachers, patients or engineers.
VSNU is committed to and confident of achieving the goal set by the National Plan for Open Science, i.e. 100% open access by 2020. The Dutch government's coalition agreement, entitled ‘Vertrouwen in de toekomst’ (‘Trust in the Future’, October 2017) emphasises the importance of this issue, pledging that ‘open science and open access will be the norm in scientific research’. In addition to open access, the Netherlands also wants to ensure that research data is more effectively reused and that scientists' contributions to the open-research process are appropriately recognised and appreciated. The VSNU also plays a vital role in these issues.
I am convinced that we can continue to make a difference and maintain the Netherlands' world leadership in this field. Approximately 3% of global scientific publications originate from the Netherlands, which may not sound like much, but when you consider the relatively small number of researchers in the country it is a very high proportion. Dutch research is among the best in the world. The 14 research universities in the Netherlands form a united front during negotiations with the major publishing companies in order to optimise cost management and further growth of open access. Our negotiating organisation is a leading light for foreign universities, and we will continue to follow our open vision of the future until we achieve 100% open access. In this way, we will ensure that the valuable knowledge provided by our universities benefits the whole of society.
President of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands