As part of its negotiations with Wolters Kluwer to extend the contract for legal and fiscal professional literature, the VSNU has agreed open-access terms. The 27 academic journals in Wolters Kluwer’s collection of otherwise mainly professional literature will be subject to new and explicit open-access embargo rules. The parties have agreed that academic articles from these 27 journals will be eligible for publishing in the public domain 6 to 12months after the date of their publication on Navigator and Wolters Kluwer’s other platforms.
Generally speaking, embargo periods with regard to articles are considered a form of green open access. Given the VSNU’s stated objective of securing as much gold open access to articles as possible, this makes the agreement all the more remarkable. ‘Whilewe believe in the sustainability of gold open access, this is not always achievable yet. In such cases, green open access is the first step in the right direction’, according to Anton Pijpers, negotiator on behalf of the VSNU and President of the Executive Board of Utrecht University.
Martin O’Malley, Managing Director of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory Netherlands, adds: ‘We are pleased to be the first publisher of literature for legal and fiscal professionals in the Netherlands to conclude an open-access deal with the VSNU.We look forward to working with the VSNU over the next two years to assess the impact of the embargo periods.’
In contrast with other big-deal open-access negotiations, the VSNU is not the main beneficiary of its negotiations with Wolters Kluwer. The legal profession and other professionals are easily the most avid consumers of Wolters Kluwer’s professional literature. In that context, it is only natural for the VSNU to play a more modest role.