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No agreement with the Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing 

No agreement with the Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing 

The Dutch universities and Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing (RSC) have been unable to reach a new agreement on access to scientific journals. The VSNU’s aim in the negotiations was to secure a transition to open access without Dutch academics having to pay double to access articles. The costs of transitioning to open access would be substantially higher with this publisher than we are currently paying for access, and therefore was unacceptable to the Dutch universities.


RSC is a small non-profit publisher in a specialist field with a high-quality journal package. The VSNU would be happy to reopen negotiations with RSC if and when the publisher is willing to make comprehensive and fair agreements on open access. It is extremely frustrating that we have as yet been unable to achieve a satisfactory result as RSC will probably discontinue read access to the journals. 


In that case, VSNU advises researchers to visit their university library to seek alternatives. For alternatives for access to RSC content, please refer to the special flyer created by the UKB. 


Agreements about subscription fees for academic journals are made with academic publishers on behalf of all of the Dutch universities. The VSNU is currently negotiating with these publishers on the universities’ behalf. The universities are only willing to renew the subscription agreements on the condition that publishers bring open access closer to becoming a reality. This has been achieved with many publishers, as can be read in the e-zine published on 7 March 2018. It is regrettable that RSC remains unaccommodating, but fortunately it is an exception in the wider open access movement.