Utrecht University launches new open access policy

31 Mar 2022 | Network Updates | Update from Utrecht University
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Utrecht University aims at a publishing climate in which academic authors publish fully open access (OA). The Executive Board of Utrecht University has agreed to a new OA policy to realise this ambition.

By expanding the availability of research results, transparency, applicability and reuse of these results increase. In addition, it will benefit the (societal) impact of research. That is why the university wants to increase the number of publications that are published in open access. This fits in with the ambitions in the field of Open Science. Another part of this OA policy is to control the costs of open access publishing.

Below you will read what the new policy means for Utrecht University researchers. 

Researchers will publish 100% open access

At the centre of the policy is that Utrecht University researchers are expected to make all their publications (journal articles, book chapters and books) open access under an open licence. Several roads are possible:

Publish open access directly:

Ideally, publishing open access is done directly, preferably in a full open  access journal (gold open access).

Utrecht University Library helps researchers with open access publishing. For instance by means of the UU Journal Browser, a list that tells you in what journals you, as an University Utrecht author, can publish free of charge or at a discount.

As a Utrecht University researcher you can also call on the Open Access Fund. Under certain conditions you will receive full reimbursement of the publication costs (article processing charge). The Executive Board has decided to continue the funding of the Open Access Fund until 2024.

Publish open access after 6 months:

Sometimes journal articles, books and/or book chapters written by UU researchers cannot be immediately published open access, for instance due to embargo conditions or costs that are too high.

The university library offers an alternative in the case of journal articles and book chapters. These publications can be made freely available at least six months after the publication date.

In order to help authors, Utrecht University will expand the use of the Taverne Amendment (article 25fa of the Dutch copyright law). This addition to Dutch copyright law enables authors to make there publications open access available six months after the publication date.

To a future-proof open access landscape

Utrecht University aims at a system of full open access publishing for academic journal articles, book chapters and books. Values such as ownership, independence and inclusiveness are vital to this system. That is why the university wants to make it as easy as possible to publish open access while considering a responsible spending of public money.

"We look to the future with this new open access policy. We not only ask researchers to publish open access. We also aim at creating an open access landscape with a future proof cost structure. A landscape that facilitates each UU researcher as best we can, regardless of the discipline you are working in. Only in this way can we realise our ambition of open access to academic results." said Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus.

As part of the new policy, investments will be made in contracts with full open access publishers (gold open access). Utrecht University will also invest in transforming existing contracts with publishers to full open access.

Moreover the university will invest in parties that will charge no open access publishing costs to authors (diamond open access). Utrecht University supports journals and platforms, but also the open infrastructure (for instance indexing and archiving) of which they are dependent.

The policy aslo concerns differences in publication culture between different research disciplines. Utrecht University will for instance take steps to advance the open access availability of books. By finnancing the costs of open access publications of books as well as by participating in sustainable diamond open acces infrastructures for books.

This contributes to a more equal playing field in open access publishing. It opens up opportunities for new players in the field of sustainable open access publishing and offers an alternative to large publishers holding a dominant market position. 

This article was first published on 29 March by Utrecht University.

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