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The aim of Open Access is to make publicly-funded research accessible for everyone. Open access academic publications, which can be freely read, printed, copied, distributed, searched or otherwise used, contribute to an accelerated dissemination of research results and hence to the development of academic knowledge, the use and reuse of the research results in education, and their utilisation by members of the public and professionals.

If you have any questions about Open Access, please contact the Library’s Open Access Helpdesk:

  • 1) Towards 100% open access

    The Dutch government has put Open Science on the political agenda. Firstly at national level, in 2013, and then at European level during the EU Presidency in 2016.

    In order to implement the European agreements in the Netherlands, in February 2017 the National Plan for Open Science (NPOS) was signed by ten parties, including the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), NWO/ZonMw (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research /Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development), the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and the UKB (Dutch Association of the University Libraries and National Library of the Netherlands).

    An important ambition of the NPOS is to achieve 100% Open Access publication by 2020. From 2020, all academic publications funded with public money must provide direct Open Access to everyone and be reusable.

    The VSNU/UKB is the lead agency behind this ambition and is initiating and coordinating joint policy between the main players involved. See also the 2018-2020 ‘Road Map’ to Open Access and the VSNU’s information page on Open Access.

    Further information about Open Access, the latest news, Open Access in the Netherlands and the current Open Access agreements with publishers can be found on the Dutch national information portal

  • 2) The UvA’s open access policy

    The UvA committed itself to open access in 2005 by signing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. In 2017, the UvA signed the National Plan Open Science with the aim of realising the national transition to open science. One of the three spearheads of the NPOS is embracing open access while aiming towards achieving 100% open access.

    The UvA Open Science Programme 2020-2024 includes an open access policy, in which the UvA’s commitment to open access has been translated into responsibilities for staff:

    ‘As of 1 January 2021, UvA researchers will be required to register their academic publications immediately after publication and to upload the corresponding publisher’s version (or at least the accepted manuscript) to the UvA’s Current Research Information System (Pure) for long-term archiving. In addition, researchers are expected to use one of these three options to publish their work in open access:

    1. publish an academic publication in open access immediately with a Creative Commons licence* with a publisher; or
    2. make the publisher's version of a short academic publication freely available through the UvA repository (UvA-DARE) after a six-month embargo, pursuant to Section 25fa of the Dutch Copyright Act; or
    3. make the accepted manuscript of an academic publication freely available through the UvA repository (UvA-DARE) once the embargo imposed by the publisher has expired.’

    * Preferably with a CC BY licence in line with the Plan S guidelines.

    More information and support

    The University Library supports and facilitates all options listed in the policy, and provides support and advice to researchers concerning open-access publishing. See sections 3–10 on this web page for more information.

    If you have any questions, please send them to

  • 3) Reliable Open Access journals and publishers

    There are plenty of Open Access publishers. Generally, Open Access publishers offer just the same quality as traditional publishers. However, there are some so-called predatory journals that provide few if any editorial services or peer review in exchange for the publication fees. So how can you determine whether a publisher or journal is reliable and of good quality?

    Tip: Use the guidelines on the website Think, Check, Submit for assessing journals or publishers.

    Before opting for a journal or publisher, consult the following:

    • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
      All publishers or journals listed in the DOAJ meet the criteria for transparency and best practice.
    • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
      This lists book publishers and Open Access books that meet the requirements set by the OAPEN Foundation and OASPA.
    • The OAPEN Foundation
      Offers an overview of Open Access book publishers that meet the Open Access conditions of organisations that include the European Research Council (ERC), Wellcome and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
    • Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)
      Publishers affiliated to the OASPA must meet set membership criteria.

    Further information on assessing the quality of Open Access journals and book publishers can be found at

  • 4) Publish open access without costs in 11.000 journals

    Use the UvA Open Access Journal Browser to quickly find out if you, as an UvA researcher, can publish open access without any costs in a specific journal and what conditions apply.

    Read & Publish agreements

    In recent years, the Library has entered into so called Read & Publish agreements with the large(r) traditional publishers at a national level. As a result, UvA researchers do not only have access to journals (reading rights) but can also publish articles without costs – or in some cases a discount – in almost 11.000 full and hybrid open access journals from e.g. Elsevier, Springer, Wiley, SAGE, Cambridge, Brill or Emerald. An overview can be found on

    In addition, the Library also enters into agreements individually on behalf of the UvA with small(er) – often discipline specific – publishers, which results in discounts or cost-free open access publishing in selected journals from:

    To be eligible for a discount or cost-free open access article, the corresponding author (the one who submits and corresponds with the publisher) must be affiliated to the UvA. Note that it varies from publisher to publisher if – next to research articles – other article types are also part of the agreement. Pay attention to the conditions!

    Questions? Please contact

  • 5) Open access publication in the UvA repository

    If Open Access publication is not possible with a publisher, Open Access publication of the preprint or postprint of your publication can still be done via the university repository. This can be done via Pure, the research registration system at the UvA. Open Access by means of self-archiving is also known as ‘Green Open Access’.

    After archiving, publications can be downloaded via personal pages, the UvA-DARE repository and via Google Scholar.

    Publishers’ embargoes
    Publishers apply different embargo periods to the self-archiving of journal articles. Details of these can be found in the publisher agreement and on the website  Sherpa Romeo. The Sherpa Romeo information can also be found in Pure.

    For more information, see the guide to Open Access publishing on the Pure support page.

  • 6) Publications freely available through section 25fa Dutch Copyright Act (Taverne)
  • 7) Open Access obligations from funders / Plan S

    Open access obligations
    Most research funding organizations attach an Open Access obligation when providing research funds. These Open Access requirements can be found in the guidelines of the various research funding organizations, including the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) the several research programs from the European and private funders as Wellcome Trust or Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Upfront budgeting
    Always include the costs of Open Access in your project budget. At the UvA, there are no additional funds available for claiming this type of cost retrospectively. And advantage of the national discount schemes with Open Access publishers.

    Plan S – accelerating open access
    Plan S is an initiative of cOAlition S – an international consortium of research funding organizations, including the NWO – aimed at accelerating the transition towards 100% Open Access. With effect from 1 January 2021, publications that result from money from these research funding organizations should be published immediately as Open Access. Plan S primarily focuses in first instance on academic articles. The requirements for monographs and book chapters will be published at a later stage.

    Open access requirements
    The implementation guidelines outline how researchers can meet the requirements of Plan S. The most important requirements for publishing academic articles are: immediate Open Access, accessible under a Creative Commons license and with retention of copyright.

    These conditions can be met by:

    • publishing in an Open Access journal or on an Open Access platform with a CC BY license;
    • archiving a final or accepted peer reviewed version (AAM) direct in the institutional repository with a CC BY license;
    • publishing open access with a CC BY license in a (hybrid) journal that is party to a ‘transformative agreement’.

    Helpful tools
    You can use the Journal Checker Tool that is developed by cOAlition S, to determine if a specific journals meets the Plan S requirements.

    Rights Retention Strategy (RRS)
    When a journal doesn’t offer any open access possibilities and the ‘self-archiving policy’ makes it impossible to archive an open version of the AAM immediately: then use the Rights Retention Strategy from cOAlition S to meet the Plan S requirements. See also the flyer on RRS with a concise explanation and instructions on how to inform the publisher.

    Implementation by NWO
    NWO will implement the principles of Plan S for all calls that are published from 1 January 2021 onwards and will be applicable to publications related to those calls. See for more detailed information the webpage dedicated to Plan S by NWO. Note that the principles will also be obligatory for several ZonMW programs.

    If you have any questions about Plan S, you can ask them at

  • 8) UvA Diamond Open Access Fund

    With the adoption of the UvA Open Science programme 2020 – 2024, funding has become available for diamond open access initiatives. The funding amounts to 100,000 euros per year for as long as the programme lasts.

    What is diamond open access?

    With diamond open access initiatives – journals or publication platforms – authors do not have to pay for publication and the publications are made available to readers immediately and free of charge in open access. Diamond open access initiatives play a key role in the transition to an affordable, sustainable and fair system for open access publication managed by the academic community.

    Funding by the UvA

    Diamond open access initiatives often have difficulty securing funding and the importance of this open access model is still often underestimated in the existing open access strategies. The UvA has therefore taken its responsibility by establishing an UvA Diamond Open Access Fund. The fund supports proven diamond initiatives in which UvA researchers have published and – on request – diamond open access initiatives at the UvA which have recently been or will soon be set up or which have already proven themselves.

    Two funding routes

    The diamond open access funding is divided into two routes; per year, 50,000 euros is available for each one.

    Route 1: Donations to diamond initiatives in which UvA researchers have published.
    The UvA donates to diamond or non-APC open access initiatives in which UvA researchers have published, provided that a journal is a) registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals and that b) publication with a CC BY licence (in accordance with the terms of Plan S) is possible. The UvA's Pure registration system is the source used for the annual identification of diamond open access publications.

    Route 2: Funding on request for UvA open access initiatives.
    For the purpose of starting new UvA diamond initiatives or expanding, scaling up or professionalising existing ones, substantiated applications can be submitted for (one-off) funding from the fund. The application deadline for 2024 is July 1st.

    The fund is managed by the University Library. For questions about the fund or to request the procedure and conditions to submit an application for Route 2, mail to Pascal Braak (open access specialist).

  • 9) Finding Open Access publications

    Many Open Access publications can be found using the Library’s discovery tool CataloguePlus (filter by ‘availability’ --> open access) and the Google Scholar search engine. There are also several search engines that specifically target Open Access publications (articles and books):

    • OpenAIRE – Explore: provides access to over 27 million Open Access publications from 15,000 institutions and 18 research funding authorities.
    • ArXiv: repository with (approx. 1.5 million) academic Open Access publications and pre-publications in mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, economics and statistics.
    • The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) and OAPEN can be used to find peer-reviewed Open Access books.
    • CORE: Open Access search engine providing access to academic repositories across the world. Provides access to 135 million indexed Open Access publications.
    • Unpaywall is a browser extension that detects Open Access versions of articles on publishers’ websites. If the Library has no subscription and you cannot read a publication, this extension can provide a solution if you use the Firefox and Chrome browsers.
  • 10) Definitions

    An explanation of some frequently used Open Access terminology:

    Author Processing Charge (APC)
    The fee paid to publish an Open Access article. In 2017, the average APC was € 1,700. Depending on the journal and publisher, the APC for Open Access articles varies from € 400 to as much as € 4,000.

    Book Processing Charge (BPC)
    The fee paid to publish an Open Access book. The fee for publishing an Open Access book varies according to the publisher and is between € 7,000 and € 15,000.

    Unlike APC's for articles in hybrid journals, there is no general or UvA scheme to finance BPC's.  See: OA Books Toolkit for information on OA book publishing, including funding options. 

    Corresponding author
    For the publisher, the corresponding author is the person who submits the article. In order to qualify for a discount scheme, it is usually a requirement for the corresponding author to have an affiliation (employment relationship) with the UvA.

    Creative Commons (CC)
    If you declare a Creative Commons licence to be applicable to a publication, this indicates that you are waiving certain statutory copyrights. There are various types of CC licences, of which CC BY is the least restrictive. Most research funding authorities demand or recommend this licence because this means that the publication is fully accessible according to the definitions of the Berlin Declaration (2003). See also: Guide to Creative Commons for scholarly publications and educational resources on the use of CC licences.

    Diamond Open Access
    If an author is able to publish Open Access in an Open Access journal or on an Open Access platform because the costs have already been paid by (academic) institutions, this is referred to as Diamond Open Access. Examples of this include Glossa or SciPost.

    Gold Open Access
    If a publication is immediately published in Open Access by a publisher with a Creative Commons licence, this is referred to as Gold Open Access. Generally, an Author Processing Charge (APC) or Book Processing Charge (BPC) is paid for this.

    Green Open Access
    If a version (postprint, preprint, publisher's PDF) of a publication is made public retrospectively by means of self-archiving in the University repository, for example, this is referred to as Green Open Access. No charges are involved in this.

    Hybrid journal
    A hybrid journal is a traditional subscription journal that also allows Open Access publication in exchange for the payment of an APC. The UvA has agreed discount schemes with the large traditional publishers at national level, enabling UvA researchers to publish free of charge in many of these journals.

    Open Access
    If a publication is freely accessible for everyone and its content can be read, downloaded, copied, distributed, printed, indexed, used in education, searched in and searched for, or otherwise used by anyone in accordance with the legally valid agreements, the publication is referred to as being Open Access. See also the Berlin Declaration (2003).

    However, publications that are only freely accessible (Green Open Access) are often also referred to as Open Access, but they are subject to normal copyright and do not meet the above definition.

    Accepted version after peer review. This is the final version of the publication that will be published, but still without the publisher's specific layout (style, page numbers). This version is also referred to as the author accepted manuscript (AAM).

    Preprints are (academic) manuscripts that have not been peer-reviewed or published in a traditional publishing venue. In Open Science and academic publishing, the preprint is an increasingly important form of academic communication. By posting preprints, either on institutional or individual websites or preprint servers such as Arxiv, Repec and Zenodo, researchers can rapidly share their findings and build upon each other’s work. See also: A practical guide to preprints.