National Open Access Desk

  • Just de Leeuwe |
    Elly Dijk |
    • There are 13 research universities in the Netherlands, organised in the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands). 30 percent of all research is done at these universities. In addition there are several research institutes: 15 hosted by KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), 11 by NWO, 14 by TNO, 8 Technical Top Institutes and 4 Societal Top Institutes. 

      The 40 universities of applied sciences are taking on a growing role in research and are organised in the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (Vereniging van Hogescholen).

      All information on the Dutch research environment can be found at 'Science in figures' of the Rathenau Institute.

      Support and landscape

      • An important organisation for the promotion of Open Science in the Netherlands is SURF, the collaborative organisation for research universities, research institutes and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands.

        Also the VSNU and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science are involved in promoting open science.

      National initiatives

      • For an overview of the current policies and initiatives on Open Science, check the overview on the national Open Access website. In 2005, the Netherlands became the first country where all universities had their own repository. NARCIS is the central portal for the Dutch repositories. NARCIS harvest open and closed access publications from all the academic repositories and from other research institutes, and open and restricted data from various data archives. NARCIS is a service of DANS, Data Archiving and Networked Services.
    • To be updated soon.

      OpenAIRE statistics

      593,244 OA publications in 398 repositories
    • National policy

      In February 2017 the National Plan Open Science was published. This Plan shows the ambition of the involved institutes towards Open Science. The implementation of this plan will be followed up by the National Platform Open Science. Together with the publishing of the plan a new website was launched: National Plan Open Science.

      The focus of the Platform is to accelerate the key areas:

      • Full open access publishing;
      • Optimal reuse of research data;
      • Corresponding evaluation systems for recognition and rewards; and,
      • Encouraging and supporting open science.

      Institutional policy

      A couple of Dutch universities – Erasmus University Rotterdam (since 2010), Eindhoven University of Technology (2015), TU Delft (2016)  and University of Groningen (2017) – have adopted an official open access policy for their institution. Almost all universities stipulate that PhD dissertations must be made publicly available in their repositories.

      The universities of Twente, Utrecht and Delft encourage open access publishing through a special fund. VU University Amsterdam and Utrecht University support researchers wishing to set up open access journals.

      Funder policy

      In addition to direct funding by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science research is also funded by two organisations:

      • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) –NWO has tightened the conditions in the Regulation on Granting with respect to Open Access. The phrase ‘accessible to the public as quickly as possible’ has become "immediate Open Access at the moment of publication". NWO also wants publicly funded research data to become findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR). To make data that emerges from NWO-funded research as accessible and reusable as possible, NWO implemented the data management policy in all NWO funding instruments with effect from 1 October 2016.
      • Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) – The Academy believes that research data and publications based on publicly funded research should be freely accessible. All publications by KNAW researchers are freely available, preferably immediately but at the latest after 18 months. The same applies to research data unless there are compelling reasons (privacy, statutory regulations) that prevent this. KNAW makes budget funds available to encourage KNAW researchers and institutes to make their publications and data accessible through open access.
    • Key networks and aggregators

      • There is widespread awareness of Open Access in the Netherlands. Since 2005 all Dutch universities, the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, the KNAW, NWO, the Royal Library and SURF have signed the Berlin Declaration. Since 2005, every university has an institutional repository.

        DANS, an institute of KNAW and NWO, provides access to all content of Dutch university repositories, KNAW, NWO, and a number of research institutes; through the national portal NARCIS. NARCIS provides access to (open access) publications, datasets of some data archives; and to descriptions of research projects, institutes and researchers. NARCIS has been developed by DANS, in close cooperation with the universities and other scholarly institutions. Currently, there are 1.4 million publications available of whom 530.000 are open access.

        The national Open Access website,, provides information on open access publishing for various stakeholders.




      Data repositories

      NARCIS is the gateway that provides access to over 165,000 of scientific datasets from researchers at Dutch universities and research institutes. DANS and 4TU.ResearchData provides durable storage and access to research data. These results are also made public by NARCIS. DANS provides sustainable access to research data from the humanities and social sciences through EASY, an online archiving system. Researchers can use EASY to archive their own research data for the long term. Most data are open data or open after registration. 4TU.Centre for Research Data (4TU.ResearchData), a cooperation of TU Delft, TU Eindhoven and University of Twente, guarantees the storage, reuse and continuing accessibility of science and engineering research data.

      DANS, 4TU.ResearchData, and SURFsara have joined forces on sustainable data archiving within the Research Data Netherlands (RDNL) partnership. The partnership is also open to other parties.n 2013 a number of Dutch universities, universities of applied sciences, and research institutes joined the DataverseNL, a partnership that jointly manages and deploys the Dataverse Network open source application for the archiving, citing and sharing of research data in the short and medium term by researchers themselves. The data management is in the hands of the institutions; DANS has been managing DataverseNL since May 2014. For more information on open data in the Netherlands see

      National publishing initiatives

      Uopen Journals is one of the main publishers of OA journals.

      National agreements with publishers

      Since 2015 national licenses with academic publishers are strongly connected with open access. The renewal of what is known as the ‘big deal’ agreements is an important opportunity for negotiating with the publishers on this. Publishers have been offering their journals in big package deals for over a decade. This provides universities with access to the publisher’s entire range of titles. The Dutch Universities will take that opportunity to discuss not just the extension of those licences with publishers, but also the transition to open access. Universities expect publishers to make a serious effort to facilitate this transition.

      The negotiations with the publishers will be held in close cooperation with the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and UKB (the consortium of university libraries and the National Library of the Netherlands). Currently, 14 agreements have been made with publishers. This means that articles from corresponding authors associated with VSNU will be published as open access and authors will not be charged. A dedicated webpage gives insight into the publisher agreements, workflows and the statistics. More than 10.000 articles are published because of the agreements with publishers. For more information please read the frequently asked questions on open access by the VSNU.

      OA books

      Amsterdam University Press is primary partner in the OAPEN project, concerned with the Open Access publishing of humanities and social sciences monographs.

    • The national website about Open Access,, gives information, updates, and news about open access publishing for various stakeholders in The Netherlands.

      Visual material in order to promote open access is available at open access.nlDutch universities make great efforts to inform their academic staff about open access via web pages, special newsletters and the like. Symposiums and a range of other activities are held across the country each year during international Open Access Week.Every university has trained open access staff like repository managers and data librarians to support the researchers.  Research Data Netherlands (RDNL) provides the course Essentials 4 Data Support. This is an introductory course for those who provide support to researchers in storing, managing, archiving and sharing their research data (data support staff).

    • Funding Agencies

      The Netherlands has 3 major funding agencies which are listed here:

      Integrated in OpenAIRE

      The Netherlands has 1 major funding agency integrated in OpenAIRE.

      The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (24.180 projects)


      See also Monitor Statistics of Netherlands NWO

    European Commission


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