Open Science in the Netherlands
The National Research Environment
There are 14 research universities in the Netherlands, organised in the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands). 27 percent of all research is done on 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.
Major research funders
In addition to direct funding by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science research is also funded by two organisations:
- the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) – With effect from 1 December 2015, 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 research data that emerges from publicly funded research to become findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) for the use by other researchers. 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.
- the 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. The KNAW does not have an OA mandate.
EC research funding
See for information on financing research by the Horizon 2020 programme in the Netherlands the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
See all Dutch Horizon 2020 projects in the CORDIS database.
Open Access policies and initiatives
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.
See for the policies and initiatieves on the current state of Open Science the overview on the Open Access website.
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 for the Platform is to create acceleration in respect of the three key areas:
1) Full open access publishing;
2) optimal reuse of research data; and,
3) corresponding evaluation systems for recognition and rewards.
On 9 March 2018 the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) launched the 2018-2020 Roadmap to Open Access. In the roadmap the following five pillars aimed at ensuring 100% open access by 2020 were presented.
1) Negotiations with publishers
2) International collaboration
5) Alternative publication platforms
Open Access repositories
The Netherlands is one of the leaders in the development of research repositories. Since 2005 every university has a repository with open access publications. DANS, an institute of KNAW and NWO, gives through the national portal NARCIS access to (open) access publications publications originating from the repositories of the Dutch universities, KNAW, NWO, and a number of research institutes; access to datasets of several data archives; and to descriptions of research projects, institutes and researchers. NARCIS has been developed by DANS, in close cooperation with the universities and orther scholarly institutions. In the European repository ranking the Dutch repositories are doing well.
The national website about Open Access, www.openaccess.nl, gives information about open access publishing for various stakeholders. At 9 universities the depositing of doctoral theses in the institutional repository is mandatory; a large majority of the thesis output of the universities is covered. The NARCIS site provides access to 75,000 Open Access doctoral e-theses.
The universities of applied sciences work together in collecting the materials deposited in their repositories and presenting these through one portal, the HBO-kennisbank. This portal now provides open access to over 37,000 open access research outputs, educational materials and student theses. The publications of the UAS professors and other researchers can also be found in the national portal NARCIS.
Open Access publishing
35 scientific journals from the Netherlands are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (www.doaj.org). Uopen Journals is one of the main publishers of OA journals. Amsterdam University Press is primary partner in the OAPEN project, concerned with the Open Access publishing of humanities and social sciences monographs.
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. These deals run for 3 to 5 years. Negotiations will be taking place with several large publishers soon about the renewal of those contracts. 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). Koen Becking (Tilburg University) and and Jaap Winter (VU University Amsterdam) have been appointed the lead advisors for the negotiations by the VSNU’s General Board.
An agreement for 2015-2016 has been made with Springer. This means that articles from corresponding authors associated with VSNU or NFU (Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres) institutions will be published as open access and authors will not be charged. Payment will be made for the publication of articles, with institutions maintaining access to all Springer journals. The agreement applies to around 1,500 journals within the Springer OpenChoice programme. Titles published by Learned Societies, BioMedCentral and SpringerOpen are excluded. The agreement applies to all articles accepted from 1 January 2015. In the new workflow, Springer will ask authors to indicate which institution they are associated with. Springer and the library of the relevant institution will verify this information. This step will take place during the production process for the article and will not take up any extra time. Springer has set up a special site for this.
For more information please read the frequently asked questions on open access by the VSNU. See for the results the Dutch open access website.
(Open) Research Data
NARCIS is the gateway that provides access to over 260,000 of scientific datasets from researchers at Dutch universities and research institutes. DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) 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.
The policy on Research Data Management of universities, universties of applied sciences, and research funders can be found on the website of National Coordination Point Research Data Management (in Dutch).
See for more information on Open Data in the Netherlands www.openaccess.nl.
Open Access organisations
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.
The Netherlands held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from January to June 2016. In April 2016 a conference on Open Science was held in Amsterdam. In the context of this conference the Academy published "Opening the book on open access" containing interviews with reserachers about open access publishing.
Useful links and resources
All information on Open Access/Science in the Netherlands can be found on www.openaccess.nl.
Contributors Contact Details
TU Delft (Just de Leeuwe) for open access publications, and Data Archiving and Networked Services - DANS (Elly Dijk) for research data are NOADs for the Netherlands.