Open Science in EuropeThe Netherlands
The Netherlands
Last updated on 
Mar 22, 2022

National Open Access Desk

  • Overview

    There are 14 research universities in the Netherlands, organised in the UNL (Universiteiten van Nederland). 30 per cent of all research is done at these universities. All eight University Medical Centres (UMCs), which are members of the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), are partnerships between a teaching hospital and the medical faculty of a university.

    In addition, there are several research institutes: 10 hosted by KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and 9 by the National Research Funder NWO.

    The 36 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 (institute of the KNAW).


    national overview

    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.

    The Universiteiten van Nederland (UNL) (Universities of the Netherlands) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science are involved in promoting open science, especially in the field of open access of publications.

    The national funders NWO and ZonMw also promote open science: open access to publicatios and open data.

    All are participants of the National Platform Open Science.

    Open Science Communities

    Open Science Communities (OSC) are local, bottom-up learning communities comprising members of various scientific disciplines and career stages. The members of an OSC are united in the belief that open science increases the societal and scientific impact of their work and explore ways to incorporate OS practices in their workflows. The OSCs provide a place where newcomers can ease into OS by learning from experienced peers, inspire each other to adopt Open Science practices and values, identify opportunities and pitfalls, and provide feedback on policies, infrastructure, and support services.

    This all started in 2018, when the Open Science Community Utrecht was launched. Now (Jan 2022), almost all Dutch universities have an Open Science Community in place, and the format is also being picked up abroad, with local OSCs in Sweden and Ireland. The networks of OSCs now consists of 13 local communities with over 700 members ready to put OS to practice and these numbers are rapidly growing. By creating momentum and critical mass, OSCs usher in a cultural change towards Open Science from the inside out.

    To strengthen the bonds between the communities and to inspire colleagues abroad to follow their lead, a collective of OSC coordinators developed an Open Science Community Starter Kit.

    national landscape

    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.

    Article 25fa of the Copyright Act allows researchers to share short scientific works (e.g. articles & book chapters), regardless of any restrictive publishers' guidelines.

    Taverne Amendment
    The law states:The maker of a short scientific work, the research for which has been paid for in whole or in part by Dutch public funds, shall be entitled to make that work available to the public for no consideration following a reasonable period of time after the work was first published, provided that clear reference is made to the source of the first publication of the work.

    The Dutch universities have decided to give open access an extra boost from 2019 by starting a pilot. On the basis of the Taverne Amendment, the publishers' versions of short scientific works can be shared after six months via the university repository. It is important that the researcher explicitly gives consent.

    As a result of the pilot, 2500+ articles, book chapters and conference proceedings have already been published in Dutch Repositories. The results and outcomes are now evaluated at the VSNU, (Association of Dutch Universities) in order to see if policy can be made on this legislation (to be updated February 2020)

    National working groups
    There is a number of national working in the context of open science. Most of the working groups are in the context of the UKB, the Dutch consortium of university libraries and the National library of The Netherlands.

    UKB Open Access working group
    This WG monitors developments in the field of Open Access for university libraries and university colleges, and where necessary formulates action points that can be picked up by the members of the working group or their colleagues in the institutions.

    UKB Working Group Licenses
    Goal of this working group is making good agreements - commercial and legal - with publishers about prices and access to information.

    UKB Research Impact Coordination Point
    This group focuses on initiatives that contribute to (increasing) research impact and, where necessary, coordinates cohesion.

    UKB Working group Research Data
    The purpose of the WG research data is to exchange knowledge in the UKB and transfer this knowledge to the university research community.

    Working group metadata
    This working group is led by the National Library and DANS. The purpose of this working group is to make arrangements about the exchange of metadata. 

  • Open Science Policy

    National Policy

    National Platform Open Science

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

    There are 17  parties involved like the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, national funders NWO and ZonMw, the Academy KNAW, DANS, UNL (Universiteiten van Nederland), the National Library KB etc.

    The focus of the Platform was 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.

    In May 2019 NPOS changed to a programme, with a number of projects in the field of the above-mentioned topics:

    • Transition costs Open Science: see the report.
    • Exploration of broadening Open Access to books: see the plan (in Dutch).
    • Exploration and optimization of the national data landscape: see the report (in Dutch).
    • Professionalising data stewardship: competences, training and education: see the report.
    • Indicators Open Science
    • Accelerate Open Science: organising a yearly National Open Science Festival
    • Citizen Science: see the report (in Dutch).

    EOSC-related activities

    In the Netherlands there are a number of institutes involved in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) project aims to make it easier for researchers to share and combine data, also across disciplinary boundaries.

    • DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) is regular member and NOAD of OpenAIRE AMKE.
    • DANS is projectleader of FAIRsFAIR. The ambition of FAIRsFAIR is to assist the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) governance bodies to deliver FAIR-aligned Rules of Participation in the EOSC. These rules will be designed to establish FAIR compliance of components and practices. Moreover, FAIRsFAIR will open up and share all knowledge, expertise, guidelines, implementations, new trajectories, courses and education needed to turn FAIR Principles into reality.
    • The aim of SSHOC - Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud - (January 2019 to April 2022) is to ensure that initiatives from the current European research infrastructures in the field of Social and Human Sciences (SSH) are better aligned with each other and with the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). In the Netherlands DANS, CentERdata, University of Amsterdam, and Tilburg University are involved in SSHOC.
    • EOSC-synergy extends the EOSC coordination to nine participating countries by harmonizing policies and federating relevant national research e-Infrastructures, scientific data and thematic services, bridging the gap between national initiatives and EOSC. Partners are EGI Foundation and DANS.
    • Goal of EOSC Future (April 2021 - September 2023) is to integrate, consolidate, and connect e-infrastructures, research communities, and initiatives in Open Science to further develop the EOSC Portal, EOSC-Core and EOSC-Exchange of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). In the Netherlands DANS (as Linked Third Party to OpenAIRE), EGI and the University of Amsterdam are partners in the project.
    • DANS is member of the EOSC Working Group Skills and Training. In the Netherlands there are more members of the different EOSC Working Groups.

    Former EOSC-related projects in the Netherlands:

    The Library of TU/Delft and DANS were the National Open Access Desks NL in two OpenAIRE projects (OpenAIRE 2020 and OpenAIRE Advance). OpenAIRE supports the Open Science of the European Commission. DANS was also leader of the RDM (Research Data Management) Task Force of OpenAIRE Advance.

    FREYA was a 3-year project (December 2017 - December 2020) in which twelve partners are involved. The project aimed to build the infrastructure for persistent identifiers (PIDs) as a core component of open science, in the EU and globally. Goal of FREYA was to improve discovery, navigation, retrieval, and access of research resources. In the DANS was involved in this project.

    The EOSC-hub project (January 2018 - March 2021) existed of a consortium of 100+ partners from more than 50 countries. The consortium developed the vision of the Hub as the integration and management system of the future European Open Science Cloud. Besides DANS (Linked Third Party to SURF), other involved institutes in the Netherlands were SURF, University Utrecht, Astron, KNMI, and Meertens Institute. Project leaderof EOSC-hub is EGI Foundation in Amsterdam.


    national policy

    Funder policy

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

    • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) – NWO is of the opinion that research results paid for by public funds should be freely accessible worldwide. This applies to both scientific publications and other forms of scientific output. In principle, it must be possible to share research data with others as well. In the Regulation on Granting with respect to Open Access NWO asks for "immediate open access at the moment of publication".
    • NWO also wants publicly funded research data to become Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). With effect from 1 October 2016 NWO implemented a data management policy in all NWO funding instruments. Starting from 1st of January 2020, NWO updated its data management protocol. The basic principles remained. For all grants awarded from the 1st of January 2020, a new data management plan (DMP) template will apply. This template is in line with Science Europe’s Core Requirements for Data Management Plans and it will better support researchers in ensuring that their data are FAIR. See the website of NWO for more information and all changes.
    • NWO is one of the funders in Plan S, which will start in 2021. The first publications under Plan S requirements will appear a few years later.
    • 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.

    funder policy

    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 and TU Delft support researchers wishing to set up open access journals.
    Dutch 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.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

    See for more information the national website on open access:

    institutional policy

  • Infrastructure & EOSC

    Key networks & 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. In 2005, the Netherlands became the first country where all universities had their own repository with open access publications.

    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 a number of 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. NARCIS is the Dutch source for scholarly output in OpenAIRE.

    The Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences also encourage open access publishing. The HBO Kennisbank gives access to open access publications, including Bachelor’s and Master’s theses. The publications of the UAS professors and other researchers can also be found in NARCIS.

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

    national infra

    Data repositories

    NARCIS is the gateway that provides access to 350,000 of scholarly datasets (January 2022) from researchers at Dutch universities and research institutes. NARCIS harvests 25 Dutch data repositories. DANS with the data archive EASY and 4TU.ResearchData provides durable storage and access to research data. These data sets are also made public by NARCIS.

    Storage of research data during the research

    In 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 during the research by researchers themselves. The data management is in the hands of the institutions; DANS has been managing DataverseNL since May 2014.

    Storage of research data after the research

    DANS provides sustainable access to research data especially in the field of 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, Wageningen University and Research Centre, and University of Twente, guarantees the storage, reuse and continuing accessibility of science and engineering research data. There are 23 other data archives in the Netherlands, from universities, but also from other research institutes, e.g. Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) or the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

    Collaboration Research Data institutes

    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.

    More information

    For more information on open data in the Netherlands see

    national data repos

    National publishing initiatives

    University Journals

    To promote open science, and to retain copyright and ownership of texts, data, and all other products of research, universities should take control over publication and dissemination. With this project proposal we request funding for setting up a technical and editorial infrastructure for so-called University Journals, a new electronic open access publication platform with the appearance of a set of academic journals.
    With University Journals, all products of research can be published quickly and fully, using university repositories. Building on existing infrastructure and expertise, University Journals require only modest resources and have many advantages over the current system that depends on commercial publishers.
    University Journals are an immediate alternative to journals that charge open access fees and especially to the so-called predatory journals. In the longer term, University Journals can also be instrumental in achieving the goals of open science.
    The requested funding for setting up University Journals would help finance a collaborative project by universities in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe

    University journals is a joint project of 14 universities

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
    Universitat de Barcelona
    Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Technische Universiteit Delft
    Tilburg University
    University of Essex
    Utrecht University
    University of Groningen
    Wageningen University
    Linköping University
    University of Zurich
    Maastricht University
    University of Amsterdam

    Current University Publishing platforms

    Uopen Journals is an incubator of Open Access Journals, Univerity Utrecht
    TU Delft OPEN
    also publishes journals, dissertations and books.

    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’ towards 'publish and read' or transformative 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.

    Negotiations with the publishers

    The negotiations with the publishers will be held in close cooperation with the UNL (Universiteiten van Nederland) and UKB (the consortium of university libraries and the National Library of the Netherlands). Currently, 16 agreements, including Wiley, Springer, Elsevier, Taylor and Francis, RSC, SAGE and ACS,  have been made with publishers. This means that articles from corresponding authors associated with UNL will be published as open access and authors will not be charged. A dedicated webpage on gives insight into the publisher agreements, workflows and the statistics and reveals the licenses online. 57,640 articles (January 2022) are published because of the agreements with publishers. For more information please read the frequently asked questions on open access by the UNL.

    OA books

    As is the case with open access journals for some time, there is no institutional or funders policy to financially support open access books

    Some universities as Groningen, Leiden and Tilburg support open access books through participation in Knowledge Unlatched or by paying the costs of the Book Processing Costs (BPC) on behalf of the authors to publishers

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

  • Training & Support

    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 Dutch 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.

    On the national website,, you can find information about the monitoring of open access articles and the framework with open access definitions.

    RDM Training

    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).

  • Statistics

    View Statistics in the country page of Open Science Observatory

  • News

    A milestone in 2019. More than 10,000 open access articles available through transformative agreements in the Netherlands
    21 Feb 2020

    A milestone in 2019. More than 10,000 open access articles available through transformative agreements in the Netherlands

    Recently the 10,000th open access article was administered published in the year 2019 within the national agreements with publishers. It is the first time that this number has been achieved in a year. Since the very first results of an open access deal with Springer Nature in 2015 more agreements have also been made about the settlement of open access publications (Publish) for researchers. A...

    Inspiring national workshop on Research Information in the Netherlands
    11 Sep 2019

    Inspiring national workshop on Research Information in the Netherlands

    On 3 September 2019, Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) and the National Library (KB) organised an afternoon workshop on themes related to knowledge exchange in the fields of research information and open science. The workshop was intended for repository administrators and managers, open access staff at research institutions, and other stakeholders. In all, around 60 people from universi...

    Dutch National OpenAIRE workshop: Love to share data
    27 Feb 2019

    Dutch National OpenAIRE workshop: Love to share data

    On Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2019, DANS organised the national OpenAIRE workshop “Open Day on Open Science: Love to share data”. The gathering was co-hosted by OpenAIRE Advance, the KNAW Young Academy, the Netherlands PhD Network and the RDA NL National Node. Topics included open research data, research data management (RDM), data archiving, and data reuse. There were about 110 attendees, mainl...

    You share, we take care!
    13 Feb 2019

    You share, we take care!

    Dutch Copyright Act offers an alternative route to open access  The Dutch universities will give open access an extra boost by starting a pilot to make publications available after six months in collaboration with researchers.  In order to achieve the Dutch ambition of 100% open access in 2020, we have made agreements with many publishers regarding open-access publishing. Currently,...

    Workshop Monitoring Open Access in the Netherlands
    31 May 2018

    Workshop Monitoring Open Access in the Netherlands

    In the Netherlands, the former State Secretary Sander Dekker outlined in a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives in November 2013 that the Dutch government wishes that publicly funded research should in principle be freely accessible. He aimed to have 60% of Dutch academic articles available through open access within five years (2019) and 100% within ten years (2024). In April 2016 at...

    Open access publisher deals in The Netherlands
    24 Oct 2016

    Open access publisher deals in The Netherlands

    In 2015 The Dutch national website on open access has been completely refreshed with an updated look and more interactive content. provides information in both Dutch and English about key open access developments in the Netherlands, including connections with OpenAIRE. Recently a platform with publisher deals was created as part of the website. The dedicated page gives insight into t...

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