From 'as soon as possible' to 'immediate' Open Access
NWO tightens its granting conditions with effect from 1 December
26 November 2015
NWO will tighten its granting conditions in the area of Open Access with effect from 1 December. In concrete terms this means that all publications emerging from a 'call for proposals’ published by NWO after this date must be immediately accessible to everybody from the moment of publication.
Subscriptions to academic journals costs the scientific community much money each year. If the latest knowledge is not available immediately or is only available against extra payment then this slows down progress in science. NWO is therefore a proponent of Open Access: immediate and free access to scientific publications for everybody. Science is a whole, and with that individual researchers as well, have much to gain by Open Access. For example, Open Access publications are more visible than publications in subscription journals. Consequently these publications are found and cited more often.
To make a contribution to the broad international movement towards Open Access, NWO is tightening up its granting conditions in this area with effect from 1 December 2015. Worldwide NWO is the first national research council to take such a step. With this the organisation is contributing to the objective of the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science in the Netherlands. The State Secretary has stated that in 2024, 100% of publications funded with public money must be Open Access. The stricter granting conditions apply to all calls for proposals that NWO publishes after 1 December 2015.
Encourage Gold, require immediate Green
Open Access has two basic variants. ‘Gold’ and ‘Green’ Open Access. These are two different variants of the same principle: free access to scientific publications. In the case of ‘Gold’ Open Access researchers publish in a fully Open Access journal. These journals are completely accessible to the public and do not have any paid subscriptions. An alternative to publishing in a Gold Open Access journal is ‘Green’ Open Access. In this case the researcher publishes in a subscription journal but ensures that immediately after publication a version of the work is openly accessible via a public database (for example, a university repository). In addition to these two variants the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has made agreements with many academic publishers. These agreements make it possible for Dutch researchers to publish Open Access without extra costs. By making use of one of these possibilities researchers can continue to publish in the vast majority of academic journals and at the same time allow everybody to access the publications free of charge.
For some time now, NWO has already asked researchers to make their publications accessible via Open Access. With the stricter granting conditions, publication in Open Access is now a formal requirement. Each year thousands of scientific publications from research funded by NWO are published and the Open Access conditions will now apply to these.
NWO supports the transition to Open Access financially. The possible costs or publishing Gold Open Access articles and books are therefore subsidisable via NWO's Incentive Fund Open Access Publications. Project leaders of research funded by NWO can apply for up to 6000 euros per project to publish via the Gold Open Access route.