Open access publishing

NWO aims for 100 percent Open Access. Therefore NWO requires that all publications emerging from research it funds must be made available in Open Access immediately upon publication. NWO accepts different routes to Open Access. By publications NWO means scholarly papers but also conference proceedings, monographs and book chapters. Different conditions apply to book publications.

Projects awarded from 2016 to 2020

Read the requirements for projects awarded before 2021 in the pdf below.

Projects awarded from 1 January 2021

NWO is updating its Open Access policy in accordance with Plan S. For projects awarded on the basis of calls for proposals published from 1 January 2021 onwards the requirements below apply.

  • Scholarly articles

    All scholarly articles resulting from research that was wholly or partly funded by NWO must be made available in Open Access immediately (without embargo) at the time of publication, via one of the following routes:

    • Gold: publication in  a fully Open Access journal registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
    • Hybrid: publication in a journal for which a transformative agreement exists or in a journal that has been accepted by cOalition S as a Transformative Journal. The VSNU has agreements with many of the major publishers that enable researchers to publish Open Access without costs. For an overview of these agreements see:
    • Green: Publication in a closed or hybrid subscription journal and immediate (without embargo) deposition of a copy of the publication (the Version of Record or at least the Author Accepted Manuscript) in an Open Access repository registered in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR). In the case of publications from life sciences, authors are strongly advised to use Europe PMC. Projects for which this possibility exists will be informed separately.

    In all cases, a Creative Commons CC BY licence must be applied to the article. In exceptional cases, a CC BY-ND licence may also be chosen.

    The cOAlition S Journal Checker Tool can be used to check whether a publication venue is compliant with NWO's requirements and which of the above-mentioned Open Access options are available.

  • Rights Retention Strategy

    NWO requires that publications are made available in open access immediately in (without embargo). For authors who want to use the green route, cOAlition S has developed the “Rights Retention Strategy”. This strategy ensures that authors retain the right to share their work in Open Access immediately and under an open licence, even in case of restricting policies of publishers. Researchers who wish to make use of this right are advised to include the following text in their manuscript upon submission to the publisher:

    This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) <project number>. For the purpose of open access, a CC BY public copyright licence is applied to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.

    For more information visit the website of COAlitionS

    Rights Retention Strategy

  • Books and book chapters

    NWO also expects books, book chapters and edited volumes that emerge from research funded by NWO to be made available in Open Access. This applies primarily to peer-reviewed books with an academic readership. Books aimed at broad, non-academic readership (trade books) are excepted from this policy. There are two options:

    • Gold: the book or book chapter is published immediately in Open Access under an open licence (preferably CC BY or else CC BY-ND or CC BY-NC or of CC BY-NC-ND).
      Read more about Creative Commons-licenties
    • Green: deposition of a version of the publication in an open access repository (but at least in the OAPEN-Library) as soon as possible but no later than 12 months following publication.
  • Publication costs

    Costs of open access publishing should be included in the budget of the project proposal. By using the budget module for 'material costs'.

    Note: Since 2015 NWO only reimburses the costs for publishing in full gold Open  Access journals (registered in DOAJ). Article Processing Charges (APC’s) for publication in hybrid  journals will not be reimbursed.

    NWO has launched a special funding scheme for Open Access books.

     Programme Open Access Books

  • VSNU-agreements

    The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has concluded Open Access agreements  with a large number of scholarly publishers. With these so-called transformative agreements corresponding academic authors affiliated with Dutch universities can publish their articles in Open Access in more than 11.000 journals, free of charge.

    For an overview of agreements go to

  • Additional conditions

    • Grant holders are required to acknowledge the funding received from NWO according to the following convention:
      ‘This research was funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO): <project number>’.
    • Grant holders are requested to register their publications in ISAAC and indicate the Open Access status of these publications. 
    • The failure to comply with NWO's Open Access requirements may have consequences for the payment of the final installment of the grant. NWO will spot check compliance as from 2021.