“A modest first step”
In the agreement with Elsevier the aim of Dutch universities to make 30% of their researchers’ publications Open Access by 2018 should be possible. The agreement is said to be in line with Sander Dekker, State Secretary at the Ministry for Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, to transition Dutch scientific output towards an Open Access publishing model.
Open Access a cornerstone
Kurt Deketelaere, secretary-general of the LERU, is critical about the process in which the agreement was reached, as it showed how difficult the struggle for Open Access still is. This agreement is only the beginning of a needed international transition, the LERU sees.
“With this Dutch agreement on the table, I call upon the European Commission and the forthcoming Dutch EU Presidency to work with all stakeholders and bodies involved, to bring EU-wide sensible solutions to the fore,” Deketelaere says. “In the era of Open Science, Open Access to publications is one of the cornerstones of the new research paradigm and business models must support this transition.”
Only a start
According to the LERU, the Dutch agreement is a only a start. “This agreement must also be a signal for university associations in other countries to come to similar, preferably even better, big deals with publishers in the near future. Hopefully the negotiations in the UK and Finland in 2016 can be inspired by this first, modest, step in The Netherlands.”
Earlier this fall, the LERU launched a statement “Moving Forwards on Open Access” in which they call upon all universities, research institutes, research funders and researchers to sign this statement and give a clear signal towards the European Commission and the Dutch EU Presidency. Almost 8,000 people and institutions already signed up to the petition.