New platform takes open access in science one step further

Academic journals. Foto: Flickr CC

Making the full range of research articles accessible to everyone for free is a long-held ambition in the world of science. The Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) share this ideal. They would like all research financed with public funds to be published in open access, starting this year.

Helping hand
That goal has come one step closer to reality today, with the launch of OpenJournals, a platform where Dutch-based journals can publish their articles and readers can browse through them without worrying about a paywall.

When open access in the academic world is discussed, usually the focus lies on the top international titles by major publishers such as Elsevier and Springer. But this new platform is primarily intended to serve as a helping hand for independent Dutch journals in the field of the social sciences and humanities, according to the Dutch Research Council. The transition to open access can be particularly difficult for these journals. But other journals that embrace the principles of open access are also welcome to join the platform.

OpenJournals debuts today with seven academic journals. The Dutch Research Council hopes to expand the collection to at least forty titles within three years.

The project will receive a three-year subsidy from the Dutch Research Council, with technical support from the KNAW’s Humanities Cluster. In line with the rules of the diamond open access model, no publication costs will be charged to the authors.

The scientific journals do have to dig into their pockets to keep the platform going: they pay an annual subscription of 2,500 euros (excluding VAT). That said, OpenJournals can help them in the search for subsidies, as the platform’s FAQ section explains.