Opt-out open access regulation

Scientific articles from UU freely accessible after six months

Papers. Foto: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Up until now, it was up to scientists to indicate whether or not they wanted their articles to be published with open access. As of January 1, this will happen automatically to all articles that are not directly published with open access by the publisher. If the researcher has a problem with that, they can fill in a form to opt out of the policy. They can do so for a single article or all of their articles. 

This will concern short scientific articles, congress papers, publications in scientific journals, chapters taken from edited volumes, collections of scientific articles, and chapters from books written alongside other authors. These materials will be published at Utrecht University Repository.

Dutch universities
Publications from 2015 onwards should become accessible as well, but it will take a while to upload them all because UU employees must first take a look at each one to decide if they can be published with open access or not.

UU is not the first university in the Netherlands to make the transition towards open access after six months of publication. the University of Groningen and Erasmus University Rotterdam did the same. VU Amsterdam also took this step on January 1.

Social impact
The change must ensure that more articles will become freely accessible to all, which is one of UU's main goals: making its research as available as possible to other researchers and society at large.

"About 95 percent of articles are published with open access at universities that have already adopted the opt-out format," explains Jeroen Bosman, from the Utrecht University Library, an expert on the subject. "In most other universities in the Netherlands, that percentage is around 85 percent, similarly to UU's current rate."

According to Bosman, the scientists who are not participating yet are not aware of the regulation or they don't know if the publishers or co-authors would like the article to be published with open access. To Bosman, there are not many researchers who would oppose open-access publication as a matter of principle, which is why he only expects a few scientists to make use of the opt-out option.