​Science opens up

For science to advance, it must be sharedas freely and openly as possible. In recent years, the Dutch universities have launched a nation-wide Open Access platform to share information on Open Access developments in The Netherlands.

The forum is called Open Access to Scholarly Research and brings together Dutch universities, libraries and research centres. The State Secretary of Science in the Netherlands, Sander Dekker, reportedly stated that by 2024 they aim to have almost all Dutch scientific publications available as openly accessible material. 60% of that should be accomplished by 2016.

TU Delft has been a pioneer in Open Access initiatives. For the past eight years the university has been publishing its research material in repositories. Today, over 43,000 scientific articles, patents, reports, books and educational material have been made available in theirfree online repository. The university’s repository is uploaded in easy-to-search categories ranging from type of material to the subject matter. It can be accessed by anyone, anywhere in the world, free of cost.

“The basic idea of Open Access is to make literature available online in a digital form, free of charge to the user, and free of unnecessary copyright and licensing restrictions. It is in accordance with academic values and academic freedom to share the results of publicly funded, peer reviewed research literature as much as possible,” explains Anke Versteeg, the Liaison Office for the TU Delft library. Open Access policies and tools are managed by the TU Delft Library Open Access Team.

Open Access has three business models: the Gold Route, the Green Route, and the Diamond Route. In the Gold Route, authors or their sponsors pay up-front for the publication and the review/quality control process. The Green Route follows a parallel publishing in the repository model that involves acquiring copyright permissions. The deposit is often the final author’s version instead of the publisher’s version. The peer review is managed by the journal which has accepted the paper. There are clear policies for publishers regarding self-archiving.In the Diamond Route researchers publish articles in a journal paid and managed by the University.

“It is in the interest of the scientific community as a whole, and of the individual researcher to ensure as wide as possible dissemination of scientific knowledge. By using the Creative Commons licenses the author retains the copyright of the work where in the traditional publication process, the publisher requires transfer of the copyright, to support a business model where he recoups the cost of publication by charging for access to the publication,” explains Versteeg.

October 20, 2014 marked the start of Worldwide Open Access Week. In the Netherlands, this is being celebrated by symposiums and activities on the topic across universities.

On Thursday, October 23, TU Delft will host a symposium on the topic. At the event, scientists will share stories about their experience with Open Access and the latest innovations in this field.

The Open Access Symposium will take place on October 23, 2014 from 14:00 - 16:30 in the TU Delft Library, Prometheusplein 1.