NWO stricter on open access
More and more often, the results of scientific research are directly available to everyone. Research financer NWO has already achieved 85 percent of all publications in which it is involved, with a total value of one billion euros in 2020. In order to raise this percentage even further, NWO wants to draw researchers’ attention ‘more explicitly’ to the conditions for its grants. These conditions state that all publications must be freely accessible. When asked, it became clear that random checks will probably be made. NWO is also considering sanctions, such as repayment of subsidies.
“The question is whether we will ever reach 100 per cent,” says policy officer Hans de Jonge. “It’s not that simple.” Sometimes there are practical problems. In half of the articles that are not yet freely accessible, the Dutch researcher is not the first author of the article. Or take small, specialised journals that have not yet made the transition to open access.
Nevertheless, the percentage of NWO articles in open access will be higher again next year, predicts De Jonge. The universities have negotiated open access with all kinds of scientific publishers and that has an impact. The 15 per cent of NWO publications that are not yet in open access include, for example, many articles in titles published by Elsevier. The universities have since made agreements with them. (HOP, Bas Belleman)