Open Access to publications | Parliamentary document | Government.nl
"During the general parliamentary consultations on Science Policy of 18 April 2013, I promised to explain my ideas about the practice of providing open access to research publications and how that practice will continue to evolve. The principle of open access involves offering readers worldwide access to research publications, journals and books free of charge. My contention is that access to the results of publicly and publicly-privately funded research should always be unrestricted. Because such research is paid for from the public purse and technical impediments are essentially non-existent, I believe open access should be rolled out in the near future. Open access promotes knowledge sharing and knowledge circulation, which in their turn contribute to the Netherlands’ innovative capacity. The first steps towards open access were taken twenty years ago, when researchers began sharing their publications with one another on the Internet. In the past ten years, various parties in the Netherlands have been working towards creating an open access system. A wide variety of rules, agreements and options for open access publishing have emerged in the research community. The situation is confusing for authors, readers and publishers alike, and the stakeholders would like this confusion to be resolved as quickly as possible. It is for that and for the following reasons that I wish to regulate open access: 1. The stakeholders – researchers, universities and publishers – have, for one reason or another, been unable to arrive at a single system for making access to publications arising from publicly and publicly-privately funded research free for everyone at the point of use. The relevant organisations in the Netherlands, including the publishers, have indicated that a fast transition from subscription-based publishing to open access would be beneficial to them. 2. Open access is a cross-border matter and I will therefore be discussing it with my counterparts in various other countries. I will invite them to join me in considering how best to put an international system of open access into place and make appropriate arrangements to do so. I believe that the Netherlands can play a pioneering role in this respect. In the meantime, we will take all the necessary steps in our own country to set up a regulated system of open access. 3. The European Commission regards open access to publications as hugely important and has made it mandatory for any research carried out under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme for the 2014-2020 funding period. The Netherlands endorsed this open access obligation during the Competitiveness Council on 18 and 19 February 2013. The European Research Council (ERC) has also made open access to publications mandatory. Within the context of the European Research Area, the European Commission has furthermore called on the Member States to define and coordinate an open access policy. Government must provide direction so that the parties know what to expect and can make arrangements with one another. If the transition period is too long, the costs will rise unnecessarily because the research community will have to pay both subscription fees and article publishing charges (APC). Taking a clear decision to switch to open access can expedite the transition process, shorten the transition period, and thus avoid such unnecessary extra expense. In this letter, I will explain my underlying motives, the targets that I am setting, and the actions that I consider necessary to create an open access system ..."
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