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.


Final remarks
Open access to research results can help move science forward, encourage innovation and solve the problems that society faces. The parties responsible are to be commended on the steps that they have taken in recent years, but the time has now come to speed up the transition process. Taking a clear decision to travel the golden road to open access and to make firm agreements can expedite this process and shorten the transition period. It is up to the stakeholders – who have worked together closely in the past few years towards achieving open access – to intensify their cooperation to the level necessary for this purpose. I will dedicate myself to speeding up the open access process internationally as well, in cooperation with a number of prominent and like-minded countries.

The State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science

Sander Dekker

Open Access to publications | Parliamentary document | Government.nl.


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