1. Open Access

Open Access publishing

See our NSCR flow chart for Open Access publishing.

NWO-I policy framework for Plan S compliant publishing

As of January 1st 2021, all publications arising from research funded by NWO-I (base-funding) must be Open Access available on the day of publication. This may be done via three routes:

  • Gold: publishing in full gold Open Access Journals.
  • Hybrid: publishing in a journal covered by a transformative deal (such as the UKB/VSNU Open Access deals). At the moment NSCR is part of a deal with Elsevier (except Cell en The Lancet).
  • Green: publishing in a closed or hybrid supscription journal and immediate (without embargo) deposition of the peer-reviewed version (AAM or VoR) in a repository.

The NWO-I policy framework gives guidelines for the green route to Open Access Publishing in a closed or hybrid subscription journal and makes it possible to immediately (without embargo) deposit the peer-reviewed Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) or the Version of Record (VoR) in a repository.
The NSCR repository is https://osf.io/preprints/. Whenever you publish a postprint, make sure to add all references and DOI number.

This means, as of January 1, 2021, for all publications resulting from research funded by the NWO-I base funding:

  1. Employees are expected to deposit all* their (peer-reviewed) publications (at least the AAM and where possible the VoR) in a repository immediately upon publication (no later than the date of publication in the paper version of the journal).
  2. The employer grants a non-exclusive license to all of the employee’s peer-reviewed publications to promote their optimal dissemination. This license is intended to ensure that employees are authorized to deposit post-peer review versions of their publications (without embargo) in a repository.

* ‘all’ means both the publications of which they are corresponding author and those of which they are co-author.

Open Access policy for NWO grants

Please note that for articles arising from NWO projects awarded on the basis of calls for proposals published from 1 January 2021 onwards an even stricter OA policy is applied:

All scholarly articles resulting from research that was wholly or partly funded by a NWO grant must be made available in Open Access immediately (without embargo) at the time of publication via one of the three routes to OA. AND in all cases, a Creative Commons (CC BY) license must be applied to the article.

More and practical information on how to do this can be found at NWO.


How it works

Should I place the AAM or the VoR in the repository?
You are required to place at least the AAM (Author’s Accepted Manuscript) in the repository. Some publishers permit immediate publication of the VoR (Version of Record) in a repository. If that is the case, you can also choose the VoR.

How should I arrange OA if, for example, I am the 50th author (in large consortia)?
If the corresponding author does not ensure that the article becomes available in OA form, you must place it in the designated repository yourself. If it is available in OA form elsewhere, you only need to place a link in the designated repository. If several co-authors work at an NWO institute, only one of them needs to place the article in the repository.

What should I do if my co-author(s) does/do nothing to ensure publication in OA form?
Then you should simply place the article in the designated repository yourself. The policy framework arranges that you are not only required to do that, but that you are allowed to do that.

If I place a preprint on arXiv, for example, then does that count for open access?
No, that does not count as open access. The version after peer review (therefore the AAM or, where permitted, the VoR) should be placed in the designated repository. NSCR has designated https://osf.io/preprints/ as the repository. Whenever you publish a postprint, make sure to add all references and DOI number.

In practice

I have written a book chapter and signed an agreement with the publisher that the contents of the book or the text of the chapter cannot be shared. How do I handle this?
The NWO-I Open Access requirements apply to articles arising from research funded purely by NSCR. NWO-I only imposes requirements on peer-reviewed articles and not on books/book chapters. With a book (chapter) you can therefore respect the wishes of the publisher and adhere to the embargo.
For publications that (partly) arise from NWO grants, it is important to know whether the grant originates from a call from before 1 January 2021 or from after that date. If the call is from before that date, the book (chapter) does not have to be immediately available Open Access. If the call is from after that date, NWO expects books, book chapters and edited volumes that emerge from research funded by NWO to be made available in Open Access.

When I submit my article, should I inform the publisher that I will publish it without embargo in my own repository?
You do not have to inform the publisher about this. On the NWO-I website, it will be stated that we have implemented this policy and what we require our employees to do. Furthermore, cOAlition S has sent a letter to all publishers about plan S and because NWO is a member of cOAlition S, the publishers should already know that this also applies to us.

Do I have to comply with the publisher’s embargo concerning when the AAM (or the VoR, if that is permitted) may be placed in the repository?
No. As stated in the policy framework, the wish of the employer takes precedence over the wish of the publisher. This is because the NWO-I policy framework is from an earlier date than the request from the publisher.

What should I do if I receive a takedown notice?
You should pass this on to your OZG-leader. He/she will contact institute manager Angeniet Gillissen and deal with the matter further. The AAM remains in the repository.

Who takes responsibility and deals with the administrative formalities that may emerge from this?
The responsibility for the policy lies with NWO-I, and it will deal with the administrative formalities that emerge from this.

Who will bear the costs in the case of a possible (legal) procedure and/or fine?

Do the OA requirements mean that I can no longer publish in the high-profile journals in my discipline, and what does that mean for my career opportunities?
The researcher still decides which journal he or she wants to publish in. Therefore, this may also be a closed (subscription) journal, as long as on the day of publication you place at least the AAM in the repository designated by your institute.

What happens if OA, for whatever reason, proves not to be possible?
Then you should request help from institute manager Angeniet Gillissen. If this does not solve the problem, you should contact your OZG-leader to explain why it is not possible and the requirement to make the article available in OA form will subsequently be lifted for that article.

More questions

Who can I approach with my questions?
For answers to general and specific questions you can approach institute manager Angeniet Gillissen. She can answer your questions or pass them on to the person who can.

How should I deal with questions from publishers?
You can pass these on to institute manager Angeniet Gillissen. She will ensure that these are dealt with appropriately.


Who is the copyright holder?
That is NWO-I. This is established in the Collective Labour Agreement Research Institutes (CAO-OI), article 1.8.2 which states: Pursuant to article 7 of the Copyright Act, an employer is deemed to be the maker and owner of those works that employees have created in the performance of their work.

What is the difference between the policy of NWO and NWO-I with respect to copyright and CC-BY licences?
The NWO policy is: for projects awarded on the basis of calls for proposals published from 1 January 2021 onwards the following requirements apply: NWO requires that publications are immediately (without embargo) made available in open access form and that a CC-BY license is applied. For authors who wish to use the Green route, cOAlition S has developed the Rights Retention Strategy. This strategy ensures that authors retain the right to share their work in open access form immediately and under an open licence. This also applies should the publisher place any limitations on that.

Researchers who want to make use of this right are advised to include the following text in the article when they submit it:

This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) <project number>. For the purpose of open access, a CC BY public copyright licence is applied to any Author’s Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.

For more information see: Open access publishing | NWO.
For projects awarded on the basis of calls for proposals published before 1 January 2021 the following requirements apply: NWO requires that publications are immediately (without embargo) made available in open access form. At present, no requirement has been included in the NWO-I policy concerning the use of a CC-BY licence for publications.