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Green light for follow-up to VSNU's ‘You Share, We Take Care’ pilot project


Dutch universities will be giving their goal of 100% open access an additional boost by way of broad implementation of Section 25fa of the Copyright Act (Taverne amendment). This decision is a follow-up the successful ‘You Share, We Take Care’ pilot project, which saw over 600 researchers participate in 2019. The pilot involved making over 2800 publications available in open access via the repository. The decision to provide an additional boost was taken by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) on 13 December and followed on the back of a favourable decision by the board of the National Plan for Open Science (NPOS). The implementation of the Taverne amendment is part of a broad range of measures aimed at encouraging open access and forms part of the sectoral agreement concluded by the VSNU and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in 2018.In order to operationalise the amendment, the NPOS has established a set of concrete principles, including a six-month embargo following publication in a journal and the inclusion in the repository of the published version, i.e. the ‘Version of Record’ (VOR); please see the box below. The workability of these principles was subsequently tested by the VSNU in practice in the pilot, which focused on the level of support among researchers and key areas of focus in relation to workflow in the event of further expansion, in order to gain an understanding of the position of the publishers. This involved close cooperation between universities throughout the pilot, in terms of knowledge exchange, legal coordination and promoting open access, with support from and participation by all rectors. Following a period of seven months, the pilot was evaluated based on the publications shared, the feedback from the university project leaders and consultations with publishers through the Media voor Vak & Wetenschap trade association. 

Of the total number of publications shared, which exceeded 2,800, the majority related to peer-reviewed articles (75%). Other publications included conference proceedings and chapters of publications from edited collections. The top three publishers were Elsevier (28% of shared publications), Wiley (12%) and Springer/Nature (10%). Many participants wished to share recent publications as well as materials that were a year or more older. 

Broad implementation of the amendment means that all researchers who wish to share their work based on the principles of the NPOS will receive support in that endeavour from their institution. In 2020, this should lead to a further increase of the number of open access publications. This means the project complements the VSNU’s established long-term strategy to secure open access agreements with publishers based on a ‘publish and read’ model. 

Please click here for more information regarding the pilot as well as a list of key contacts and the evaluation report.


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Ruben Puylaert


+316 13 86 10 69

Gijs Kooistra

Deputy spokesperson

+316 82 05 72 66