The universities in the Netherlands and Cambridge University Press (CUP) have recently concluded a three-year agreement guaranteeing 100% open access to academic journals. As of June 1, researchers at Dutch universities will be able to publish articles in CUP’s full open access journals via the so-called ‘gold route’. This marks a significant step for the Dutch academic community, as it is the first time a publisher has opted to go down the gold route from the outset.
The agreements between CUP and the universities in the Netherlands are unique, with researchers now being able to publish in the hybrid journals as well as in the full open access journals. The agreement is the first of its kind, as never before have universities been able to negotiate an agreement with a publisher guaranteeing researchers the right to publish their articles open access directly via the gold route. Jaap Winter, President of the Executive Board of VU Amsterdam and the chief negotiator on behalf of the VSNU, commented as follows: “It is unique that, as of June 1, all researchers at Dutch universities will have unlimited open access publication rights in the 339 CUP hybrid journals and 17 CUP full open access journals, without any additional costs for the researchers.
Head of Open Access and Data Publishing at Cambridge University Press, Matt Day said, “This is a bold deal. It shows how seriously we take Open Access and how much we want to help countries such as the Netherlands become fully open access.”
The VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands) is in charge of negotiating agreements on subscription fees for scientific journals on behalf of the universities in the Netherlands. In general, universities will only wish to extend subscription agreements on the condition that the publishers are willing take a step closer to open access. The fact that CUP was willing to take that far-reaching step was welcomed and applauded by the various Dutch universities.