As of 2024, new agreements were successfully renegotiated, ensuring continued access to vital research materials from publishers including Cambridge University Press, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Oxford University Press, Springer, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley. 

These contracts again provide full-text access to a large number of e-journals, with publishing costs – APCs – (largely) included in the contracts. 

The aim was to continue the existing contracts while maintaining the value for both reading and publishing. The (national) negotiating teams have succeeded well in this. 

The upcoming contract periods will be used to further collaborate with the various publishers on initiatives related to Plan S, Open Science, and Open Access publishing. From a licensing perspective, there will be an increasing shift towards full Open Access publishers. 

Locally – only for Maastricht University (UM) – a completely new Read & Publish contract has been concluded with ACM: Association for Computing Machinery. 

The contract with Institute of Physics (IOP) expired at the end of 2023. A new three-year contract has been concluded for 2024-2026. 

Improved evaluation tool 

In addition to securing these contracts, efforts have been made to enhance evaluation processes. To monitor the (financial) value of the various contracts effectively and to ensure that budget allocations are justified and that institutions receive optimal value for their investments, there was a need for strong underpinning. An added benefit was a more efficient and less labour-intensive approach. To achieve this, extensive work was done in 2023 to enrich an existing evaluation tool with data on core titles, publications and citation numbers.  

It is now possible to evaluate our collections at the faculty level with consistent data and based on usage, publication, and citation figures. This is a significant step forward, greatly assisting us in decision-making regarding new Read & Publish deals, the evaluation of existing deals and collections, and potentially future full Open Access deals.