Open Access GuideResearch Support > Open Access
Open Access guide
Open Access is part of Open Science. The aim of Open Science is transparency during the complete research process, for instance by sharing and re-using research data.
Open Access is a broad international academic movement that seeks free and open online access to academic information. Open Access (OA) means unrestricted online access to your writings.
Open Access and the UM reader
Open Access offers you free, immediate, online availability of scientific information like research articles. For staff and students from Maastricht University (UM) there are no costs involved. Payment for reading full text is arranged through licensing arrangements the UM Library made with publishers.
Open Access and the UM author
UM scientists who want to publish Open Access because of the greater reach for their article, and because their publications will be better found and cited, often had to pay for Open Access publishing. A fee paid to the publisher to make an article free at point of access has been called APC (article processing charge).
Thanks to negotiations in recent years, university libraries have included Open Access in many licensing agreements with publishers. As a result, scientists employed by Dutch universities can publish Open Access in many journals without paying APCs.
Open Access for UM in general
Open Access creates a greater public visibility of all research at UM. Greater accessibility of research could attract new research students, or help start new collaborations.
1.1.Open Access developments in the Netherlands
Current information on the advantages of Open Access (OA) to publicly financed research and all Dutch OA agreements with individual publishers can be found on the Dutch National website http://www.openaccess.nl/en/ .
1.2.Pros and cons of Open Access
The greatest benefit of Open Access is that it enables the results of scholarly research to be disseminated more rapidly and widely.
It is only in the longer term that Open Access publication brings you concrete benefits. This can affect the priority that you attach to switching to this publication model.
Read all about advantages and disadvantages you may experience .
1.3.Troubled by misconceptions?
Open Access is widely known but it is still held back by some misunderstandings. Read more about often-heard myths in the following article.
1.4.Look out for questionable OA publishers!
Keep control over your scholarship
It is important to avoid predatory journals. These journals take away your control over your scholarship.
Do you have any doubts or questions?
Do you know the editors of the journals and/or some authors who have published in the journals you selected? When in doubt, we advise you to trace or contact them.
How can you be sure you can trust a particular journal? Follow the ‘Think Check Submit‘ check list to verify you choose trusted journals for your research.
If you are thinking of submitting an article from a journal that meets a number of criteria on the list below, we recommend doing more research about the journal first. How do you spot predatory journals? Here are a few warning signs:
1. Take a close look at the publisher’s website:
- The journal asks for a submission fee instead of a publication fee or tries to keep the copyright to authors’ work
- The publisher promises you that papers will be published at a certain time, but this is not consistent with its outdated website
- The editorial board is relatively small or ‘coming soon’
- A single publisher releases an overwhelmingly large suite of new journals all at one time
- The ‘look and feel’ of the website is poor
- The journal title notes an affiliation that does not match its editorial board or location
- There are fundamental errors in the titles and abstracts
- The content of the journal varies from the title and stated scope
2. Pay attention to these questions:
- Can you find the articles from the journals in reliable databases such as Web of Science (Thomson Reuters), Scopus (Elsevier), Directory of Open Access Journals or a database in your own discipline?
- Is the publisher clear about peer review and the costs of Open Access?
- Is there a registration number (ISSN) of the journal on the website?
- Is the publisher or editor a member of COPE, Committee on Publication Ethics or do they follow its guidelines?
1.5.OA publishing channels
Why choose Open Access (OA) as a publishing method?
- OA meets grant requirements
- OA is associated with greater Web visibility
- OA journals may be peer reviewed
- OA boosts the speed of dissemination of your publications
- OA increases your article citations as evidence is developing that greater visibility of research boosts your citation frequencies.
1.6.Types of Open Access: What to choose?
There are two complementary business models of OA: the so-called ‘golden’ road and the ‘green’ road:
- The ‘golden’ road is the same as paid OA.
The ‘golden’ road consists of pure and hybrid OA journals. Both categories do not charge readers or their institutions for access
- The ‘green’ road to OA is the strategy that uses archives or repositories like Research Publications .
The ‘green’ road only requires you to retain rights to allow self-archiving, and to deposit your work in a digital repository. Repositories do not act as publishers. Rather, they provide access to some version of papers either before they are submitted for publication in a journal or at some point after they have been published, usually subject to an embargo period.
Other factors to consider – next to the speed of dissemination – when choosing a journal are:
- Institutional self-archiving policy to store and disseminate articles and other publications through the institutional repository
- The publisher’s copyright policy and business model
- The author or article processing charges of the journal.
Citation databases such as the Web of Science, are used to determine the research impact. For this reason, many researchers prefer OA journals which are also indexed in citation databases.
1.7.What are APCs?
Hybrid journals are subscription-based journals which make individual articles immediately available to the public if you pay an additional open-access fee. The fee paid to the publisher to make an article free for the reader has been called an APC (article processing charge). With APCs you buy the right to publish an exact copy of the final version of an article.
Open Access journals that are part of national Big Deals with publishers are free of APCs. UM Library has Big Deals with many publishers. The UM situation has been specified for individual publishers.
Conditions for new calls for proposals have been changed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). All funded research for which the calls were issued after 1 December 2015, must be immediately made accessible to everybody via Open Access (OA) publications. The granting conditions for calls published before this date and current research projects remain the same. Read more .
- The European Union has also made open access publishing mandatory for research funded by grants through the Horizon 2020 programme
- Are you a researcher, partner or coordinator in a FP7 project that has recently finished or is approaching its end-date? Your forthcoming peer-reviewed Open Access publications could be eligible for funding. Read more
- Read more on OA funding on the Dutch National OA website
- Dutch national OA website
- VSNU letter 15 July 2014 to all members of the Dutch academic community [PDF]
2.1.OA journals and publisher policies
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): Lists almost 10.000 OA journals
- SHERPA/RoMEO : lists publisher copyright and self-archiving policies. To see what publishers allow in terms of self-archiving, check the publisher or journal name in this directory. Listings also indicate whether or not the publisher has a “paid access” option with direct links to the specific publisher policies on paid access
- ROAD Directory of Open Access scholarly Resources : gives access to OA scholarly contents via a single access point. ROAD can be searched by country, subject, indexing/abstracting service etc.
Many funding agencies like the European Commission and the Dutch NWO organisation support OA. For a list of research funders’ OA policies, consult SHERPA/Juliet .
2.2.How to select the right journal?
Sharing research results with the world is key to the progress of your discipline and career. But with so many publications, how can you be sure you can trust a particular journal? Follow the ‘Think Check Submit’ check list to verify you choose trusted journals for your research.
2.3.What about your copyright?
Copyright has become increasingly important but also more complex in Open Access.
UM Library has a Copyright Information Point also to help you with legal aspects of Open Access.
3.Individual publishers free of charge or giving a discount
Overview of the agreements between Maastricht University and individual publishers with regards to the coverage of Article Processing Costs (APC).
3.1.American Chemical Society 2017-2021
- Corresponding authors whose articles are accepted by ACS, will be granted automatically an ACS AuthorChoice Open Access License CC-BY-NC-ND. A corresponding author participates in the OA program, for a journal article, if he/she provides to ACS, at submission, an institution name, and an email address extension, which should be associated with the institution.
- If an author did not use an email extension associated with their qualifying institution (for example gmail), or did not pick the proper institution from the drop down list, the article will not be published as OA.
- The involved institution will be able to request the article to be published in OA until three months after acceptance.
- The agreement covers all 57 ACS subscription titles.
- More information needed? Please, go to ACS Funding Agreement with Partnering Dutch Universities.
Maastricht University has a supporter membership at BioMed Central . This membership entitles researchers and students to a 15% discount on the author’s fee. Just select Maastricht University or MUMC+ in the drop-down menu. The publisher will apply the discount automatically. You will find more information about this discount on the BioMed Central website.
3.3.Cambridge University Press 2017-2020
There is an agreement with Cambridge University Press (CUP) to publish Open Access in 339 hybrid and 17 full Open Access journals. All titles are included in the title list [PDF]. A number of journals (especially society journals) are excluded from the deal, but corresponding authors can always ask if their article can be accessed without further charges.
The entry date for acceptance of Open Access articles is 1 June 2017 and the duration of the agreement is three years from this date; thus until 1 June 2020.
After an article has been accepted, the corresponding author may indicate under which affiliation he/she submitted the article; CUP will know that the author is entitled to APC remission; an ‘Apply Discount’ button appears that the author must click to confirm.
3.4.De Gruyter 2016-2018
- Corresponding authors of Dutch universities receive 20% discount when they publish in the De Gruyter Open Access Institutional Member Scheme.
- De Gruyter Open member institutions and their affiliated authors are entitled to benefit from a 20% discount on Article Processing Charges (APCs). The portfolio available to Dutch scholars consists of over 500 OA peer-reviewed journals.
- Please contact our OA specialists to find out about the current procedure.
Elsevier has established an agreement with the VSNU to help Dutch authors publishing OA in Elsevier journals.
Publish OA with Elsevier: if an author chooses to publish in OA Elsevier journals (2018), then the article processing charge (APC) will be paid for through a central payment scheme set up by the Dutch universities and Elsevier. The agreement serves to collectively buy off the APCs for individual articles by all corresponding authors at Dutch institutions currently entering into the new agreement with Elsevier.
Steps to take after your article is accepted . New articles in the selected journals will immediately become available on an OA basis upon publication.
Emerald will issue OA vouchers to authors at Dutch universities. In 2016: 15, in 2017: 30 and in 2018: 45 vouchers.
These vouchers can be used for all periodicals issued by Emerald and have to be requested before the acceptance of the article.
When submitting an article, the corresponding author can request the Open Access voucher via our Open Access support team. University Library Maastricht will then process the request to Emerald and confirmation of waiving APC costs will follow within a few days.
The Emerald journals can be selected in the list of more than 4,500 journals [select the list under Overview of journal titles] in which corresponding authors of Dutch universities and academic hospitals can publish in Open Access for free or with a substantial discount.
An agreement has been in place to publish at no additional cost in all Karger journals as the corresponding author. On request from Karger, verification of the authors will be done by Maastricht University Library within three days.
See for participating institutions and information at the publisher’s website and choose Netherlands in the tickbox.
3.8.Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2017 -2019
Corresponding authors of articles from Dutch Universities will be able to publish their article free of charge, without Article Processing Charges, in Open Access in about 230 hybrid journals .
Included are original and review articles, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, full case reports and series published in Hybrid Journals. Articles for Full Open Access journals (without subscriptions) are excluded.
With respect to the procedure: on acceptance of the article by the publisher/journal-editors, Maastricht University / MUMC+ authors are advised to contact our Open Access support team for an “APC Waiver” code, which the author can use in LWW/WoltersKluwerHealth’s payment system to ensure the Open Access fee is waived.
3.10.Royal Society of Chemistry 2017
Publishing in Open Access by authors affiliated to Maastricht University is possible at a discount of 15% of the APC list price You can go to the list of available RSC journals Excluded journal titles of the agreement: Chemical Science, Chemistry World, RSC Advances More information on the workflow Articles are made available under the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 or the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License
Update 12 March 2018: No agreement between Dutch universities (VSNU) and Royal Society of Chemistry. Read the article below for more information.
- The corresponding author should be recognised as a researcher of a Dutch university, based on a proper e-mail affiliation.
- The 100% discount applies for 786 subscription titles, covered by the current overview of journal titles with a nationwide Open Access discount. Please visit the National agreements page for more information and/or download the title list compiled by SURFmarket for an overview.
- Sage has to ask for permission for the 100% discount to learned societies, who take advantage of the Sage platform. This applies for 40 journals, identified by the addition: “ask the library”.
- After acceptance of the paper, the author will receive an e-mail from Sage with a form about the nature of the Dutch agreement. As next step, an application form must be filled in and returned immediately in order to publish the paper OA without cost. On the form, you will be asked for a code which you do not need to fill in.
- Corresponding authors from Dutch Universities can request a discount of 20% for around 80 full OA journals. When APC payment is requested, authors should first contact OA support team for the APC discount code. Dependent on the journal, the author should reply to the payment email with the code (citing the VSNU deal, if possible) or if the payment system allows the code input, the code can be used to automatically claim the discount. The code should be provided at the right moment (as described above). The discount cannot be given with retroactive effect.
Please contact our OA specialists to find out more about the current procedure.
- Articles by corresponding authors from Dutch universities will be published in OA, at no cost to the author. There is a maximum of 2,200 items. If this number is reached the agreement will terminate and items will no longer be eligible for OA.
- You will be asked among others to identify yourself as corresponding author affiliated with a Dutch university. Springer and the Maastricht University Library will check this information. This step will take place during the production process for the article and will not take up any extra time.
- The agreement applies to some 1,600 journals within the Springer OpenChoice programme.
3.13.Taylor & Francis 2017
As of 2016, corresponding authors connected to a Dutch university or University Medical Hospital will be able to publish OA free of charge in around 2.300 Taylor & Francis and Routledge hybrid journals .
If a paper submitted to an Open Select journal is accepted for publication after peer review, the corresponding author will receive an email asking to choose an OA publishing agreement. Please go ahead and select the Creative Commons license of your choice. You will not need to pay an article publishing charge (APC) to make your article OA.
Some articles which are not original research papers, such as Editorials, Announcements, and Book Reviews, are not covered by this OA publishing agreement .
The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and scientific information provider Wiley have reached a Combined open access and subscription agreement between Wiley and Dutch universities of approx 1400 scientific journals and the opportunity to publish articles OA in a set of journals, without additional costs for the researcher submitting the article.
Wiley also publishes 60 full OA journals; these are not covered in this agreement. A researcher can of course still make an individual decision to publish in one of these 60 full OA journals. However, as they are not part of this deal, charges will need to be paid by the researcher as an additional fee.
Publish OA with Wiley : corresponding authors of Dutch universities should indicate when their article has been accepted, that the article must be published in OA. This goes without extra charges for the authors. Authors need to choose this OA option in the publication process. At the moment an author receives a message that his or her article has been accepted, the Wiley “author services pages” show how the author can select this option (see ‘Steps-for-Authors Flyers’ ). The APC (article processing charge) is also presented on this page. The author needs to select in the drop-down menu (Funder / Institution payment) his or her Dutch university, thereby indicating that the APC is covered (via the UKB/VSNU agreement).
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