Organisation - June 4, 2020

Major deal with Elsevier for open science

Dutch academic and applied universities and research institutes have reached an agreement with the scientific publisher Elsevier on free access to
publications and open science.

Text: Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau (HOP)

They announced this in May. Now Dutch researchers can publish open-access articles in 95 per cent of Elsevier’s journals. Their articles will be available for everybody free of charge. The agreement applies until 2024.

The institutions and Elsevier are still in discussions about the remaining five per cent, which includes the leading medical journal The Lancet (although some associated journals such as The Lancet Public Health and The Lancet Microbe are already included in the agreement). Agreements were also reached with Elsevier about open science, which means achieving maximum transparency at all stages in the scientific process. The idea is to publish not just the research results but also the underlying data and the choices that were made.


The Netherlands and the EU want all publicly funded research to be accessible to all, free of charge. Scientific publishers such as Elsevier have long been opposed to this as they earn money from subscriptions. Open access and open science require a different business model, where you pay to publish rather than to read the articles. So the publisher receives publication fees instead of subscription fees.