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Open access

all things open access - resources, books, journals

Open access Publishing

Thanks to national agreements between the VSNU, the association of Universities in the Netherlands, and publishers, corresponding authors can now publish Open Access for free or at a discount in many journals. Most of these agreements concern subscription journals with an Open Access option.

Plan-S part of a large open access discussion

On 4 September 2018, a group national research funding organisation, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of cOAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles. By January 1st 2020,  “By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.”

For more information, pro's an con's we refer you to: 

cOAlition-S website
R.J. Smits in Nature, Radical open-access plan could spell end to journal subscriptions 
VSNU Open Access Roadmap
The Guardian Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?

Open access explained on youtube
Introduction to open access

Open Access (in line with the Budapest Open Access Initiative) can be defined as the free availability of research and scholarly outputs on the public internet permitting users to make any lawful and non-commercial use of the research material(s) without any legal, technical or financial barriers other than the acknowledgement of the right of the author(s).

We define open access journals as journals that use a funding/business model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access.

More and more funding bodies require that the results of the funded research have to be made publicly available through digital repositories e.g. NWO, KNAW, EU etc.

One misunderstanding about Open Access is that citing Open Access resources is not necessary and that everybody can copy and paste everything without giving credits to the original author. Common practices in academic life have to be followed in the Open Access world as well.

Another misunderstanding is that there are no Open Access journals with an ISI status. On the ITC library website, you will find a list of Open Access Journals. Unfortunately, the amount of OA journals with Impact Factor is still not the same in every academic discipline but it is growing. One of the reasons is that the big publishers are still hesitant towards Open Access.

Most important to realize is that the intellectual freedom and freedom of science remains important. Research publications should be published based on quality and not because one institute has more money than another institute. It should not affect publication behaviour of scientists in developing countries.

Predatory publishers are corrupting open access

Journals that exploit the author-pays model damage scholarly publishing and promote unethical behaviour by scientists, argues Jeffrey Beall. Jeffrey Beall is Scholarly Initiatives Librarian at the University of Colorado Denver. His website "Bealslist" started out as a place to find predatory publishers but also caused discussion. It is still online in a 'saved' last version
With the start of open-access publishing also the predatory publishers came into existence.

An article in NATURE with the title “Predatory publishers are corrupting open access” is explaining what these predatory publishers are, what they do and why we have to be careful when we publish with these predatory publishers.

Open access resources

Directory of Open Access journals: open access scientific journals that use a quality control system.
Scielo Scientific Electronic Library Online. (Research and Publishing network) is a platform for scientific communication.
African Journals Online: Open Access section African Open Access journals
Bioline International: Open access to quality research journals published in developing countries.
Medknow: Medknow Publications is a publisher of peer-reviewed, online/print+online journals in the area of STM. 

Directory of Open Access books: open access books screened for quality, no predatory publications. 
Open Acces Books on JSTOR

Springer Open Access Journals  and Springer Open Access Books
Elsevier Open Access Journals 
Wiley Open Journals 

The Directory of Open Access Repositories – OpenDOAR: authoritative directory of academic open access repositories that gives a quality-controlled list of repositories. 

Information on Open Access: 
GOAP The Unesco Global Open Acces Portal

Open access search engines

OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) is a collaborative initiative to develop and implement a sustainable Open Access publication model for academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The OAPEN Library aims to improve the visibility and usability of high-quality academic research by aggregating peer-reviewed Open Access publications from across Europe.   

Oalib (Open Acces Library) is working on a new scholar search engine for all scholars worldwide. Without any registration, Open Access Library allows you free access to a database of over 263,385 openly accessible academic-articles, The ultimate goal of Open Access Library is to prompt academic exchange and advancement.



The Lecture by John Mackenzie Owen titled: Open Access Promises and Pitfalls, at the occasion of the ITC 2010 symposium on Open Acces is still worth watching. (35 min) He is Emeritus Professor of Information Science at the University of Amsterdam.

Introduction: Open Access is a way to eliminate the cost of scientific publications for end-users and their institutions. Open Access could, therefore, lead to free access to information for all. However, there are many obstacles to achieving this goal, and the road to full open access is not free from pitfalls. In this presentation, I shall briefly introduce the concept and background of Open Access, provide an overview of current developments, and discuss some of the major issues, both positive and negative. I shall put special emphasis on aspects that are relevant to developing countries as the possibly chief beneficiaries of Open Access in the long run. 


Open access journals