As you may know, the VSNU (the association of universities in the Netherlands) has been negotiating with publishers on behalf of the Dutch universities since 2014, about access to scientific journals on the one hand and open-access publishing in these journals on the other. VSNU’s main goal is new agreements that make the transition to open access possible. We are in favour of this approach: The results of publicly funded research should be openly accessible.
Unfortunately, the VSNU and publisher Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) have not been able to come to a new agreement for 2018. This has implications for accessing articles in RSC journals and for publishing open access in these journals.
Concerning access, you will have to use alternative routes to access any articles that are published by RSC as of January 2018. For an overview of access alternatives, please consult this flyer that was developed by UKB. Articles that were published before January 2018 will remain accessible through the digital library.
Concerning open-access publishing, you will no longer be able to publish open access at a 15% discount in RSC journals. From now on, UT authors will have to pay the costs of open-access publishing in RSC journals in full. Corresponding UT authors can still publish open access at a discount or at no additional cost in many journals from other publishers. For an overview of those journals, consult the UT Journal Browser. For other open-access alternatives, please visit www.utwente.nl/openaccess.
For more information, please visit the University Library’s FAQ page on this subject.
It is clear to us that this situation is extremely frustrating for researchers who read and publish open access in RSC journals. In time, the VSNU hopes to reach a satisfying agreement with RSC after all. In the meantime, we ask you not to take out individual subscriptions during this ‘no contract’ period as it can interfere with VSNU’s negotiations with RSC to secure open access at a reasonable price.
The VSNU and Springer have come to a new four-year agreement as of 2018. As a result, staff and students of Dutch universities have access to the full text of 250 more Springer journals compared to the previous agreement, and corresponding authors of Dutch universities are allowed to publish open access at no additional cost in 155 more Springer journals than before. The VSNU and Springer have also agreed on a strategic partnership to strengthen and stimulate open science together.
If you have any questions in response to this news, please contact the information specialist of your faculty or the University Library. They will gladly help you.