Why Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) should not terminate its Open Access Incentive Fund in 2018

2018 will sadly see the end of a very successful financing instrument: NWO’s Incentive Fund for Open Access publications started in 2010 and has enabled many scientific authors to venture outside of their comfort zone and opt for a more reader friendly type of publishing at a time when a culture change in traditional publishing was not yet foreseen.

The latest changes in Dutch academic publishing with great emphasis on deals between universities and traditional publishers, have brought many fantastic deals, which deservedly caught extensive attention.

Why then, would NWO policy makers have thought, should we continue the Incentive Fund? Well, because….

  1. Not all disciplines profit from the deals that have been made so far;
  2. Publishers, who stood out and moved to a full Open Access publishing model are now punished for their forwardness, as their authors will not be able to finance their publications and therefore move away. Think of Biomed Central and you realise these are not small fish;
  3. Not all publication types are covered by the agreements;
  4. The Open Access movement was initiated to bring about a change in the business model of academic publishing: this change will not be accomplished with deals with traditional publishers;
  5. The demand for funding is still increasing rather than decreasing: the fund serves an actual need;
  6. Put your money where your mouth is: if NWO requires Open Access publishing from it’s grantees, it should also provide the instruments needed.

More reading…. Utrecht University’s Jeroen Sondervan carefully wrote his considerations on his blogpost https://oamediastudies.com/2017/06/27/netherlands-organisation-for-scientific-research-nwo-terminates-open-access-incentive-fund-on-january-2018-some-considerations/

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