Repositories: open access publishing for free

What are repositories?

Many academic institutions that support open access store their researchers’ publications in online repositories that are freely accessible worldwide and easy to find online. The publication of academic information in these online databases is called the ‘green road’ to open access; another term is self-archiving. All Dutch universities have their own repository and these are linked in a national network.

NARCIS, the national portal for scholarly information

Because all the Dutch university repositories are linked, they can be harvested through NARCIS (, the national portal for anyone seeking information about researchers and their work. NARCIS, with 471,000 open access publications,  is used by researchers, students, journalists and staff in the educational, public and commercial sectors. It provides access to hundreds of thousands of Dutch academic open access publications and datasets. A single search action lets you consult all the Dutch repositories in one go.

Submitting your publication to the repository

If you wish to have you publication included in your institution’s repository, get in touch with the contact person at your university. A list of contact persons can be found here.

Publishers and self-archiving

Many publishers allow self-archiving. Authors are permitted to make their publications available in their institution’s repository. Sometimes a publication is made immediately available online in the repository, while at other times an embargo period has to be observed. Some publishers do not allow you to make your publication available through a repository. It may be possible for you to negotiate with your publisher and reach an individual agreement. The policy of your university or department also plays a role here. The general recommendation is that you proceed carefully with regard to copyright and to find out all you can in advance. This website will tell you what your publisher permits.

Dutch Copyright Act

As of 1 July 2015 the Dutch Copyright Act sets out the legal parameters of academic authors making their research results available worldwide in open access. Academic articles resulting from research that is wholly or partly publicly funded may be placed in open access by the author after a reasonable period of time. The author may not surrender this right if the agreement with the publisher is subject to Dutch law. The acts of exploitation must take place mainly or entirely in the Netherlands.                                                                                                               

Practical copyright tools and resources

SURF has developed a range of practical tools (in Dutch) that authors can use to decide which copyrights they will transfer to the publisher and how they will make agreements about the re-use of material.

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Dutch National website providing information for academics about the advantages of open access to publicly financed research

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