Will the Netherlands mandate gold open access?

I just posted this note to the Global Open Access List (GOAL) discussion forum, and want to repost it here. This copy includes a postscript on green and gold OA mandates that most GOAL readers would not need. Because GOAL is moderated, this copy may appear before the GOAL copy. 

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I hope that Dutch researchers will seize the opportunity that Wouter Gerritsma describes, and save the Netherlands from repeating the mistake of the UK.

Note, however, that the Netherlands has flirted with gold OA mandates at least twice before, and in both cases prior to the Finch report in the UK.

1. In a November 2009 interview, Henk Schmidt, Rector of Erasmus University Rotterdam, described his plans to require OA, with a preference for gold over green. "I intend obliging our researchers to circulate their articles publicly, for example no more than six months after publication. I'm aiming for 2011, if possible in collaboration with publishers via the 'Golden Road' and otherwise without the publishers via the 'Green Road'."

However, in September 2010, he announced the university's new OA policy, which is green.

2. In January 2011, J.J. Engelen, Chairman of the NWO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek), described his preference for a future gold OA policy. "These goals of scientic publishing are best reached by means of an open access publishing business model....Open access publishing should become a requirement for publicly funded research. In order to make open access publishing a success, the enthusiastic cooperation of the professional publishing companies active on the scientific market is highly desirable."

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If OA is good, and if governments ought to mandate OA for publicly-funded research, then why would it be bad to mandate gold OA instead of green OA? The short answer is that green is faster than gold, less expensive than gold, scales up to nationwide scope more efficiently than gold, and is more compatible with author freedom to publish in the journals of their choice.

For the long answer, see the September 2013 report of UK House of Commons Select Committee on Business, Innovation and Skills.

Or see my:

July 2013 interview with Richard Poynder. ("I still believe that green and gold are complementary, and that in the name of good strategy we should take full advantage of each. From this perspective, my chief disappointment with the RCUK policy is that it doesn’t come close to taking full advantage of green.")

September 2012 article on the Finch report and RCUK policy.

August 2012 editorial in BMJ.

June 2012 book from MIT Press, chapter 3 (on green/gold) and chapter 4 (on policies).

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