Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
University of Groningen Library
University of Groningen Library Open access

Frequently asked questions


What is open access?

Open access means free, immediate, permanent, online and full-text access to academic publications. By publishing your research open access under an open licence, you enable readers to download and print the material as well as reuse, distribute, link, crawl and mine it.

Which types of open access exist?


Gold open access: You publish in a fully open access journal that does not charge subscription fees for reading access. Gold open access journals usually charge a publication fee, also known as an Article Processing Charge (APC).

Hybrid open access: You publish in a ‘traditional’ subscription journal that offers open access publication for individual articles on payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC).

Green open access: You publish in a closed access journal and then make a version of your publication available in an institutional repository, such as Pure at the University of Groningen. Publications can be archived upon publication or after, depending on the journal’s policy. It is often permitted to self-archive the author’s final version (post-print) after an embargo period.

Diamond open access: You publish in a fully open access journal or platform that does not charge any publication fees (APCs). The costs of publishing and hosting are borne by one or more organizations, associations or networks.


Open access books (monographs and edited volumes) are establishing themselves as a publication mode. The open access books landscape is very diverse with several types of actors co-existing, ranging from commercial publishers, to university and learned society presses, and non-profit academic-led initiatives. Business models vary significantly too. While most publishers charge Book Processing Charges (BPCs), others are instead experimenting with different funding models, such as library partnership subsidy models. 

What are the benefits of open access?

Some of the benefits of open access:

  • You can increase the visibility of your research and gain more citations.
  • You can make your research accessible to researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, businesses, educators and the general public around the world.
  • You can increase the societal impact of your research.
  • You can comply with funding organizations’ open access mandates.
  • You can increase intra- and interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Open access material can be used freely for educational purposes.
Does the University of Groningen have an open access policy?

As of 1 May 2021, the UG established new open access procedural regulations. The publisher’s versions of all short works (articles and book chapters) by UG/UMCG staff that have not been published open access will be made open access via Pure six months after publication, with reference to the original publication source.

The new regulations are legally backed by Article 25fa of the Dutch Copyright Act (also known as Taverne amendment) which grants Dutch-affiliated researchers the right to make their short academic works open to the public for free after a short embargo period.

Thanks to the new regulations, the standard embargo period for all non-open access UG/UMCG publications is six months, irrespective of the embargo period imposed by the publisher.

Researchers don’t have to do anything themselves. The University of Groningen Library (UB) and the Central Medical Library (CMB) will take care of opening up all qualifying publications via Pure.

More information, see:  Open Access - Taverne.


What are predatory journals and how can I recognize them?

Predatory publishers abuse the open access model by collecting APCs (Article Processing Charges) without providing proper editorial and peer review services. You can often recognize predatory publishers by their aggressive marketing strategies and spam emails. Yet, predatory journals may look legitimate at first sight.

Check our tips for recognizing predatory journals. In addition, you can find recommendations on the website of the initiative Think, Check, Submit.


What is an article processing charge (APC)?

Article processing charges (APCs) and book processing charges (BPCs) are author-facing fees which are (sometimes) charged to publish open access. These fees may be covered by the author, the author's institution or by the research funder.

APCs are usually charged for publication in gold and hybrid journals, while diamond journals do not charge a fee for open access publication.

APCs and BPCs vary enormously from journal to journal and from publisher to publisher. We advise that you consult the journal’s/publisher’s webpages for information on APCs and BPCs prior to submission.

Does the UG have an open access fund?

Yes, UG- and UMCG-affiliated authors can apply for funding the publication of their monograph or edited volume.

Additionally, submitting authors affiliated with the UG and the UMCG can publish their articles open access in thousands of journals for free or with significant discounts on the Article Processing Charges (APCs) thanks to a series of agreements between the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) and major academic publishers. Authors are responsible for covering the costs of open access publication in journals that are not part of these agreements.

In which journals can I publish open access for free of with a discount?

The Journal Browser allows you to check in which journals you can publish for free or with a discount. You can search the database by journal name or by subject. In addition to the national UNL agreements that are listed in the Journal Broswer, the UG and the UMCG have negotiated a series of agreements in their own right.

What are my funding organization’s open access requirements?

Most research funding organizations, including NWO and the European Commission, require publications resulting from their grants to be published open access.

The SHERPA Juliet database provides information on funding organizations’ policies and their requirements on open access, publication and data archiving.

In September 2018, a group of European research funding bodies known as cOAlition S (which includes NWO and ZonMw) launched Plan S. According to Plan S, scholarly publications that result from research funded by grants from cOAlition S member organizations must be published via compliant open access journals or platforms, or made immediately available through open access repositories.

Copyright and licences

Does publishing open access allow me to retain copyright to my publication?

When you submit an article to a traditional journal, you may have to transfer your copyright by signing a ‘copyright transfer agreement’. When you publish in open access journals, you retain the copyright. Open access articles are published under public copyright licenses (such as Creative Commons licenses). This means that you retain the copyright and indicate (by way of license) what others may do with the article.

More information 
What are Creative Commons licences?

Creative Commons licenses are public copyright licenses. By assigning a Creative Commons license to your publication, you retain all of your rights, but give others permission to disseminate the work, share it with others and – with some licenses – to edit the work. With a choice of six standard licenses available free of charge), you can determine the extent to which your work may be further distributed and on what terms and conditions.

What is the 'Taverne legal amendment'?

Article 25fa of the Dutch Copyright Act, commonly known as the Taverne Amendment, grants the author of any short scientific work that is fully or partly financed by Dutch public funds the right to make this work freely available to the public, following ‘a reasonable term’ after its publication. The amendment is supposed to supersede any agreement made between the author and the publisher.

The Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) has agreed to roll out the Taverne Amendment nationally. To this end, the UG has set up the Open access procedural regulations for short academic works by UG staff members.

More information, see: Open Access - Taverne.

Find paywalled and open access full-texts

Open access support: openaccess | openaccess

Do you have questions on open access that are specific to your discipline? Contact one of the open science ambassadors at the University's faculties.

Last modified:23 January 2024 09.40 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands