Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
UniversiteitsbibliotheekOnderdeel van Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


UniversiteitsbibliotheekOpen AccessOpen access nieuwsbrief

Open access agreements with publishers

Open access publishing can involve costs. Some open access publishers charge a fee for the services they offer for authors, known as article processing charges (APCs).The University of Groningen (UG) has no funds available to reimburse these expenses, but there are several other options. The UG is participating in numerous national and local agreements with publishers that (partly) exempt authors from paying APCs.

There are different agreements with an open access discount: with large or small publishers, nationwide or local and with total or partial exemption from payment of APCs.

Nationwide are the bulk contracts (big deals) between universities and a publisher which arrange upfront payment for publishing articles open access with that publisher so the individual researcher doesn't have to pay. The agreements with Elsevier, Wiley and Springer (OpenChoice) are examples of a nationwide agreement with a large publisher.
But the Dutch universities have also signed deals with smaller publishers. With e.g. Sage, Walter de Gruyter and Karger, Dutch researchers can publish open access at no cost.
A condition to benefit from these agreements is that the corresponding author is affiliated with a Dutch university.

Another form of agreement are the ‘local’ memberships that the UG has entered with several publishers who encourage open access, such as the membership with the open access publisher Cogitatio Press. This membership enables all researchers of the UG and the UMCG to publish free of charge in a journal issued by Cogitatio.

The arrangement with PeerJ is also a local agreement to encourage researchers to publish open access. This publisher works with a 'lifetime publishing plan' for each author (‘pay once, publish for life’), which means that a one-off fee will enable researchers to publish with PeerJ throughout their careers. The UG will pay the membership fees for 36 UG/UMCG researchers who submit manuscripts to PeerJ.

UG and UMCG authors qualify for discounts on APCs with some publishers, namely BioMedCentral, SpringerOpen, BMJ journals and Sage Choice (for journals that are not part of the Sage agreement).

For all of the above agreements it is important to always use your work email address from the UG or UMCG when you submit an article!

On you can find an overview of journal titles with a nationwide open access discount. The title list is compiled by SURFmarket and will be refreshed on a quarterly interval.

When a researcher wants to publish an article open access in a journal that is not covered by an agreement, they can try to get the APCs reimbursed by research funders. These funders a re increasingly explicitly considering the costs of disseminating research results to be part of the research costs. For this reason they are offering possibilities to have such costs reimbursed:

  • NWO has a fund for open access publishing (only the costs of publication in fully open access journals currently qualify for reimbursement)
  • Horizon 2020 is the European funding programme for research and innovation
  • OpenAire has a pilot programme that will run until 2017, which enables future publications to be made open access under certain conditions. Publications must be funded from the FP7 programme

More information

  • This article gives an impression of the open access agreements with publishers in which the UG is participating. For a complete list and accompanying workflows visit our website .
    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Last modified:14 January 2019 2.16 p.m.