Extra option for open access

The Taverne-amendment is to make WUR science as accessible as possible.

This amendment to the Dutch Copyright Act gives scientists the option of publishing their articles online, even if these have already appeared in a journal. The only drawback is that the article must first have been published over six months ago. The amendment is named after the VVD-member of the house of representatives who initiated the change in 2015, Joost Taverne.


The Dutch government demands that research funded with public means must be freely accessible. This so-called open access publication is the standard. Reality, however, is stubborn. There are still many publishers who do no embrace open access publishing or do not publish online as well as in print. The amendment offers authors the option of publishing articles that are pay-to-view free of charge six months after publication.

The author decides if, and for what, articles he or she wishes to invoke the Taverne amendment

Chantal Hukkelhoven, team Research Support WUR Library

It took some time for universities to act. ‘A joint pilot was conducted in 2018/2019, to see how publishers would respond’, Chantal Hukkelhoven of the Library-team Research Support says. After all, they earn money from subscriptions to their journals. There was no reaction.

Taking action

After some preparation, WUR will start with open access publication as per the Taverne amendment from this week. So-called corresponding authors will be sent an email alerting them to the new option. Following that, it is up to them to take action, Hukkelhoven explains. ‘The Taverne amendment is a personal right. The researcher decides if, and for what publications, he or she wishes to invoke the amendment.’

WUR policy dictates that corresponding authors publish through open access

Chantal Hukkelhoven, team Researh Support, WUR-Libray

Moreover, the research must be entirely funded out of public means. The primary focus is on the corresponding authors. ‘WUR-policy dictates open access publication. This concerns research for which they are responsible. However, every author who wishes can do so.’


The Taverne-provision is retroactive. This means that articles that were published under pay-to-view conditions prior to 2015 can be made freely available under the amendment. ‘However, to keep things manageable, we will start with articles that are published now and work our way back to at least 2017.’

The articles may be uploaded through WUR’s proprietary platform Research@WUR. The procedure is simple. Researchers are asked only to click what articles they want to be published online in a personalised online form. The Library takes care of the rest. On Thursday, 8 April, there is an online Q&A Session on open access from 09.00-09.45 AM.

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