Open Access

Statement on Open Access of the councils of deans for Humanities (DLG), Philosophy (DWB), and Theology and Religion (DGO)


Open Access to scientific and scholarly publications enjoys broad support among scientists. However, the immediate and complete implementation of Open Access according to ‘Plan S’ on 1.1.2020 undermines existing policies regarding scientific and scholarly quality, has problematic consequences for young researchers and could get expensive – cause for great concern from the perspective of the Humanities as well.


As we await a continuation of this discussion our recommendations to the Dutch funding agency NWO (and indeed to other relevant European funding agencies) at this point would be as follows:


  • Allow hybrid Open Access for the time being, at least for the Humanities (the conditions stated in the implementation plan are unrealistic).
  • Allow, at least for the Humanities, ‘Green’ Open Access without restrictions (including archiving of preprints and including archiving under embargo; the latter is typically not problematic for the Humanities).
  • Make room for ‘Platinum’ Open Access (Platinum OA is better than Gold OA!).
  • For the time being, in the implementation of Plan S, exempt book publications from the Open Access conditions.
  • In the implementation of Plan S exempt so-called ‘hybrid’ publications (scientific and scholarly publications accessible to broader public) from the Open Access condition (the practice of dissemination already has satisfying results and there are no problems in this area that Open Access should resolve).


The statement in full can be downloaded reaction_of_the_Council_of_Deans_on_Plan_S_English_version.pdf