Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dutch academic repositories available online

It has taken some time, but now the first signs of a new academic publishing policy are showing. Today the Dutch Royal National Academy of Science announced that the academy is acquiring the Digital Academic Repositories (DARE). Dare was an initiative of the Dutch universities, the Royal National Academy of Science, the NWO, a national science research institute, and funded by SURFnet. DARE has been set up in order to make research results accessible to the audience at large.

DAREnet exists of three sections:
- DARE: 107.954 scientific publications and research results of all Dutch universities and research institutes;
- Keur der Wetenschap (Cream of Science): 46.044 scientific publications of more than 200 prominent scientists in the Netherlands. More than sixty percent is fully available in pdf or full text;
- The National Dissertation site (Promise of Science): 13.209 dissertations of all Dutch universities.
Many of these articles and dissertations are full text available or in pdf and often in the English language. So it can be a real resource on a particular subject. Just go to, choose English on the righthand side under the logo and start searching. If you select Dare and type in my name Jak Boumans, you will be presented with an article on the second wave of e-books (sorry in the Dutch language); it is the only article by me in these databases. If you search in the section Promise of Science and you search on search engine, your will be presented with three dissertations.

The Dutch academic world has been struggling with the idea of national repositories for years. Questions were asked about publishing scientific articles with commercial publishing companies like Elsevier Science or Springer. Many a study was performed and not accepted as the academic libraries hoped to gain the position of the academic publisher and never did. And the problem did not interest many board members of universities. Many could not care less that universities had to pay subscriptions to magazines, be it in print or electronic, while they had delivered the manuscripts and had not received a penny for it. But another solution was poldered (reached by consensus): start local repositories, link them to each other and make them accessible, also for the tax payer. Now that KNAW takes the lead of DAREnet, a real step has been taken in academic publishing by the universities. But it is only the beginning.

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Blog Posting Number: 624

1 comment:

hoong said...

This is the topic of my heart.

Yesterday I found an article I wanted to read. It was by a professor in UK. But to receive the full report, I have to pay 32 euro (or USD).

I think to help support the cost, perhaps DAREnet could look for low subscription fee such as one would pay for the local library. And free for university students.

I have also suggested that perhaps selected thesis could be translated into English (the more popular language), German, French, Spanish and Italian. If that done, I see the possibilities of making it available across EU, and perhaps funding and cooperation from other countries.