Consolidating institutional repositories in a digital, free, open access publication platform for all scholarly output


  • Saskia Woutersen-Windhouwer Leiden University Libraries, Leiden University, NL
  • Eva Méndez Rodríguez Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, ES
  • Jeroen Sondervan Utrecht University, NL
  • Frans J. Oort University of Amsterdam, NL



future of scholarly communication, publication platforms, open access, open science, university


Funders increasingly mandate researchers to publish their scientific articles in open access and to retain their copyright. Universities all over the world have set up institutional repositories and use repositories for the preservation and dissemination of academic production of their institutions, including scientific articles, reports, datasets, and other research outputs. However, in general, authors do not find institutional repositories very attractive and accessible as an open access publication platform since repositories and open access are not part of the rewarding system. We expect that researchers are more likely to publish and deposit their scientific papers in a repository, once they have the appearance, recognition and dissemination of a scientific journal. That is why we took the initiative to set up a repository based journal ‘University Journals’ in which universities collaborate. The paper will explain the University Journals project and how the involved universities want to facilitate a valuable alternative publication platform that complies with Plan S principles and enables publication and dissemination of all research outcomes. By establishing University Journals as a publication platform, university libraries are instrumental (and crucial) in achieving the ambitions of Open Science, and universities gain control over the publication process.


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Author Biographies

Saskia Woutersen-Windhouwer, Leiden University Libraries, Leiden University, NL

Saskia Woutersen-Windhouwer LLM is a Digital Scholarship Librarian at the Centre for Digital Scholarship (CDS) at Leiden University Libraries, and the main contact person for Open Access at Leiden University. She is a member of the Dutch national working group on Open Access and of the Knowledge Exchange Open Access expert group. In 2010 she won the SURFshare Open Access Award. Saskia is also involved in Open Science: she participated in the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission “Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research II”, and co-authored one of its products: “Report on Enhanced Publications state-of-the-art”. From 2016 till the end of 2018, she participated in the Horizon2020 project “OPENing UP new methods, indicators and tools for peer review, impact measurement and dissemination of research results”. While working at the University of Amsterdam, she was involved in setting up University Journals, and is still an active member of the team.


Eva Méndez Rodríguez, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, ES

Researcher at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Eva Méndez holds a PhD in Library and Information Sciences (LIS) and is an expert in metadata. She defines herself in her Twitter profile as an ‘open knowledge militant’ (@evamen). She has been a lecturer at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), LIS department since 1997.She has been an active member of several international research teams, advisory boards and communities including: DCMI, OpenAire, Metadata2020, RDA, etc. In 2005-06 she was awarded a Fulbright Research Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA). She has taken part in and led several research projects and acted as advisor to many more in the fields related with standardization, metadata, semantic web, open data, digital repositories and libraries, in addition to information policies for development in several countries. In 2015 she won the Young Researcher of Excellence award of her University. In November 2017 she was named “Open Data Champion” by SPARC Europe. She is currently Deputy Vice President for Scientific Policy-Open Science at UC3M and member of the EU-OSPP (European Open Science Policy Platform) on behalf of YERUN (Young European Research Universities Network). She is the OSPP chair for the 2nd mandate of the platform.



How to Cite

Woutersen-Windhouwer, S., Méndez Rodríguez, E., Sondervan, J., & Oort, F. J. (2020). UNIVERSITY JOURNALS: Consolidating institutional repositories in a digital, free, open access publication platform for all scholarly output. LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries, 30(1), 1–15.



Case studies
Received 2021-06-18
Published 2020-06-29