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Frequently Asked Questions about

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about institutional repositories, open access, copyright and project, ...

General questions :


Open Access :

General questions

What is an institutional repository?

It is a platform, a tool to collect in electronic format the publication and the scientific works of the professors and the researchers of an institution and to make them, possibly, freely accessible on the Internet to increase the visibility by itself.

What is

It is the institutional repository for research and scholarship - including published and unpublished papers - produced at the Université catholique de Louvain, All faculties, staff, and graduate students can deposit into It allows the long-term preservation and the consultation, in electronic version, of scientific publications.

As a researcher, which advantages may I remove from an institutional repository?

An institutional repository allows:

  • to create an exhaustive and perennial archive of the scientific publications of an institution;
  • to guarantee the access by the university community to the publications of her researchers;
  • to increase the visibility of the university and her researchers worldwide;
  • to facilitate the access to the scientific information.


With, you have the opportunity to store all your publications and other research documents such as reports, working documents, patents, etc. in a permanent and centralized way. provides them with visibility and permanent access. also allows you to generate customized bibliographic exports, as well as FNRS bibliographic exports. The bibliographic lists generated by can be used to allocate research credits, appointments, promotions, etc.

Several value-added features are available on bibliometric indices for your publications, statistics for viewing and downloading your publications, general deposit statistics, etc.

Finally, is also a search interface allowing you to easily find the scientific work of your colleagues.

Who has access to How to log me in?

The access to information and services of the repository requires no registration and is accessible to everyone. But the reference addition and modification and the deposit are only accessible to the universities’ members or people authorized by it.

To connect you to the repository, introduce your global UCLouvain identifier, and your password into the insert provided for this purpose on the homepage or clicking on « Log in ».

As a user, what are my rights and my obligations concerning the publications deposited into allows authors to grant or deny access to deposited documents. Three types of access exist:

  • prohibited access
  • restricted access, which allows the document to be viewed and downloaded only if you are connected to the UCLouvain network. However, it is possible to request a "reprint" when not connected to the UCLouvain network (special access request sent by email to the authors of the publication).
  • open access, which allows everyone to access the document


To have access to the full text of publications deposited in Open Access in DIAL, the users acquaint with conditions of use and accept them. They are visible before any viewing the document.

When these conditions are accepted, they are allowed to read, download, copy, transmit, and reproduce the work on paper or any other support, and it only for private purposes, of illustration of the teaching or the scientific research. Any use for profit or commercial purposes is strictly prohibited.

The user also commits the moral rights of the author, mainly the right to the integrity of the work and the attribution (copyright). So, the user cannot modify, transform or adapt the work without the explicit permission of the author. When he will reproduce the document by extract or in full for the purposes authorized by this license, the user will quote the sources such as mentioned in DIAL.

It should be noted that Open Access publications are sometimes associated with specific licenses, such as Creative Commons licenses, which allow users to use these publications within the limits authorized by these licenses without having to request the author's express authorization. When a publication has such a license, it is usually indicated in the PDF of that publication and/or on the website of the journal in which it was published.

What is the policy concerning the deposit into ?

On 2nd July 2012, the Academic Council of the UCLouvain decided to make mandatory the recording of the bibliographical data and the deposit of full text from 1st January 2013. The deposit of full text concerns only the publications produced from 2013. It behoves to sectors to eventually extend the obligation to deposit, full text in other years. The access type to the full text of these publications will be open only in accordance with the applicable rules of copyright and publisher’s rights.

All the types of documents listed in DIAL and for which you can arrange or realize yourself (by scan) an electronic version are concerned by the mandatory deposit.

How can I keep up with news and the evolution about

DIAL offers you various possibilities to stay informed:

  • News about, Open Access, publishers… on the homepage of the site but also to Twitter.
  • Display of the last deposits on the homepage.


Can I access a document marked with a closed padlock? How to make a request for a reprint?

Documents placed on restricted access can be the object of request for reprint. An email is sent to authors who have the possibility to accept or refuse the sending. However, the document placed on access prohibited cannot be the subject of a request for reprint.

Where can I find help for encoding and bibliographic export in

User guides are available on this page.

Training sessions on the use of DIAL are also organized throughout the year for researchers, doctoral students, professors and administrative staff. The list of past and future training courses is available on this page.

Who can I contact in case of difficulties?

In the contact tab, a ticket system allows you to send a message to DIAL managers.

Do not hesitate to contact your librarians either.

Open Access

What is Open Access?

By free access to scientific publications, UCLouvain aligns itself with the definitions of the Open Knowledge Fundation (OpenDefinition, 2017) and the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI, 2003) and means:

Their free availability on the Internet allowing any user to

  • read
  • download
  • copy
  • print out
  • share out
  • modify


With the need for the user to acknowledge and cite the author and to indicate the source of the original work on any reproduction or modification of this work.

As an author, which are my advantages to publish in Open Access?

The main advantages of Open Access concern the visibility and impact of the publication. Open Access allows a better diffusion of results through the scientific community. Free available articles on the Internet are more consulted than publications or journals with paid access. Normally, if the number of consultations is important, the article will more be quoted and it will more have an impact. About that, you can consult this page and this report.

Below is a summary of the many advantages of Open Access:

For more information on Open Access, also see the "Université Numérique" page.

What is the purpose of the 2018 Open Access decree?

The legislator aims to favor free circulation of knowledge and innovation: every citizen, whatever his/her financial means, should be able to access to scientific results. The decree also aims to improve researchers and researchers’ work visibility.

Should I put all my publications in Open Access?

No, the Communauté Française decree applies to scientific papers accepted for publication in a periodical scientific journal that is published at least once a year. The decree also refers to scientific papers accepted after September 2018. Other publications (Book chapters, posters, thesis, etc.), and papers accepted before September 2018 are encouraged to be deposited in Open Access, but it’s the author’s decision.

What is my interest as a researcher?

Compliance with the Open Access decree is very important for researchers’ career. Every committee or commission which will evaluate a research project proposal, or state about a promotion, will use your scientific publication’s list “Certified FWB” from Dial. If one of your publications that should be in Open Access is not, this publication will not be on that list. Follow the decree is thus in a researcher’s best interest.

To export this list, Log in to, go to My Dashboard, click on “Export” and choose the “certified FWB” bibliography.

What if the Copyright with the publisher requires an embargo period?

The decree allows for an embargo period, however this period should not exceed 6 months (SST and SSS) and 12 months (SSH) after the publication’s date, whatever the copyright with the publisher is saying.

Where should I deposit my publication?

The decree specifies that your publication should be deposit in Open Access on the Institutional Repository: @UCLouvain.

Which version of my publication should I deposit in open Access?

You have to deposit the post-print version (after peer review, but before publisher’s edition of the layout), unless your publisher allows you to deposit the edited version.

Am I obliged to deposit my publication in Open Access?

  1. UCLouvain researchers financed totally or partially from public funds (including FNRS scholars and researchers) must, according to the decree of the French community of May 3, 2018, put their articles in open access on an institutional repository, in this case for UCLouvain : Dial.
  2. This applies to publications in a periodical published at least once a year. For other publications (monographs, conference proceedings, theses, etc.), Open Access remains at the author's discretion, although it is strongly encouraged by UCLouvain.
  3. An embargo period remains possible: 12 months for the human and social sciences, 6 months for the other sciences.
  4. The version to be uploaded to Dial is the Post-print version: i.e. the version after peer-review, but before the publisher's layout.
  5. Important point: any promotion, appointment, allocation of research credit by the FWB may only be based on the list generated by Dial for the evaluation of periodical articles covered by the decree.
  6. This Community decree is reinforced by a recent intervention by the Belgian legislator in July 2018, which establishes a real right of Open Access for scientific publications financed by public funds for the benefit of the authors of these publications. The text also provides for the possibility of embargo periods similar to those of the decree (6 or 12 months depending on the sector). This legal right prevails over any contract concluded with a publisher that prohibits or restricts the right to open access beyond the legal conditions.

How do I know if I have the right to deposit my publication in Open Access in

enlightened If your publication has been publicly funded, and is published in a periodical that appears at least once a year, open access deposit on is now required (See previous section) enlightened

- By consulting SHERPA/RoMEO: This is a database that gathers information on the conditions for depositing publications for each publisher and/or inventoried title. The open access filing rights of some publishers vary depending on the publication status of the documents (pre-print, post-print and published version). SHERPA/RoMEO also mentions any embargo periods to be respected (during which the publication cannot be available in Open Access).

- By visiting the website of the journal in which you published: Policies regarding Open Access and repository in institutional archives are generally included on the journal's or publisher's website.

- By consulting the Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ), which lists all scientific journals that meet Open Access and quality criteria (a publication evaluation model is required). To date, the DOAJ contains 12188 journals. The journal in which you published may be included.

- By asking the publisher: If the journal or publisher of your publication is not listed in DOAJ or SHERPA/RoMEO, and you cannot find the information on the journal's website, you may consider contacting your publisher directly to find out about their Open Access depositing conditions.

How can I ensure that my publications are in Open Access?

There are two main publication and dissemination models for open access:

  • You can publish directly in an Open Access journal, this is called the "gold open access".
  • You can publish in a traditional journal and deposit a version of the full text of your publication in, your institutional repository, and possibly in thematic repositories. This is called the "green open access".

Here are the elements to consider for each of these two models:


Green open access
  • allows you to publish in the traditional journal of your choice
  • free of charge
To be considered
  • does not always allow the final version of the publication to be deposited
  • does not always allow the publication to be deposited immediately after publication (possible embargo)
  • contributes to maintaining the hegemony of traditional publishers in scientific publishing
Gold open access
  • publication is available free of charge in Open Access immediately after publication
  • more possibilities for the author to retain copyright
  • promotes the development of alternative publication models
To be considered
  • sometimes exorbitant costs charged to authors or their institutions (APC, Article Processing Charges). Please note, however, that many Open Access journals do not charge publication fees, and are completely free of charge.
  • Beware of the "hybrid journals" offered by traditional publishers, a scam by traditional publishers to double their sources of income (traditional journals that offer researchers to publish their articles in Open Access for a fee... while their institutions already pay annual subscriptions to access the content of these journals! (see here and here)