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Introduction to Open Access

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Open access: some news!




  1. Researchers from UCLouvain who are, at least partially, financed by public funding (FNRS, grant students, included), have to put their research articles in Open Access on an institutional repository (Dial in UCLouvain). (Decret de la communauté française du 3 mai 2018).

  2. This concerns scientific articles published in a periodic journal publishing at least once a year. Other type of publications (monography, conference communications, thesis,…), can also be deposited inOpen Access, but it is encouraged, not mandatory.

  3. An embargo period is, however, still possible: and it covers up to 12 months of embargo for the social sciences, and up to 6 month for other sciences.

  4. The post-print of your research article has to be put on Dial (after peer-review, but before publisher’s layout).

  5. Attention: any promotion, nomination, or Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles research funding will depend on the list of your scientific publications that respect this decree, as exported from Dial.

  6. Moreover, this decree is reinforced by a recent modification of the Federal Belgian Law on Authors’ rights. Since July 2018, every author of a scientific publication has the right to put in Open Access his publications, with an embargo period of maximum 12 months (social science) or 6 months (other sciences). This legal right of Open Access

  7. This right prevails over any contract between the author and a publisher, even though other restrictions were mentioned in this contract.

Open Access Definition

In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative defines "Open Access" like the action to archive and disseminate scholarly literature around the world freely accessible online. It means that researchers of the world should be able to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link the full texts of these references without financial, legal, or tehcnical barriers other than internet access. Of course, copyright for authors have to be respected when content is cited or used by others.

Open Access Models

  • Green OA (Open Access Self-Archiving)

Researchers deposit their works in an institutional or discpline repository (ex. and provide freely access to the preprint, postprint or published version (pending the publisher permissions). So it's the self-archiving of (pre)published works by authors in an online archive. 

  • Gold OA (Open Access Publishing)

Researchers publish their works in an Open Access journal to a publisher who will provide the work freely available online. This option proposes some various business model. OA journals haven' got charge subscription or access fees. Author or institution have to pay Article Processing Charges to publish article in journals. The amount of these APC can vary from 0 € to 3000 € for an article. You'll find more information about publication charges of these OA journal in the DOAJ directory.

  • Hybrid Models (Open Access for articles)

In response to the development of Open Access several large commercial publishers have decided to offer an alternative model for the publication of research results. Indeed, they propose to publish OA articles in a subscription's journal according to the traditional model. For commercial publishers, it's an opportunity to develop potentially new business models. For libraries (and universities), this mainly represents additional costs and a way for commercial publishers to bring back Open Access movement.

Here are some examples of APC for OA and hybrid journals

! Open Access means that the information is freely available but OA publishing still often involves a cost to the author or institution to publish the work !

Why make my work in Open Access ?

⇒ Open Access allows a wider opening to search results (Indexing on Google Scholar, and other Academic search engines)

⇒ Open Access promotes interactions, collaborations or research opportunities between researchers of the world

⇒ Open Access allows long term lower costs for subscriptions to professional literature

⇒ Open Access makes your works easier for other researchers to find and so to cite 

⇒ But also, Permanent unbreakable URLs and Safe long-term archiving ( See Safe PLN for !)

Open Access Explained !                                       →  More videos on  Université Numérique - Open Publication  page !