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Initiatives & Events

Initiatives et évènements
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Open Access Week

This is a week dedicated to promoting and disseminating information about Open Access. Each year, ULiège takes part in this event, which enables the academic world and researchers to share their experiences with Open Access, either through articles, explanatory videos, conferences or webinars.

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Erasmus Staff Training Week

ULiège Library regularly organizes, in collaboration with the International Relations Office of the University of Liège, an Erasmus Staff Training dedicated to specific library-related topics.

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10 years of ORBi at ULiège

To celebrate 10 years of ORBi, ULiège Library organised a day of conferences on 20 November 2018. This was an opportunity to take a look in the rear-view mirror, and to examine the role played by Open Access and Open Science in how science is communicated in Belgium and internationally: strong policy, the involvement of research funds, the mobilisation of researchers and academic and research institutions, etc., as well as new challenges for the coming years: the assessment of researchers, open data, new electronic publishing models and the implementation of international policy.

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Open letter for Open Access

In March 2018, the parliament of the French Community of Belgium began to discuss a draft decree that aims to establish an open-access policy for scientific publications (Open Access). In order to ensure that researchers and citizens can have their voices widely heard, and to show the importance they ascribe to the free dissemination of knowledge, ULiège Library sent an open letter to parliamentarians.

This gathered more than 2,200 signatures in one month. The decree in favour of OA was adopted in May 2018.

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Belgian initiatives

Signature of the Brussels declaration in 2012

Through this declaration, the signatories committed to promoting open access to the results of research that was financed by public funds and confirmed the Belgian government’s support for the Open-Access movement. This declaration laid the foundations for the French Community of Belgium's decree on Open Access.

It was signed by:

  • the Federal Minister of Public Enterprise, Scientific Policy and Development Cooperation, who is responsible for Major Cities;
  • the Flemish Deputy First Minister of the Flemish Ministry for Innovation, Public Investment, Media and the Reduction of Poverty;
  • the Deputy President and Minister for Sustainable Development, the Civil Service, Energy, Housing and Research for the government of the French Community of Belgium.

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FRS-FNRS Mandate

In 2013, the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research decided to implement a mandate to facilitate access to the results of research that is funded by the FRS-FNRS and to increase the visibility of said research.

These ‘Open Access rules and regulations’ concern the recipients of FRS-FNRS funding or associated funding (including representatives).

This mandate requires them to submit the full text (final ‘author’ version) of any articles that stem from research funded by the FRS-FNRS to an institutional repository, thus strengthening Belgium’s position in regards to Open Access and the green path. The FRS-FNRS also subsidises publications done directly via the gold path for Open Access (non-hybrid), to the sum of €500 per article

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FWO mandate

The Flemish research foundation (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) established an obligation to make any publication that stems from research funded by the FWO freely accessible in an institutional repository or an open archive.

These publications must be submitted, at the latest, one year after their publication.

Like the FRS-FNRS mandate, the FWO encourages Flemish researchers to support Open Access and the green path.

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Application of the ‘Open Access’ decree and the 2018 amendment to copyright law

In May 2018, the parliament of the French Community of Belgium adopted the Open Access draft decree, which aims to establish a policy of open access for scientific publications.

Le texte du décret stipule que tous les articles scientifiques subventionnés par des fonds publics doivent être déposés dans un répertoire institutionnel.

The decree text stipulates that all scientific articles that are subsidised by public funds must be submitted to an institutional repository.

Institutions must also use only the lists of publications from these repositories to assess researchers. At the University of Liège, this policy has already existed since 2009 and is implemented via the ORBi repository.

An amendment to the provisions of the Code of Economic Law, insofar as they pertain to copyright, has also been implemented. This enables the authors of scientific articles that are funded by the public sector to retain the right to make the author version of their article available under open access, even if stipulations to the contrary exist in their contract with the publisher.

This law, which was published on 5 September 2018 in the Moniteur Belge, supplements and strengthens the Open Access decree. 

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International initiatives

Read and Publish agreements

‘Read and Publish’ agreements are contracts intended for large publishers.

They cover both the costs associated with access to paid articles and the costs associated with open-access publishing (APC).


  • To eliminate the risks of duplicated payments relating to the hybrid model;
  • To accelerate large publishers’ transition to Open Access.


  • Additional cost due to hybrid APCs, which are higher than gold-path APCs;
  • Lack of transparency in agreements;
  • Institutions are trapped in big deals with large publishers.

Publish and Read

‘Publish and Read’ agreements are contracts intended for large publishers who pay an open-access publication fee for institutions.


  • To obtain capped APC for publication in gold-path and hybrid periodicals;
  • To guarantee open access to articles for institutions and their members;
  • To switch from ‘pay to read’ to ‘pay to publish’.


  • Inclusion of hybrid periodicals, without any guarantee of their conversion into gold-path periodicals;
  • Existence of a threshold in terms of the number of articles in hybrid periodicals that could encourage institutions’ researchers to publish in them.

Example : DEAL-Wiley

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 (H2020) is a 'European funding programme for research and innovation'. The purpose of this programme is to promote and support European research and its infrastructure, as well as making it more open:

  • ‘All the [funding programme] recipients must ensure free online access to scientific publications based on the project results to all users',
  • ‘Recipients are also encouraged, insofar as is possible, to disseminate all the data needed to validate the results presented in the publication or draft publication under Open Access.’

By 2020, 100% of scientific publications from the Horizon 2020 project must be available under open access.

This initiative is a continuation of the FP7 programme.

Plan S

This project is carried out by the cOAlition S, a group comprising funding bodies that is supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council.

Plan S aims to consolidate open and immediate access to publications that stem from scientific research.

This initiative is aimed at a broad spectrum of funding bodies – both public and private – and was amended in June 2019.


  • ‘After 1 January 2021, scientific publications that are based on the results of research financed by public funds, which are granted by research agencies or national or European funding bodies, must be published in periodicals or on-open access platforms.’ 

This goal has 10 basic corresponding principles.

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