Open Access

Open Access (OA), what else ?

"By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these aticles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the nternet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited."

Definition of Open Access by the "Budapest Open Access Initiative" (BOAI, 2002)


Image Open Access

The Open Access (OA) movement, created only around fifteen years ago, aims at enabling the widest circulation possible of scientific information, without any economic or other restriction, in order to encourage the distribution and development of knowledge.

This movement has considerably grown over the last few years ago, supported by several official stances from a large number of scientific foundations, university and government heads through international declarations ("Budapest Open Access Initiative" in 2002, "Berlin Declaration" in 2003, etc.). Some very important research financing organisations have also played a driving role in defining the policies requiring the circulation by the researchers that they finance, without restriction and free of charge, of the articles that they publish (Wellcome Trust in 2003, National Institute of Health - NIH in 2005...).

For several years, the University of Liege has carried out an active policy in terms of supporting unrestricted access to information, and fully respects the OA principles. Through its several committed stances and the implementation of an ambitious institutional deposit policy, our former President, Bernard Rentier, has enabled the ULg to act as an important OA member, both on a national and international level. In particular, he took the initiative to organize a meeting in Liege on 18th October 2007 with various presidents and representatives of European universities with the aim of establishing the bases of a European movement in favour of unrestricted access, an initiative that resulted in the creation of EurOpenScholar.

In this context, the Network of Libraries has developed a number of initiatives in terms of OA including ORBi (Open Repository and Bibliography), PoPuPS (Publication Portal of Scientific Periodicals of the ULg), DONum (directory of ULg  and MatheO (directory of electronic master theses).

The Gold OA and the Green OA : Two complementary roads to Open Access

Green OA : Green first!

In term of Open Access, the ULg's priority is clearly in favor of the Green Road, in other words depositing publications on the institutional repository ORBi, after they have been accepted/published via tradutional publishing pathways.

The creation of Open Access repositories enabling the members of an institution to deposit the full text of their research (articles, works, etc.) themselves (self-archiving) in electronic format on a server that is accessible without restriction or cost to the whole world via Internet, by respecting the OAI (Open Access Initiative) standards. To this day, there are more than 900 institutional deposits (see, Directory of Open Access Repositories).

The significance of the movement in favour of unrestricted access has forced several publishers to review their policy and release a part of their rights to enable the authors to self-archive and make the articles published in their reviews freely accessible on the institutional servers (almost 70 % of the large publishers according to the SHERPA-RoMEO website, which lists the publishers'policies in terms of self-archiving).

At the ULg :

  • The implementation of ORBi (Open Repository and Bibliography), by the Network of Libraries, falls within the "green OA" and aims at creating a full institutional repository (with more than 134.000 references in April 2016) joined to the institutional deposit of the full text of the articles published (for more than 85.000 references in April 2016).
  • DONum is a repository of digitalized objects, belonging to the different departments of the ULg. These various objects (manuscripts, scientific tools and instruments, pieces of arts, etc.) constitute both footprints from the past centuries and sources for today's students and scientists. The long-time preservation of this heritage finds its best solution with digitalization, which allows to make the digitaliezd copies accessible to the public, in order to preserve the original objects within optimal conditions. Most of DONum content is available in Open Access, with the exception of the items still submitted to author's rights.
DONum capture écran
  • MatheO (Master Thesis Online) is the web portal dedacted to the e-master thesis of the ULg. This project aims not only to resolve the paper thesis storage and long-term preservation problem, but also to increase the accessibility and visibility of these student works, whose a large part are high-quality. Moreover, MatheO is part of the ULg Library will to contribute actively to the institution and its whole scientific production prestige.
MatheO capture écran


Gold OA

The circulation of reviews in Open Access replacing the classic means of "subscriber-payer" publishing, an alternative "author/institution-payer" means (the author or the institution pays to publish, but the access to the document is free of charge). With this slight exception : these OA reviews present the same publication characteristics as traditional reviews in terms of editorial board quality, "peer-reviewing" and of the possibility to receive an ISI impact factor (IF). At the beginning of April 2016, more than 111.000 OA titles were accessible through the website of the Directory of Open Access Journals

At the ULg :

  • The PoPuPS Portal (Publication Portal of Scientific Periodicals) aims at enabling the circulation on the Internet of reviews published by the members of the Wallonia-Europe Academy in full text, freely accessible. The portal currently counts 20 periodiacals.


Contact(s) : Paul Thirion

Network of Libraries
Directorate general
Phone : +32 (4) 366 20 22
Fax : +32 (4) 366 99 22
E-mail :

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Print version Page updated on 2016-11-30