A decree to mandate the deposit of publications in institutional archives and boost Open Access

It can be difficult for researchers to understand what are their author rights, what articles they can archive in Open Access... Fortunately, political decisions are taken across Europe to strongly authorize free dissemination of knowledge.

In Belgium, Wallonia-Brussels Federation has presented a decree in order to mandate the deposit of publications of publicly funded research in institutional archives and favour the Open Access. Moreover, the federal government plans to propose a bill in this regard in 2018.

The preliminary draft decree defining an Open access policy for publicly funded scientific publications in Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) has passed second reading by the FWB government.

This preliminary draft decree proposed by the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Media Jean-Claude Marcourt, concerns scientific publications of publicly funded research and is intended to :

- make the deposit of publications and communications' references on an institutionnal archive compulsory;

- make the deposit of scientific articles full-texts compulsory

- favour Open Access for scientific articles immediately upon publication or within 6 months (STM) or 12 months (SSH);

- link the assessment of researchers to their publications' list coming from their institutionnal archive.


This strong decree takes place in the context of the Open Science movement promoted by the FWB.

"Knowledge can then be protected from financial transactions that slow down its dissemination. Public information should stay publicly available, without hindrance."1

The FWB makes a smart and pragmatic choice and chooses to rely on the existing infrastructure that already gives good results: the institutionnal repositories of French-speaking universities.


Another good news for the dissemination of scientific information from Belgium: the federal government is preparing for 2018 a bill to authorize the deposit in Open Access of publications from research that were publicly funded for 50% at least. Embargo period of 6 months (STM) or 12 months (SSH) is tolerated.






























1 https://marcourt.cfwb.be/le-libre-acces-aux-publications-scientifiques-en-federation/