Open Access is a recent movement in Algeria; however, there has already been positive and steady feedback on it from variety of stakeholders; librarians, academics and researchers - all support and participate in the OA movement. As of June 2015, there are 12 Open Access digital repositories registered in OpenDOAR.

Moreover, there are six Open Access peer reviewed journals published in Algeria which are indexed in DOAJ: International Journal of Chemical and Petroleum SciencesJournal of Fundamental and Applied SciencesJournal of New Technology and MaterialsLARHYSS Journal, E-BAHITH Review and Synergies Algerie. Algerian researchers publish articles in international OA periodicals. For instance, in 2013, there have been 43 research articles published with BioMed Central – an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine), pioneer in the OA publishing model, and among them most viewed articles published by researchers from: Agro-Veterinary and Biology, Blida University.

Enabling Environment

There are 36 Universities, 15 University centers, 10 research centers, 5 unities of research with 931 Research Laboratories in Algeria, (Zerari, 2011). Universities provide access to Internet and digital libraries to faculty, staff and students. The scientific research and the technological development are managed by the Ministry of High Education and Scientific Research (Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique (MESRS)), through a national Research Administration, which has in charge the management of the National Research fund.

The Algerian government is concerned with more vivid participation in the increasingly globalized knowledge economy and taking necessary steps in this direction. Rapid proliferation of professional periodicals and ICT infrastructure in the region helps the research and academic communities' to access information and knowledge freely or at a lower cost. The country’s Internet broadband capacity is expected to double by the end of this year due to the expansion of mobile Internet connectivity. Changes like these were enabled by many global efforts such as UNESCO through building digital libraries.

According to the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), the Internet usage in Algeria has grown from 50,000 users in the year 2000 to about 4,700,000 million users in 2011. This implies that the current percentage of Algeria population (34,994,937 million) that now have access to the Internet either from public internet cafes, workplace or their homes is 13.4 percent.

Potential Barriers

Lack of information on Open Access, the concept is new and not popularized enough thus implementation is not rapid, lack of clear institutional and national policy on Open Access, difficulty of securing long-term funding and getting commitments from more institutions to join the open access community.

Major Projects/Initiatives

Maghreb Virtual Science Library (MVSL) is a project with funding authorized by the U.S. Congress, the Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) Global to support the digital library programs in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia through working with local organizations and ministries in each country. CRDF Global aims to enhance usage and utility of online scientific information by providing advice and support related to publisher negotiations, technology, and training. The US has contributed $1.5 million towards the project in an ongoing series of science and technology cooperation. The website provides free access to users in a variety of languages, including Arabic and French

Portail National de Signalement des Theses (PNST) - the National Portal Reporting Theses provides a comprehensive access to scientific production of the Algerian researchers in all fields. It covers the entire production cycle of the thesis and provides access to them.

Projects developed by Research Center of Scientific and Technical Information (CERIST) include: BiblioUniv Algrie - Le Portail des Bibliothques Universitaires Algriennes (BIBLIOUNIV) launched by Département de l'Information Scientifiques et Techniques at CERIST, aspiring to open all libraries to Algerian women to join through sharing, exchanging, "democratization" of information to develop products and services to provide better services to their users.

e-Omed project - The Open Digital Space for the Mediterranean (Espace Numérique Ouvert pour la Méditerranée, e-Omed) initiated in March 2009 by the Moroccan Virtual Campus (MVC) and the Foundation Université Numérique Ingénierie et Technologie (UNIT) in France and supported by UNESCO. It aims to build a digital Library in countries across the Mediterranean sea through a comprehensive framework of educational resources and facilitating co-production, exchanges and localization of educational content and pedagogical practices in the region. (News here)

Répertoire des Bibliothèques d'Algérie launched by Département de l'Information Scientifiques et Techniques (DIST) at CERIST. The Directory lists, identifies and locates the documentary units that exist at national level and provide a detailed search from multiple criteria facility in Algeria, it becomes a mere instrument for identifying libraries for locating documents for sharing,

Algerian Scientific Journals is a portal that provides a set of about 35 Open Access Algerian journals covering all areas with access to abstracts and full text through simple search. The site is created by the Research Division of Information Sciences DRIS Research Center (CERIST).

Details of Key Organizations

Centre de Recherche sur L'information Scientifique et Technique (CERIST). Current and planned projects include: Directory of Libraries in Algeria - a directory that lists the libraries and documentation centers in Algeria, and Algerian Portal of University Libraries. Prof. Nadjib BADACHE, Director (CEO) at CERIST.

Communication address: 05, Rue des 3 fréres aissou, Ben Aknoun, Alger. Tel.: (+213) 21912136, Fax: (+213) 21912126; e-mail: badache(at)

Division Recherche en Sciences de l'information (DRIS) at the Centre de Recherche sur L'information Scientifique et Technique (CERIST), Dr. DAHMANE Madjid, Director of DRIS and responsible for Algerian Scientific Journals. Key success factors includes: increased no. of submissions (due to Open Access) that significantly improved visibility, quality and readability of the journals as well encouraging authors to submit their papers.

Project website:

Communication address: 03 Rue des frères Aissou Ben Aknoun, 16030 Alger, Tel ./Fax: +213 21912126, e-mail: zd.tsirec.liam(at)enamhadm

Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique . With many Initiatives as setting ArchivAlg - an institutional and multidisciplinary open archive for the scientific production of CERIST researchers.

Communication address: 11 chemin Doudou Mokhtar Ben Aknoun Alger - Algerie – Tel. (213) 21-91-23-23 / (213) 21-91-17-17

Past and Future OA Related Activities

EIFL has been working in Algeria since 2011. EIFL supported the creation of the Algerian Consortium of Higher Education and Scientific Research Establishments, and through this partnership, libraries in Algeria are providing access to a wide range of scholarly e-resources.

14-15 May, 2012:  GrandIR took part in the 'Atélier sur les archives ouvertes' organized in Monastir, Tunisia, by EIFL for promotion and dissemination of Open Access and Open Archives in the Maghreb countries. This workshop was held in the framework of the European Tempus ISTeMag Project for improving access to Scientific and Technical Information in the Maghreb universities. Led by the Université Libre de Bruxelles, this project features twelve universities and research centres in Tunisie, Algeria and Morocco among its partners. As a consequence, the Open Archives workshop in Monastir was well attended by over 30 Maghrebi librarians, developers, research officers, project coordinators and policymakers from all three countries.

In Algeria, EIFL has advocated for open access repositories (a number of them have already been set up in the country) and for policies to mandate open access to peer-reviewed resources.

A number of EIFL-licensed resources have been negotiated for members of the Algerian Consortium of Higher Education and Scientific Research Establishments.

In May 2010, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) launched an Open Access Institutional Repository (UNECA IR) as a milestone in the access and diffusion of unique and authentic economic and social information on Africa.

During the Digital Library for the Maghreb Workshop Washington, DC, January 24-25, 2011, Zerari Farida, Coordinator of UMBB Libraries, and Noureddine Meftouh, Responsible of CERIST library, Algeria, in their presentation provided a review on the experience of Algeria in developing digital libraries.

List of Publications

Ben Allal, Karima and Madjid Dahmane. "ArchivAlg: a Prototype of an Open Institutional Archive for the Scientific Production of CERIST,"  (accessed in July 2011)   

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