The Centre National Pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST) - (National Center for Scientific and Technological Research) has joined SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) on behalf of Morocco in 2010 - the first African country. As of 2017, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists eight Open Access journals: Bulletin de l’Institut Scientifique: Section Sciences de la Terre, Electronic Journal of Information Technology, Bulletin de l’Institut Scientifique, Section Sciences de la Vie, Mediterranean Journal of Chemistry, International Journal of Medicine and Surgery, Journal of Medical and Surgical Research, Alternatives Rurales and Revue Marocaine des Sciences Agronomiques et Vétérinaires.
Researchers from Morocco publish articles in international Open Access journals, for example, in 2013, 124 research articles have been published with BioMed Central – an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the Open Access publishing- articles highly viewed are from Hassan II University Hospital, University Military Hospital of Instruction, National Institute of Instruction, University Mohammed V Souissi, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, El Ayachi hospital, University Hospital of Rabat-Sale. The BioMed Central support members of the Faculté de Médecine et Pharmacie - Université de Rabat, Casablanca, Morocco. The recent statistics on research articles are unavailable at this point.
The Moroccan kingdom has embarked upon an ambitious initiative: Maroc Numéric 2013, a five-year national program designed to help the kingdom to bridge the digital divide to provide its citizens with high-speed Internet, bringing the administration closer to the needs of the user through an ambitious e-government programme, and encouraging the computerization of SMEs. The Moroccan government, stakeholders, and banking institutions signed an agreement to implement the strategy. Digitization of unique collections of Moroccan heritage such as manuscripts, monographs, maps, and Journals and magazines are already embarked.
According to statistics provided by ITU (International Telecommunication Union) on 2011, there are roughly, 13,213,000 million internet subscribers with a penetration rate of 41.3 percent. 2015 statistics show that 57.08 percent of the population were active users of the internet.
e-Omed project - The Open Digital Space for the Mediterranean (Espace Numérique Ouvert pour la Méditerranée, e-Omed) project, 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)
Majaliss - UNESCO’s Digital Library - the Digital Library of classical Arabic literature, offers a modern platform for sharing hundreds of freely classical works of Arabic literature and provides access through Internet and digital format to the cultural heritage of the Arab world. The Majaliss project is a result of regional cooperation between experts and academics in Arabic literature, IT researchers and local associations and It is sponsored by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).
Maghreb Virtual Science Library (MVSL) project with funding authorized by the U.S. Congress, the Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) is collaborating with Institut Marocain de I’Information Scientifique et Technique (IMIST) to enable convenient access to digital library resources, disseminate Moroccan research outcomes, and build new international collaborations.
Toubk@l, le catalogue national des thèses et mémoires (The national catalog of theses and dissertations) is an initiative of the Institut Marocain de I’Information Scientifique et Technique (IMIST) with a national in scope, and is part of a government policy agenda to promote Moroccan research and development. The platform is the result of collaboration between different parties: Moroccan researchers, national higher education institutions and IMIST.
The National Library of Morocco has elaborated a national policy to preserve, promote and disseminate the Moroccan cultural heritage among the members of the national community and beyond, and promote research about this heritage. This initiative falls within the framework of Maroc Numéric 2013, a five-year national program designed to help Morocco bridge the digital divide, namely providing citizens with high-speed Internet, bringing the administration closer to the needs of the user through an ambitious e-government programme, and encouraging the computerization of SMEs. The Moroccan government, stakeholders, and banking institutions signed an agreement to implement the strategy.
In October 2010, the EUR-OCEANS Council adopted an OA mandate that applies to its 29 member institutions in 15 countries. The 15 countries are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany Greece, Italy, Latvia, Morocco, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. (Results of EUR-OCEANS vote on the adoption of an Open Access policy).
Details of Key Organizations
Al Akhawayn University. Some of the current and planned projects include: digitization of Moroccan Heritag
Communication address: Avenue Hassan II, Ilframe, Morocco, Dr. Abdelhamid Lotfi, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Al Akhawayn University, Tel.: (+212) 0535862171, e-mail: A.Lotfi(at)aui.ma.
Communication address: Avenue Ibn Khaldoun, Agdal Rabat, Tel.: (+212) 537771890, (+212) 537272300, Fax: (+212) 5 37 77 74 30.
Communication address:, CNRST-IMIST Angle Allal Al Fassi et Avenue des FAR, Hay Ryad, BP 8027, 10102 Rabat, Morocco, Tel.: (+212) 05 37.56.99.00, Fax: (+212) 05 37.56.99.01
Past and Future OA related Activities
4-5 May, 2015: "Open Data, Big Data: what values, what issues?" 5th Conference held in Rabat, Morocco
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 November of 2010, UNESCO’s International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) sponsored a weeklong School on Digital Libraries in Rabat, Morocco, which included hands-on training for librarians and technology specialists involved in implementing Open Access repositories.
The UNESCO Office in Rabat held an international workshop entitled “Implementing a Maghreb Digital Library for Education, Science & Culture” Rabat, Morocco from 25th to 27th of January, 2007, with major funding from UNESCO, US-NSF and the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research. The workshop is organized jointly between the Ministry for National Education of Higher education, Management training of Scientific Research (Morocco) and the Fulbright Academy of Science and technology, with the support and co-operation of the National Science Foundation (the United States of America), of UNESCO, scientific Thomson, and the American Institute for the Maghrebi Studies.
Dr. Abdelhamid Lotfi, Al Akhawayn University, Morocco, in his presentation at the Digital Library for the Maghreb Workshop, Washington, DC, January 24-25, 2011, discussed the Moroccan Digital Library projects and future plans.
List of Publications
- 2014: "Open Access: Enhancing the Visibility of Moroccan Medical Research" by Hanae Lrhoul, Ahmed Bachr, Othman Benammar and Byadi Bouchra
- Lotfi, Abdelhamid. "Towards a Moroccan Digital Library" White Paper submitted for the Digital Library for the Maghreb Workshop held in Washington, DC, January 24-25, 2011
- Naim, Kamran and Charles Dunlap, "Maghreb Virtual Science Library: Solving National Challenges To Meet Regional Needs", White Paper submitted for the Digital Library for the Maghreb Workshop Held in Washington, DC, January 24-25, 2011.
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