There active and innovative OA community in Belgium. There are 30 OA repositories in Belgium, most of which are university depositories.   

There are mandates at Université de Liège (ULg) and Ghent University (UGent) (these are ID/OA mandates, i.e. immediate deposit and optional open access). The other universities are informing their researchers about OA and encouraging OA publications.

There are some notable subject depositories such as e.g. OceanDocs hosted by Universiteit Hasselt. DOAJ indexes 21 Belgian journal titles. Research funders such as FWO and FNRS are supporting OA (e.g. FNRS by organising a workshop in September 2011, FWO by requiring OA in their mission statement) but there is not yet a strong mandate.

Enabling Environment:

The OA movement is active and has strong support from prominent individuals.

Potential Barriers:

Lack of national mandate. In correlation with this, there is some lack of coordination on a bigger scale than bilateral cooperation between institutions (a lot depends on personal contacts).

Major Projects/Initiatives:

University of Ghent was project partner for the DRIVER projects that promoted OA awareness in the scientific community and among repository managers. Currently UGent is the Belgian project partner and Regional Coordinator (Western Europe) for the OpenAIRE project, which provides OA for European funded research.

In 2007, Université de Liège launched EurOpenScholar (EOS) a showcase and a tool for the promotion of OA in Europe to provide information on institutional repository building, OA journals, a discussion forum on OA, on emerging methods in bibliometrics, on rankings and on comparisons. It is primarily aimed at researchers, institution managers and funding instutions.

Thanks to the mandate, the institutional repositories Orbi (ULg) and Biblio (UGent) hold a significant number of OA publications.

UGent and ULg are both involved in the site, with accompanying social media efforts. Interest seems to be growing.

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)
The FWO is the major finder of scientific research in Belgium and requires researchers to self-archive all articles from FWO-funded research in OA repositories.

European funding
Both the EC and the ERC ask through the SC39 that a certain amount of European funded publications are made available in OA (see the OpenAIRE project).

Details of Key Organizations:

Overview: The aim of EOS is to further the opening up of scholarship and research that we are now seeing through the growing open access, open education, open science and open innovation movements. Offers information and guidelines, conferences and briefing papers through website. Communication address: EnablingOpenScholarship, The Rector (le Recteur),  Université de Liège – Rectorat, Place du 20-Août, 7 (Bât.A1), B-4000 Liège, Belgium; e-mail : info(at)
Overview: Open Access networking, promotion and advocacy organisation in Belgium. Communication address: c/o Ghent University Library, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25, B – 9000, Ghent, Belgium; e-mail: openaccess(at)

Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives

Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE)
KCE aims to produce studies and reports to advise policy-makers when deciding on health care and health insurance.
The repository holds information in the fields of public health, clinical practice, health technology, healthcare financing and organisation.

Ocean Data and Information Network for Africa (ODINAFRICA), Belgium
The Universiteit Hasselt (UHasselt) serves as host for the OceanDocs repository which serves as an international subject repository for the natural sciences, with information broken down into regional (country) sub-areas. The subject coverage includes: Biology and Biochemistry; Ecology and Environment; Geography and Regional Studies

Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (Flanders Marine Institute) (VLIZ), Belgium
A subject repository site making available work by Flemish and Belgian marine scientists and hosted by the Flanders Marine Institute.

Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Réseau des Bibliothèques, Université de Liège (ULg), Belgium
This is an institutional repository that references for the totality of scientific publications of the University of Liège (backdated to 2002).

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

Co-ordination Workshop on Open Access to Scientific Information, 4th May 2011 organised by Information Society and Media DG, Brussels.

Open Access Week events held for the first time, coordinated through  UGent and ULg are both participating in OA Week, by distributing gadgets and flyers, recording videoclips etc.  All future OA actions and initiatives will be announced on the website and the twitterfeed.

List of Publications

ERC (2007) ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access. Brussels, Belgium: EuropeanResearch Council.

Poynder, R (2011) The OA Interviews: Bernard Rentier, Rector of the University of Liège

Nyns, C-H (2010) Open Access and Institutional Repositories in Belgium

OpenAIRE opens access to EU scientific results

J. Schöpfel (2008) Grey literature on bilingualism in Belgium. Cahiers
de la Documentation / Bladen voor Dokumentatie 62(2):22-30.


(Modified on December 2013)

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