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Open Access to Scientific Documentation Institutional electronic repositories : a mandate for all researchers Bernard RENTIER Rector, ULg Chairman, Rectors' Conference, Belgium London, December 5th, 2007. Our permanent aims :.

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Open Access to Scientific DocumentationInstitutional electronic repositories :a mandate for all researchersBernard RENTIERRector, ULgChairman, Rectors' Conference, BelgiumLondon, December 5th, 2007

our permanent aims
Our permanent aims :
  • Disseminate scientific research results as widely, democratically and openly as possible
  • Get full access to all relevant literature, without limitation
one serious problem dissemination has never been maximally effective

One serious problem:dissemination has never been maximally effective

No university or research institution library has ever been able to afford all the journals and books its faculty and students need

Access limitation is exacerbated by some major publishers' "profit above all" policies

price evolution of periodicals

Price evolution of periodicals

Taking prices of 1993 as a reference (100 %)

1 make optimal use of electronic publication

1. Make optimal use of electronic publication

Scientific communication ought to be quick

Complete the traditional written text and still images by colours, animations and films.

Archive and exchange electronically

2 make optimal use of the web

2. Make optimal use of the Web

Make use of the new paradigm of scientific publication: reading is free

Enjoy a universal lectorship

Make the best possible use of the Web technology without lowering the quality control standards (peer review)

Face the resistance to change in professional specialties (as for all technological revolutions)

universities a double goal

Universities : a double goal

Universities want to ensure that the research they support is given the greatest possible impact

Handle scientific communication (publication and/or self-archiving) in an alternative way, more widely, more democratically, more rapidly and more efficiently

They want to own a complete repertoire of the scientific production they support

Maintain a permanent institutional repository

paths to open access
Paths to Open Access
  • The Golden Path: all scientific literature is in full OA

… a dream…

but lots of difficulties, much resistance from publishers and researchers

  • The Green Path: all scientific literature is :
    • accessible on institutional repositories,
    • referenced on search engines
    • available as electronic reprints on request
green open access what needs to be done

"Green" Open AccessWhat needs to be done ?

To convey a strong signal to university members to generate a large movement

To reach a consensus among universities, research funding organisations and politicians

green open access what needs to be done1

"Green" Open AccessWhat needs to be done ?

To keep reminding scientists about the main OA publishing channels

To support initiatives to create new OA journals

To support initiatives to bring existing journals to OA

To promote institutional or thematic OA repositories and decide on a mandatory depot policy

green open access additional ethical reasons for oa

"Green" Open AccessAdditional ethical reasons for OA

To aid the access to Science in developing countries(where some universities have no journal subscriptions at all)

Most research is paid for by taxpayers, who have a right to access the results of the work they have funded ( especially professionals, journalists, politicians, civil servants, hobbyists, activists)

Even those who do not read scientific literature may wish that their taxpayer’s money leads to research results that are readily available to specialists

we need a full repository
We need a full repository

If we want to be able

  • to collect a complete research record
  • to measure that collection
  • to apply assessment tools
repositories must be mandatory
Repositories must be mandatory
  • Voluntary deposits fail to reach significant levels
    • Compliance is difficult to obtain
    • Even compliant researchers get quickly tired
    • Or simply forget
  • Mandates must be presented in a positive way
    • Internal communication is essential
    • Collective benefits must be stressed
  • But a determinant incentive must be found
repositories must be mandatory1
Repositories must be mandatory
  • Institutional repositories must be declared the only source of publication lists within the university for all internal purposes.
    • In Belgium: already the case for grants and positions with the National Research Fund
    • Perfect compatibility is needed with institutional repositories
    • The EC should be persuaded to align on this process
open access

Open Access

For all these reasons,

we want to follow up on the movement created by the Berlin Declaration and the European Petition

and launch an action plan to keep the pressure high :


europenscholar the li ge declaration
EurOpenScholarThe Liège Declaration


  • open researchers' eyes
    • to the new ways of spreading knowledge
    • to the new ways of assessing research progress and performance in the OA era

This will contribute to the advancement of research in Europe and to the promotion of European research and European researchers.

  • sensitise research managers, funding agencies, national and local research policy-makers, the R&D industry, the media and the general public to OA and its advantages
  • facilitate synergies and technology transfer
  • provide an effective channel for the communication of real science to the public, either directly or through the media.
europenscholar the li ge declaration1
EurOpenScholarThe Liège Declaration

EOS will :

  • inform European university communities and research centers about opportunities available to researchers today
    • for providing OA,
    • to establish an institutional repository (in Liege, "La Digithèque"), allowing publications to be deposited and, wherever possible, made openly accessible to all.
  • be a showcase and a tool for the promotion of OA in Europe
  • be a consortium of European universities resolved to move forward on OA and to try to convince the largest possible number of researchers, their institutions and their European Funding Agencies to engage now in what will undoubtedly be the mode of communication of tomorrow,
  • facilitate and accelerate as much as possible the transition to the OA era.
europenscholar the li ge declaration2
EurOpenScholarThe Liège Declaration

The EOS website, hosted by the ULg, will provide:

  • a practical resourcewith helpful documents for universities and research centres on how to develop an OA policy,
  • news on developments with EOS (+ news by e-mail),
  • news at the European level, on both political and research developments,
  • feedback from researchers on their expectations on the path to OA,
  • feedback from researchers on whether they intend to take action in their institution concerning OA,
europenscholar the li ge declaration3
EurOpenScholarThe Liège Declaration

The EOS website, hosted by the ULg, will provide:

  • an information-gathering service

concerning OA institutional repositories and OA journals,

  • tools to measure many aspects of research outputs

IF they are collected in an institutional repository and IF they are openly available for analysis

  • a discussion forum on OA and the methods emerging in the field of scientometrics

(research performance and impact measurement, ranking and analysis)