Open Access is a wonderful opportunity for researchers, innovators, teachers, students, media professionals and the general public. It encourages the circulation of knowledge on a planetary scale and thus contributes to academic and scientific discoveries, innovation and socio-economic development (UNESCO Declaration, 2012).
Open Access for researchers and universities
It has now been proven that publications deposited on Open Access are cited much more than those which are less accessible because they have to be paid for. At the level of ORBi, an article deposited on Open Access is downloaded on average 2 times more than those on restricted access.
'Open Access means death to the publisher, above all in human sciences!'
Wrong! Whilst it is true that the Open Access movement began as a reaction to the exponential rise of the prices charged by the groups of publishers which monopolize the world of academic and scientific publishing and one of the indirect goals of OA was to push them to adjust their prices to fairer proportions, it in no terms whatsoever means the death of publishers. And for certain of them it could even mean quite the opposite..
They call it Open choice,OnlineOpen,Universal Access,Author choice,Author solution…Starting in 2003, confronted by the range and scope taken by the Open Access movement, numerous publishers have decided to jump on the OA bandwagon by offering their authors the hybrid model. But this model (not to be confused with the reverse model) is especially pernicious. Behind the pro Open Access image the publishers wish to project hides a genuine swindle!
From 22 to 28 October 2012, the 6th edition of Open Access Week is taking place, an opportunity for the international research community to act and exchange ideas and information in favor of Open Access.
The slogan this year, Set the default to Open Access, refers to the objective by which, in ten years time, open access will be the default means of making known and spreading new research, in every domain and in every country.
The University of Liège has once again decided to take active part through a vast OA promotion campaign (video, news, poster campaign, etc.) based on qualitative aspects. There will moreover take place, in Brussels on Monday 22, a study day on the theme of Open Access to Excellence in Research.
The text 'Ten years on from the Budapest Open Access Initiative : setting the default to open' has just been published, at the end of this September 2012. In this declaration, some thirty experts reaffirm the principles and the objectives of the 2002 Budapest Initiative, and once again commit themselves to keep pushing forward in drawing up a series of recommendations. They focus on the political aspects, the licenses and their reuse, infrastructure and long term development as well as promotion and co-ordination.
A new objective has moreover been established: 'In ten years, open access will be the default solution for the dissemination of new research, in every field, and in every country.'
ORBi has just passed the benchmark of 50,000 references with full text, which represents close to 61% of the deposits!
A great success which rewards the audacious gamble launched 5 years ago by the University of Liege, supported by a strong institutional mandate. It is also a fine victory for the accessibility of research documentation, as close to 50% of these references are in open access.
According to the April 2012 Webometrics ranking, ORBi is now in 26th position worldwide amongst the institutional repositories as far as fulltexts are concerned (33rd in 2011) and, more generally, in 18th place amongst the European repositories (27th in 2011) and 39th out of 1435 on a world level (46th in 2011).
The BICfB consortium has studied the development of institutional repositories in the Belgian French-speaking universities and the active involvement of our teachers and researchers (as editors in chief, members of an editorial board, peer-reviewers, etc.) in the life of academic and scientific journals on Open Access, or at the least freely available on the web.
According to that study, ORBi counts for 2/3 of the Open Access publications of the Belgian French-speaking universities.
According to a recent article in Times Higher Education, the European Union has decided to move up a gear as far as Open Access is concerned.In effect, through the 80 billion Euros which it has decided to devote to research and innovation through the Horizon 2020 project, it has decided to prioritise open access for published research which it funds in the framework of ‘Open Access will be the norm’.
It thus involves a significant widening of the pilot experiment carried out in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
This joint programme aims at establishing an Open Access strategy and policy within the University of Luxemburg which leans on the ULg’s expertise, as well as setting up an ORBi institutional repository ORBilu based on the model developed at Liège.
The main objective of the European OpenAIRE project (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe) is the placing on free access of publications benefiting from European Commission Funding (within the 7th Framework Programme) or funding from the European Research Council.
The researchers who benefit from the project in the 7 predefined disciplines are obliged to place the results of their research online, to enable consultation of the integral text on open access throughout the entire world with a maximum embargo period of 12 months.
ORBi is now compliant with OpenAIRE