What excellent news for this Open Access Week: ORBi has just crossed the threshold of one million downloads ! And that in only taking into account real downloads carried out by the users (*). For the month of October 2012 over 2,400 downloads per day have been noted!
An excellent sign of recognition on the part of ORBi users, situated around the entire world (**), but also a concrete reflection of the success of a bet launched in 2007 with the establishment of an ambitious mandate which is now recognized as a benchmark ('the Liège mandate'). In effect the latter strongly pushes researchers to make the integral text of their publications accessible via the internet and thus allow them, and the ULg, to gain maximum visibility.
In addition it did not take long for the members of the ULg to notice all of the advantages of the Green Path in Open Access, as 45% of the references deposited on ORBi which are subject to full text depositing have all the same an integral text linked to it.
The bet has been won! Thanks to the ULg mandate, to be sure, as well as the permanent effort made by the University in terms of communicating and promoting Open Access, but above all thanks to the direct involvement and participation of the researchers, because it is they themselves who deposit their publications on ORBi.
The ORBi experiment is not restricted to Liège because in August 2012 the University of Luxemburg signed a partnership for the development of its own institutional repository – ORBiLu – based on the ORBi experiment.
At the Belgian level, the Walloon and Flemish research Ministers as well as the Federal Minister for Science Policy signed, on Monday October 22, a stirring declaration of support for Open Access in Belgium.
Furthermore, the Council of Francophone University Rectors (CREF) has also expressed the wish to move forward in establishing a Belgian depositing mandate, applicable to every Belgian university!
As if to show that is not always elsewhere that the path is greenest!
(*) In effect, in order to present access statistics which are as genuine as possible, ORBi excludes from them all access carried out by the thousands of crawlers and robots (Google, Yahoo) which permanently sift the web in order to feed the search engines. If we take into account all the access effected by these machines it would be a question of almost 3 million downloads!
(**) Three quarters of the downloads effected on ORBi are carried out from countries other than Belgium. France is in the lead with over 160,000 downloads, followed by the United States, with over 63,000 downloads.