The University of Liège has, for several years already, carried out an active policy in matters of support for open access to academic information and henceforth fully subscribes to the principles of Open Access. By his commitment, voiced in numerous position statements and, more importantly, in the implementation of an ambitious institutional repository policy, Rector Bernard Rentier has made it possible for the ULg to position itself as an important Open Access policy player on the national as well as the international arena.
Implementation of an institutional policy for mandatory repositories
On May 23rd 2007, upon the Rector's recommendation, the ULg's Administrative Board decided to create a digital library and introduced a policy of mandatory repository.
The decision was confirmed to the ULg community as a whole on Rector B. Rentier's blog, on June 30th 2007, and the policy clearly posted on the ROARMAP (Register of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies). The project has been the object of various presentations by Paul Thirion, director of the Library Network, to the university community, among them the general presentation of the project on July 5th 2007.
On September 17 the University of Liège’s Board of Directors decides to strengthen the mandate by which depositing on ORBi is compulsory. Not only has the procedure for depositing references and documents been consolidated, but so has that concerning the evaluation of dossiers, and in particular publication lists, for any application for a job appointment, promotion or the attribution of credit. In addition it was decided that BICTEL/e, the ULg thesis repository, will very soon be integrated into ORBi.
Taking up committed positions
For its part, the Library Network has been developing - for several years already - multiple initiatives in matters of Open Access, whereby particular attention is given to the interoperability of these tools and to their being used in the best possible way on the international arena.
A European dimension has recently been added within the scope of DRIVER (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research). This project, financed by the European Union, intends to furnish a series of recommendations and services (Service Oriented Architecture) allowing the national networks to be connected and a European infrastructure of open archives to be built. The institution responsible for DRIVER-Belgium is the Ghent University.
At the initiative of the ULg's Rector B. Rentier, a meeting took place on October 18th 2007, with various principals and representatives of European universities. This reunion had the objective to establish the foundations for a movement promoting open access. Its outcome was the creation of the organization Enabling Open Scholarship (EOS), whose goal is to unite worldwide universities and research institutions.
"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.
These, and other, 'open' approaches to scholarship are changing the way research and learning are done and there are profound implications for universities and research institutions. EOS has been established to help guide developments and to assist others in understanding the issues and their implications."
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