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Open Access Week

What is OA?

Open Access (OA) is the immediate, online, free availability of research outputs.

by Patrick Hochstenbach CC-BY

Through Open Acces, the results of publicly funded research are freely available online and do not have to be bought (back) from the publishers by the scientific and scholarly institutions. The fact that the public sector has to fund research three times over is often criticised: firstly, the scholars and scientists carrying out research and submitting their findings for publication are usually paid by the public sector. Secondly, the submitted manuscripts are peer reviewed by colleagues who are also paid by the public sector. And thirdly, when the articles are published they must be purchased from the publishers by publicly-funded libraries and institutes.

As a result of the serials crisis and the major increase of journal prices, libraries are being forced to cancel journal subscriptions which means that they are unable to make certain journals available to their users. OA offers a solution to the serials crisis and a way out of the information supply problems it brings. Information which is made openly accessible online can be located easily and is immediately available to scholars, scientists, students and the interested public, without them having to pay a charge.

The main advantage of making research Open Access (OA) is often summed up in two words: visibility and impact. OA articles are much more widely read than those which are not freely available on the Internet. Webwide availability leads to increased use which, in turn, raises citation rates, a fact that has been empirically supported by several studies. Depending on the field in question, OA articles achieve up to three times higher citation rates and they are cited much sooner. Through OA, scientific research is available for individual researchers and students, even if they are on a small budget. OA is beneficial for poorer institutions as well, since it offers a way to avoid the high journal subscription fees.  On a global level, OA enables people from poorer countries to access and utilise scientific knowledge and information which they would not otherwise be able to afford.

Online event “Everyone on the road to open science” – 22nd – 26th October 2018


During the international Open Access Week 2018, themed “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge”, the Belgian universities jointly organize a 5 day online event entitled “Everyone on the road to open science”, from the 22nd until the 26th of October 2018. Several topics of open science will be addressed, such as open peer review, the FAIR data principles, research data management, legal aspects, etc.

Anyone can attend the event, although the webinars are primarily intended for PhD students, postdocs and (junior) professors. All sessions are English-spoken.

Twitter hashtag #openaccess_be

Programme webinars online here: https://openaccess.be/2018/09/13/online-event-everyone-on-the-road-to-open-science-22nd-26th-october-2018/