Predatory journals not compatible with open science principles

In the last couple of weeks national1 and international2 press reported on the problematic ethical practices of predatory  journals. Several news sources investigated the practices and found papers authored by researchers from across academia and industry in online publications that charge large upfront fees to publish open access work that does not undergo full peer review or proper editorial checks.

In the wake of the recent dismay over the unethical practices of predatory open access journals, Gwen Franck wrote an op-ed in De Morgen making the case for Open Access publishing and distinguishing between predatory open access journals and FAIR open access practices.

In the opinion piece3 she stresses the need for a shift in scientific publishing to FAIR open access, training on institutional level and for government to support and invest in OS infrastructure.

1. See De Morgen 10/08/2018 
2. Inter alia, in GermanyThe UK and India
3. See De Morgen 14/08/2018

8th International Conference on Information Law and Ethics. Modern Intellectual Property Governance and Openness in Europe: A Long and Winding Road?

ICIL 2018 is organized by the University of Antwerp (Research Group Government and Law) in collaboration with the Ionian University (Greece), the KU Leuven (CiTiP) and the University of Ghent.

December 13th-14th, 2018, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Suggested topics include: access to information, access to knowledge, open innovation, open science, open access, open data, data sharing, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, intellectual property and contemporary issues of openness, e-government and the digital divide. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Please submit your abstract to at the latest on September 15th, 2018.
You will be notified by October 15th, 2018 whether your abstract has been accepted.
The proceedings of the conference will be published and several papers may be considered for a special issue. Full paper deadline: January 15th, 2019.


An Open Access mandate adopted by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation Government

mercioaThe Parliament of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation unanimously adopted (with two abstentions) the project of Open Access Decree supported by the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Jean-Claude Marcourt, aiming at establishing a policy of free access to scientific publications.

The text of the decree stipulates that all scientific articles subsidized by public funds must be deposited in an institutional directory.

Institutions will also need to use only lists of publications from these directories for the evaluation of researchers.

The decree is accessible online [fr]

OpenAIRE Advance – Supporting Open Science in Europe

advance_logo1On January 1st 2018, OpenAIRE entered a new exciting phase with the start of the OpenAIRE-Advance project.

While sustaining the current successful infrastructure, comprised of a human network and robust technical services, OpenAIRE-Advance will work towards making Open Science the default in Europe, reshaping the scholarly communication system towards openness and transparency serving as a trusted pillar of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

Continue reading “OpenAIRE Advance – Supporting Open Science in Europe”

Report: Open in order to Advance Science


Open Access week will not go unnoticed as the Belgian universities combined forces for a two day event exploring the ever broadening and deepening topic of Open Science.

The event called ‘Open in order to advance science’, had a two day programme with the first day dedicated to sketch a general view of the challenges and opportunities of Open Science. The second day looked into more advanced topics regarding scholarly communication, legal issues, infrastructure and research data management. The conference was primarily aimed at PhD’s, research support staff, researchers, librarians and data providers.

The introductory day was a thorough initiation to the complex landscape of opportunities and challenges that are presented when moving towards Open Science. During the presentations and sessions on the first day OS experts, funders and researchers addressed a set of critical questions:

  • How is the current OS framework evolving?part1
  • Can you increase impact and visibility through OA?
  • What are the limitation and possibilities to the copyright legislation with regards to OS?
  • Are flipping the system into an APC market, block grants or offsetting agreements valuable alternatives to the subscription-based system?
  • What is the added value of ORCID registration?
  • How to start managing your data and how to use the online DMP-planning tools?
  • What can you do to identify yourself as a researcher in an open way?
  • What can the role of libraries  be in the changing landscape of scholarly communication?
  • The importance and evolution of European policy for the transition to a open scientific framework
  • What is the connection between open science and citizen science, what are the possibilities to involve the public and the benefits or limitations of this approach?

The second day gave way to discussions about how to handle new challenges such as research data management, legal aspects such as data protection, infrastructure needs and new publishing models.

part_2Rethinking incentives to encourage open research and embedding them transversally rather then just adding them, was the key message of the first talk.  An update on the framework of the new general data protection regulation in Belgium and the state of affairs in Europe followed. In addition an overview of relevant copyright regulations and the exciting prospect of a possible exception for researchers to make the author manuscript available no matter where copyrights lay, if the publication is financed by public money for at least 50% was presented.

The correlation of traditional metrics of scientific impact and the way research is conducted seems to be at the core of changing the system. A next presentation gave insights into what alternative metrics have to offer and what they can mean for the future.

The conversation was continued with the particular example of OA in the Royal library and a quick view on industry trends for repositories.  A view on the European Open Science infrastructure and network OpenAIRE made clear how important services were to the success of Open Science practices.

In the afternoon the topic of research data management was introduced by means of presenting the survey preceding the VLIR white paper with suggestions and requirements for RDM from the Flemish universities. The survey uncovered that advantages of good research data management are generally recognized but legal issues and lack of time are often a hindrances for putting it into practice.

The joint policy statement of the VLIR recommends  investment in infrastructure, education, and to provide clear legislation and incentives for open science.

Finally some practices already in place at federal as well as university level where presented, from the tool to RDM policy frameworks, training and RDM working groups.

You can find all the presentations here:

Programme ‘Discover’ on 23 October 2017.

09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 10:00 Open Science: an introduction Valentino Cavalli (LIBER)
10:00 – 10:30 Visibility and Impact through Open Access Valérie Durieux (ULB)
10:30 – 11:00 Know your copyright Julien Cabay (ULB/ULiège)
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 11:45 APC: Why must the Author Pay the Costs? Carl Demeyere (KU Leuven)
11:45 – 12:15 Metrics for research evaluation: good or bad? It depends! Marco Seeber (UGent)
12:15 – 12:25 ORCID – why to register? Ulrike Kenens (KU Leuven)
12:25 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:00 How to start managing your data: DMPs explained Ulrike Kenens (KU Leuven) and Myriam Mertens (UGent)
14:00 – 14:30 Identify yourself as a researcher in an open way Jord Hanus (UA)
14:30 – 15:00 The changing roles of libraries and librarians in scholarly communication Demmy Verbeke (KU Leuven)
15:00 – 15:15 Coffee break
15:15 – 15:45 Open Access in Europe: EC policy Jean-Claude Burgelman (EC)
15:45 – 16:45 Citizen science

Catherine Linard (UNamur), Mahsa Shabani (KU Leuven), Roeland Samson (UA)
16:45 – 17:00 Conclusion of the day

Programme ‘Advanced’ on 24 October 2017.

09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 10:00 Evaluations and incentives in an Open Science context Karen Vandevelde (UGent)
10:00 – 10:30 General Data Protection Regulation Willem Debeuckelaere (CBPL)
10:30 – 11:00 Open Access and evolving business models in publishing Aude Alexandre (BICFB)
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 11:45 Legal aspects in Belgium: where are we now? Joris Deene (Everest Advocaten)
11:45 – 12:15 Altmetrics and metrics Raf Guns (UA)
12:15 – 12:35 The Open Access strategy of the Royal library Sophie Vandepontseele (KBR)
12:35 – 12:45 Repositories: Industry Trends Atmire
12:40 – 13:40 Lunch
13:40 – 14:10 European infrastructure for Open Science Emilie Hermans and Inge Van Nieuwerburgh (UGent)
14:10 – 15:10 Session – Implementing Research Data Management (RDM)
Lucy Amez (VUB)
  • White paper RDM in Flanders – Main conclusions
Hannelore Vanhaverbeke (KULeuven)
Myriam Mertens (UGent)
Anthony Leroy (ULB), Sadia Vancauwenbergh (UHasselt), Inge Van Nieuwerburgh (UGent)
15:10 – 15:20 Conclusion

With the support of: