Flemish Open Science Board launched to fulfill European engagement and invest in Open Science

The Flemish Open Science Board

It was a nice Christmas present for the Open Science community, right before the New Year, The Flemish Open Science Board emerged. On initiative of Flemish minister Hilde Crevits, the Flemish Government approved the Flemish Open Science policy plan and the Open Science Board (the document can be downloaded here). Together with the Flemish Open Science Board, Flanders will invest €5 million on a recurring basis in Open Science to give substance to their European commitment.


Open Science, including Open Data, is paving the way to a more inclusive, open scientific practice. Contemporary research increasingly requires sharing and opening up data and sound research data management. The European Commission (EC) has long been an ambassador for Open Science to become the norm for publicly funded research.

The EC itself monitors the transparency and accessibility of scientific publications, compliance with codes of conduct and respect for the scientific integrity of European research projects, through the “Responsible Research & Innovation program” and the Open Science framework.

And the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is an ambitious cloud project with the intention of offering European researcher an environment for “data storage, management, analysis and re-use across disciplines” – bringing together infrastructures, both horizontal and thematic.

Flemish policy plan

In this context, the Flemish Government approved the Flemish Open Science policy plan and decided to set up and compile the Flemish Open Science Board.

An investment of €5 million in Open Science is allocated to fulfill the European commitment in this regard.

The Flemish Open Science Board unites all Flemish stakeholders in a shared vision for the future with regard to Open Science and  EOSC, and, supported by technical working groups, advises the policy on steps to be taken to fully integrate Flanders into the international Open Science landscape. It aim is to gradually reach 100% OA, make data sharing the default (with opt outs) and invest. The Flemish CRIS remains with FRIS researchportal.be/en.

For more information: Open_Science_beleid_voor_Vlaanderen en de oprichting van de Flemish open science board


New BELSPO Open Research Data Mandate supports FAIR data principles

The new BELSPO Open Research Data mandate has already been introduced at the November 21 Open Science Symposium at the Palace of the Academies. BELSPO is now glad to announce the policy and DMP template’s official availability on the BELSPO website. Its provisions are being integrated in BELSPO Research Contracts, starting with BRAIN in march 2020.

The BELSPO Open Research Data policy complies with FAIR principles and its conception is to be considered fully within the EOSC framework. The ERAC Taskforce on Open Data, to which the Belgian Federal Science Policy Department contributed, and the European Community’s H2020 RECODE project were instrumental in shaping it.

The core requirements are aimed at sustainable and FAIR data use and management. The Open Research Data Mandate applies to digital data , collected or created within the scope of research projects wholly or partially funded by BELSPO. It relates to data needed to validate results in scientific publications and other data as specified in the DMP. BELSPO expects a provisional DMP upon submission of the grant application, and a completed DMP no later than 6 months after the start date of the project. After the end of the project data should be deposited in a certified and trusted data repository. The BELSPO follows the FAIR research data management principles in the template of their DMP. Furthermore it encourage re-use of research data where possible.

For more information, you can consult: http://www.belspo.be/belspo/openscience/openData_en.stm


OpenAIRE is celebrating 10 years of showcasing leadership in Open Science in Europe

1500x500One year after the official start, on December 2 – 2010: 126 people gathered for the launch of OpenAIRE in Ghent: the launch of the technical services and the official first appearance of the OpenAIRE network.

The goal: Support the implementation of the EC and ERC Open Access pilot in Europe, via two main objectives:

  1. The establishment of a participatory European Helpdesk comprised of 27 (now 34) National Open Access Liaison Offices.
  2. The operation of an e-Infrastructure for depositing and collecting OA publications, linked to administrative project data for the first time. Which today results in an extensive Open Science Graph.

The presence of Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda signaled the strong commitment of the European Commission to support Open Access as part of the free movement of knowledge: “Open access is a legal and technical reality today. The question is no longer ‘if’ we should have open access. The question is about ‘how’ we should develop it further and promote it.”

You can check the video, storyline and article about the 10th anniversary of OpenAIRE here.



Open Access in a Global Perspective: Comparing Policies and Practices

When: Monday December 2, 14h-18h

Where: Justus-Lipsiuszaal (LETT 08.16), Erasmushuis, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21, 3000 Leuven

In the context of Digital Worlds: cultures and glocalization, organized by the Faculty of Arts of KU Leuven, KU Leuven Libraries organizes the event Open Access in a Global Perspective: Comparing Policies and Practices. This event focuses on the implementation of Open Access with presentations about community-owned, non-commercial alternatives in use in the Global South, followed by a debate on the ambitious plan of major funders, united in cOAlition S, to make all European research publications available in Open Access.

You can find the full program here. The event is open to all, but registration is required.

Playing the Open Science Game

ulbvelOn the occasion of the international Open Access Week 2019, 31 library staff from the Université libre de Bruxelles played the Open Science game : “Libérez la science!”. Six games of 5 to 6 players allowed the participants to learn or refine their knowledge on open access, data management, scientific publications, and even to discover the amount of ULB libraries’ annual budget allocated to the purchase of printed and electronic periodicals…

All participated enthusiastically and some consider that they will retain much more what they have learned while playing than by following a classical training session.

plaelThe game, created by the University of Huddersfield, translated into French by the University of Lille and enriched by the University of Reunion, has been adapted to the Belgian context by the Libraries of the ULB. In the form of a game of goose, participants are led to answer questions about Open Access, for example: what is Green Open Access, Gold Open Access? What is an embargo? Specific questions on the Open Access Decree of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and on the Open Access article of the Belgian law have been added, such as: which publications does the Decree cover? From what date does it come into force? The game has been completed with references to the Open Access policy of the Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles (ULB Press).

Building on this library success, the game has been proposed to the University Research administration Department, where new games are scheduled with research support staff. Sessions will also be organized for the researchers of the Faculty of Architecture during lunch time, and in the framework of a seminar on article publishing organized each year for the PhD students by the libraries.

The files of the game “Libérez la science!”, adapted to the Belgian context and to the ULB, are available under Creative Commons license on Zenodo ( https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3522126 ).


Successful first Mini Open Science Fair ULB-VUB

On the occasion of the Open Access week 2019, the first Mini Open Science Fair jointly organized by ULB and VUB was held on October 23 in Brussels.open-science_white

45 researchers and support staff gathered to discuss Open Science practices, i.e. sharing research results as soon as possible in the research cycle to ensure their transparency, reproducibility and reusability.

The speakers shared their experience about tools they are using, underlining the pros and cons from their personal point of view: DMPonline.be, to create a data management plan very helpful to anticipate research data issues; the Open Science Framework, a platform enabling researchers to manage their projects, preregister their ideas and share their results, data and publications; GitHub, to store, share and collaborate on code, providing data analysis, metadata and user license; Zenodo, an open archive to share and ensure long term access and preservation of research data, providing a DOI to enable data citation; Publons, to give visibility to the peer review activity of researchers.

The SODA project was presented, which aims at creating a national data archive for social science in Belgium, based on the DataVerse tool to manage ingest and access to data.
Two systems of open peer review were discussed, one used by Frontiers, making the review interactive between authors and reviewers, and the other used by the Copernicus Publications platform, making the reviews publicly available, which was considered constructive, quick and efficient.

Some researchers also shared their experience of good practices of Open Science such as: sharing one’s research protocols from the start of the research project, providing transparency about the methodology; involving citizens in data collection, for transcribing historical documents; managing an interdisciplinary scientific open access journal, also aiming at being accessible to the large public.

The presentations gave rise to interesting discussions among researchers, pointing to the need for more information about sustainable open science tools.

Programme and presentations are available here.

Conference: The Future of Research: Assessing the Impact of Plan S

The bold ambition behind Plan S is to ensure that full open access to published research finally becomes a reality. Yet, what does it mean for the future of research? Join us for this event at KU Leuven on 5th-6th November 2019, where our distinguished panels of experts will debate the prospects for researchers, universities, learned societies, academies and publishers.

The conference is free and open to all, and includes a welcome reception at the historic University Library on the evening before the conference.

Date And Time:
Tue, 5 Nov 2019, 17:00 – Wed, 6 Nov 2019, 16:45 CET

The conference will take place at the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, Janseniusstraat 1, 3000 Leuven View Map
The welcome reception will take place at the KU Leuven University Library, Mgr. Ladeuzeplein 21, 3000 Leuven View map



OpenAIRE Workshop on ‘Research policy monitoring in the era of Open Science and Big Data’ announced in Ghent.

A two-day workshop titled ‘Research policy monitoring in the era of Open Science and Big Data – The what (indicators) and the how (infrastructures)’, co-organised by OpenAIRE and Data4Impact, with support of Science Europe, will explore mechanisms for research policy monitoring and indicators, and how to link these to infrastructure and services. The first day will focus on open science indicators as these emerge from national and EU initiatives, while the second will be a forward thinking exploration for more advanced aspects of indicators for innovation and societal impact.WHEN – May 27-28th, 2019

WHERE – Het Pand, Ghent, Belgium
WHAT – A two day workshop exploring mechanisms for research policy monitoring and indicators: discussing the what ‘indicators’ and the how: infrastructure. This workshop is in collaboration with Data4Impact, with support of Science Europe.

Continue reading “OpenAIRE Workshop on ‘Research policy monitoring in the era of Open Science and Big Data’ announced in Ghent.”

Launch of the European Open Science Cloud

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is officially launched today, 23 November 2018, during an event hosted by the Austrian Presidency of the European Union. The inauguration marks the conclusion of a long process of consultation and reflection with stakeholders led by the European Commission.

The event demonstrates the importance of EOSC for the advancement of research in Europe and introduces the new EOSC Portal.

Continue reading “Launch of the European Open Science Cloud”

Recordings Open Access Week

During the international Open Access Week 2018, 5 webinars were organized by Belgian universities and Belspo.

You can find the recordings and some of the presentations here.

Open Peer Review

Introduction by Emilie Menz: slides Open Peer Review

Experiences of Open Peer Review at BMC by Axel Cleeremans: Slides

How to achieve OA to publications and books?

How to achieve FAIR data and good Research Data Management?

Introduction on research data management and FAIR data by Myriam Mertens: Slides introduction

Data sharing 101: a principled approach to transparency in (psychological) science by Olivier Klein (ULB): slides

ERC – consolidator grant – TransMid Towards Open Science by Niel Hens: slides

Boosting academic reputation with OA publications

Recordings Boosting Academic reputation with open access publications

Open Science Policy: funder requirements H2020, F.W.O., F.N.R.S. and Legal aspects in Belgium

Presentation by Emilie Hermans on EC, ERC, Belspo and FWO Open Science Requirements: Slides Open Science Policy

Presentation by Sandrine Brognaux: Slides policy F.N.R.S.

Presentation by Joris Deene on legal aspects and copyright:Slides Open Science Legislation