New Social Sciences and Digital Humanities Archive – Invitation SODHA webinar

In a few short weeks, the new Social Sciences and Digital Humanities Archive (SODHA) will be launched. The new Belgian SODHA repository offers safe long-term storage for research data from the social sciences and digital humanities, following the principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability. 

Would you like to learn more about SODHA? Follow the webinar on 27 October 2020 at 10:00 and discover how to find, access and deposit research data in the SODHA archive. This online event is organised specifically for academic data protection officers, data stewards and other data management professionals. 

The event is free, but registration is required (

Online Open Science Webinars – skills and training

As a part of the international Open Access Week 2020, Belgium universities host a series of online webinars. The 4 online presentations will cover different topics concerning Open Science aimed at research supporting staff and librarians interested in learning more about Open Science tools, training, Open Data  and Open Science in practice. 


Register here :

Tuesday October 20, 10.30-11.30 | Skills development for Open Science

Tuesday October 20, 12.00-13.00  | Training for Data Management Planning

Thursday October 22, 10.00-11.30 | Open Science tools: demo and discussion

Thursday October 22, 12.00-13.00  | Open Science accelerating? COVID 19 examples

Continue reading “Online Open Science Webinars – skills and training”

Open Access Week 2020 – Save the date

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its tenth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

This year Open Access Belgium will host 4 online webinars, targeted at research support offices and librarians but free for all. The 4 thematic webinars will address: Open Science skills development, Open Data and data management planning, Open Science tools and Open Science in practice: COVID 19 examples.

Registration and the full program will follow shortly but you can already mark the date in your agenda: Tuesday-morning 20 October and Thursday 22 October.

More information will follow shortly!

Mosa, Window of Visibility for Open Access Research in Belgium

A new tool is now live in the Belgian Open Access landscape: Mosa (

Mosa aims to highlight Open Access research produced by scholars from Belgian and Luxembourgish institutions. More than 10 repositories are daily harvested in Mosa. Interface is in Dutch, English (default), French and German.

Mosa currently contains more than 295,000 records in Open Access, but it also contains publications and communications with restricted access (intranet). Depending on the repositories, a Request a print option can help you to directly contact the author and ask for an electronic copy.

In total, there are a bit less than 600,000 records in Mosa, of which a majority of scholarly articles:

  • 328,000 scientific articles
  • 66,000 proceedings
  • 48,000 dissertations
  • 40,000 lectures and conference presentations
  • 36,000 book chapters
  • 16,000 reports
  • 7,000 working papers and preprints
  • 1,800 course materials

For compliance reasons, not all Belgian repositories could be added to Mosa. Hopefully, they can be added soon!

Mosa team can be contacted at


EOSC in Belgium – an overview

EOSC in BelgiumThis blogpost first appeared on the EOSC Pillar website on April 15th 2020:

Belgium’s involvement in EOSC is embedded in a strong research and innovation landscape and a long tradition in advocating Open Science.

On the 21st of November 2019, the first Belgian EOSC event “Belgian Open Science EOSC Initiatives” was organized by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Flemish and Federal Authorities. Bringing these different stakeholders together and provide a platform for discussion is important for the connection of Belgian research to EOSC. The main objective of this seminar was to promote exchanges between all Belgian partners in EOSC projects and the Executive Board Working Groups.

Connecting Belgian EOSC Partners

The event addressed themes on the uptake of Open Science Policy in Belgium, an overview of Belgian partners that have joined the EOSC initiative and the roles that have been assigned to Belgian representatives and experts within its governance. It was a chance for the different stakeholders and initiatives to meet and connect.

Michel Schouppe, senior advisor at the European Commission, introduced the audience to the goals, the timing, the stakeholders and the governance which will shape the EOSC. As a keynote speaker he stressed the importance of the network of infrastructures, projects and Member States to ensure the establishment of a solid and long-term sustainable research data ecosystem, to guarantee the widest possible access and to support knowledge creation.

This was followed by an update on the Belgian policy in the area of Open Science, how Open Science has unfolded in Belgium and the different Regions and the ambitions for the near future. The ‘Open Access Decree’ of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation consolidates the deposit policy of the Universities, stipulating that all scientific articles subsidized by public funds must be deposited in an institutional directory. A general open Science policy is under construction. The Flemish Open Science Board in Flanders is being set up to unite all Flemish stakeholders in a shared vision for the future on Open Science and EOSC, this board, supported by technical working groups, also advises policymakers on the steps to be taken to fully integrate Flanders into the international Open Science landscape. At a federal level, an Open Research Data Mandate was announced just the day before. This ORD mandate applies to digital data (and associated metadata), 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 but also to other curated and/or raw data specified in the Data Management Plan (DMP).

After the policy session, some EOSC connected projects involving Belgian partners were introduced.

  • Inge Van Nieuwerburgh explained how EOSC-Pillar will coordinate national Open Science efforts across Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy, ensuring their contribution and readiness for the implementation of EOSC. The project conducts a national initiatives survey, deploys activities in dissemination, training and uptake of FAIR data, contributes to guidelines on data stewardship and will enrich the activities with Use Cases and Community-Driven Pilots.
  • Francis Strobbe showed how ENVRI-FAIR builds on a set of FAIR data services for environmental research infrastructure to help create a network of trustworthy, well-documented environmental data.
  • Frederik Coppens described how EOSC-Life took on the challenge of bringing together Biological and Medical ‘ESFRI’ research infrastructures to create an open, digital and collaborative space for biological and medical research.
  • Caroline Alméras represented BE OPEN, which aims to assist in operationalising Open Science in transport research at the European level, through a series of targeted coordination and support activities.
  • Belgium is also indirectly involved in SSHOC, as explained by Johan Van Der Eycken, via ESFRI related projects such as DARIAH-BE, CLARIN, CESSDA and E-RIHS.  SSHOC will create the social sciences and humanities area of the EOSC and facilitate access and services to the data for the SSH community.
  • Emilie Hermans indicated how OpenAIRE-Advance, building on previous OpenAIRE projects, develops a European-wide research information system supported by an expert network of Open Science experts, enabling EOSC to be truly Open.

The day was closed by a panel featuring the Belgian representative in the governance board and the Belgian experts in the working groups of EOSC who gave a good overview of the issues addressed in the working groups and the roadmaps ahead.

EOSC in Belgium – an overview

Belgian organisations have invested in Open Science infrastructure and policies since the early 2000’s. Universities subscribed to the Berlin declaration in 2007, as did the Belgian, Flemish and French Community ministers of research in 2012. Research organisations started publication and data repositories throughout the years. OpenDOAR lists 36 Belgian repositories at the moment, re3data 24 data repositories. Many repositories are connected to EOSC through OpenAIRE’s research information space.

Moreover, the European projects DRIVER and OpenAIRE started coordinating efforts in Belgium, uniting Open Science ambassadors in the informal network Open Access Belgium. The Open Science activities are supported by Belgian, Flemish and French community policy efforts,  infrastructure networks such as Belnet, the national IT partner for research, education and public services, and supercomputers such as the Flemish VSC and the French community Cenaero.

Bart Dumolyn of the Flemish department of economy, research and innovation (EWI) is the Belgian representative in the EOSC Governance Board.

The EOSC Executive Board Working Groups and their Belgian experts

EOSC-related projects with Belgian partners

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

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:


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 ( ).