On Monday in Brussels, I am bringing together the principal proponents of EOS (Enabling Open Scholarship), the worldwide version of EurOpenScholar I wrote about earlier. The objective is the same: to encourage the creation of institutional repositories (Orbi at ULg) in all universities and to allow free online access to scientific publications. The only difference is that EOS now has a worldwide rather than a mere European dimension.
If these goals are to be attained, all university leaders must be convinced of the importance of this new paradigm for the diffusion of knowledge, in particular knowledge acquired through public funding. The goal is to increase the number of institutions choosing this path and making it mandatory for their researchers.
ULg has created and is hosting a new website to this end; its objective is to inform university rectors and presidents, put forth arguments aiding them in the decision-making process, provide technical aid for developing repositories and encourage them to make these repositories mandatories in their institutions.
Once again, I would like to stress that this does not apply to every scientific publication. Repositories must include (and as far as possible put online at no cost) scientific literature « published freely ».
Researchers can indeed produce two types of publications:
1. revenue-producing publications, such as works intended to be marketed, for which authors are of course entitled to receive royalties;
2. publications for which the authors renounce their copyrights, their only wish being that they be read, used and cited.
Free access in institutional repositories obviously falls into the second category.
It was essential to provide an instruction manual for Open Access and the principal tool to make it a must. We hope that this will be the case from now on.