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Politique scientifique

Open Access: Frequently Asked Questions


This page is destined to answer any questions that may arise regarding the FR-EN regulation related to the application of the Open Access policy to scientific papers from research programs supported by the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds. This regulation, which has been in effect since 30/06/2013, was updated by the Board of Trustees of the Fund in December of 2023.


Who is the regulation for?

The regulation applies to all funding recipients of the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds, i.e. grant recipients, permanent fellows of the Fund and research programmes (co-)promoters.


In which scientific journals can one publish their research in Open Access according to the provisions of the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds?

Researchers are free to publish in the scientific journals of their choosing. Several modes of Open Access publishing exist, including the Diamond OA, encouraged and supported by the F.R.S.-FNRS.

Funding recipients can also visit the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) website which lists quality Open Access (OA) journals.


Which publications are concerned by this regulation?

Article 3 of the regulation states that it applies to “any peer-reviewed articles and participation in symposiums, seminars or conferences (including posters) which have been subject to scientific publication, in whichever form, when these results have been generated in full or in part by the funding of said funds in the framework of research fellowships and credits.”


How to digitally self-archive in an Institutional Repository (DI)?

In every institution of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, researchers have access to an institutional digital database in which they are required to deposit their publications and make them accessible, as far as publishing contracts allow. Results of research funded in part or entirely by the F.R.S.-FNRS or its Associated Funds (cf. article 3 of the regulation), must be made available in the DI in accordance with the following provisions:

  • Regarding scientific papers published in a periodic issued at least once a year, the access to digital versions must be made immediately available. If the publisher requires it, this access happens after the expiration of an embargo which runs from the date of the first publication and cannot exceed six months in the field of sciences, technology, medicine and 12 months in the field of human and social sciences.
  • The deposit of other types of publications (e.g. monographs, collective works, conference proceedings) is not mandatory, but strongly encouraged.


In which format and version should the publications be deposited in the institutional repositories under the provisions of the regulations?

The deposit concerns the PDF copy of the full text in its final “author” version accepted for publication or the final “publisher” version subject to authorisation by the publisher.


Do I have to pay for digital self-archiving?

Depositing publications in the Institutional Repositories (DI) of institutions of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation is free.


What are the benefits of self-archiving?

Submitting publications online allows the researcher to disseminate or promote the result of their research faster and improves direct access to the publications by their peers.

Furthermore, only lists of publications generated from Institutional Repositories (DI), the full text of which is available in open access for scientific papers, will be taken into consideration by the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds in terms of evaluation, nomination, promotion and attribution of research fellowships and credits. This measure applies to researchers who have been working at a university of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation for at least two years. It is therefore essential for the researchers concerned to keep their list of publications up to date via their institutional repository.


What if the publisher does not authorize the repository?

The policy of support of the principle of Open Access by publishers varies depending on the scientific journals. Researchers can visit the SHERPA-ROMEO website, which lists different publishers’ Open Access policies for scientific journals (research by journal title or ISSN).

With that being said, the provisions of the Open Access decree of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, in addition with the federal law on copyright, prevail over any other provision formulated by a publisher regarding the scientific papers published in a periodical issued at least once a year, regarding the research funded entirely or in part by the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated funds. In this case, the author of the article retains, even if they have assigned their rights to a publisher on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis, or has placed them under a simple or exclusive licence, the imperative right to make the manuscript freely available to the public after a period of 6 months (Science, Technology, Medicine) or 12 months (Human and Social Sciences) following the first publication, provided that the source of the first publication is mentioned.


Does the transfer of reprographics rights to the F.R.S.-FNRS via Assucopie mean that publications do not have to be self-archived in the Institutional Repositories?



Will a paper published in an Open Access scientific journal through the Gold model be taken into consideration by the F.R.S.-FNRS?

Yes, provided that said publication was deposited in the institutional repository of a Wallonia-Brussels Federation institution. Furthermore, the F.R.S.-FNRS encourages researchers to publish in Open Access scientific journals of recognized scientific quality.


How much does the F.R.S.-FNRS financially contribute for a publication in a Gold Open Access scientific journal?

The F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds allow the recipients to charge direct open access publishing fees to the allocated budget in the framework of the research fellowships and credits, up to a maximum of €2,000 per publication (scientific paper, book chapter) and €5,000 per book. Authors are invited to read the section on eligible Open Access publication costs in the guide pratique des frais (practical guide to fees).


Under which conditions can one’s publication costs be covered?

The F.R.S.-FNRS encourages researchers to publish in Open Access scientific journals of recognized scientific quality. Nevertheless, it should be noted that publication costs in transformative and hybrid journals (i.e. where part of the catalogue is restricted) are not eligible.


What do I do if the publication costs of Open Access paper or book override the maximum cost that can be charged to the budget allocated by the F.R.S.-FNRS in the framework of my fellowship or research project?

In the Gold publishing model, the financial contribution of the F.R.S.-FNRS is limited in order to fight price inflation in scientific publishing. There is a lack of transparency around Processing Charges nowadays. The F.R.S.-FNRS recommends being particularly vigilant with these costs, particularly when they are high. As far as possible, the F.R.S.-FNRS advises its funding recipients to ask publishers for a detailed quote so they can have precise information on services and related cost in the framework of Processing Charges. Processing Charges should be proportional to the services offered and the structure of said costs in the quotes must be clear and transparent.

Be that as it may, it should be noted that the highest eligible costs are fixed by the regulation and may not be exceeded. Researchers will have to seek additional funding to finance their publication if the cost of open access publishing exceeds the financial contribution of the F.R.S.-FNRS.


For any additional question, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will answer as soon as possible.


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