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FAQ Open Access


This page is displayed  following the high number of questions arising from the publication of regulations EN on the application of the Open Access policy to scientific publications resulting from research programmes supported by the F.R.S-FNRS and its associated Funds.


Q1: To Whom Does the Regulation on Open Access apply?

This Regulation is intended for all fund recipients of the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds, as well as promoters of a CDR (Research Credit), PDR (Research Project), EQP (Equipment) or an MIS (Incentive Grant for Scientific research) research programmes.

Q2: To which scientific journals may I submit my work for publication to comply with the provisions of the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds?

Researchers can submit their work for publication in scientific journals of their choice.

Q3: Which publications are subject to this Regulation?

“Any peer-reviewed article and participation in symposiums, seminars or conferences (including posters) which have been subject to scientific publications” in accordance with Article 3 of the Regulation.

Q4: How to self-archive in an Institutional Repository?

Institutions of the Wallonia-Brussels Federationcan give researchers access to an institutional electronic database in which they must submit their publications online unless their publishing contracts do not permit e-print archiving. You should contact the publisher of the journal to know the provisions on self-archiving in institutional repositories.

Q5: What kind of format and which version of my publications should I archive in Institutional Repositories to comply with the provisions of the Regulation?

It is a good idea to archive duplicates of the publisher’s version (published PDF) or the final peer-reviewed manuscript (post-print version), rather than your author’s version (pre-print PDF).

Q6: Will the other versions of my publications be accepted in Institutional Repositories?

As soon as it is published, the post-print publisher’s version may be accepted as per the publisher’s policy. The pre-print author’s version may be accepted as per the institutional repository’s policy. In accordance with Article 9 of the Regulation, “only full-versions of electronic publications in a PDF format issued from institutional repositories of universities in the Federation Wallonia-Brussels can be accounted for in the evaluation and granting procedures of the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds.”

Q7: Should I pay any fees for self-archiving?

Publication depositing in Institutional Repositories of Federation Wallonia-Brussels institutions is free of charge.

Q8: How does self-archiving benefit researchers?

Online depositing allows researchers to disseminate their research outputs in a more effective way and make them more valuable. This also ensures researchers direct access to publications from their peers.

Q9: Do all journal publishers allow self-archiving?

Most of the major commercial publishers (90%) allow self-archiving in an institutional or specialist electronic database. If the publisher’s policy is not in favour of the deposit, you are required to inform the F.R.S.-FNRS by a written notice of the decision of the publisher.

Q10: What if the publisher does not accept the deposit?

Publisher’s policy to support the principle of open access can vary according to scientific journals. You can find out more on the SHERPA-ROMEO website at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo. SHERPA-ROMEO lists publishers' open access policies (search by journal title or ISSN). When the publisher denies access to an article through the Institutional Repository, the recipients of the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds are requested to inform their hosting institution and the F.R.S.-FNRS of this decision.

Q11: Should I submit all of my publications online or only articles published after a certain date?

The F.R.S.-FNRS recommends submitting articles published as from 2008. However, authors may archive all of their publications.

Q12: Can I submit articles published before 1993 online in open access?

Yes, you can. Articles published before 1993 can be available in open access in digital format. For articles published after 1993, the online accessibility in open access is subject to the publishing contract or publisher’s policy (see SHERPA-ROMEO).

Q13: What can I do if I don’t have the post-print version of my article? Will the F.R.S.-FNRS consider the publication in any case?

You should contact the publisher to get the post-print publisher’s version and store it in your institution’s Repository via the Intranet access. In the event of a refusal or if the deposit is not authorised by the publisher, you are requested to inform your hosting institution and the F.R.S-FNRS. In any case, as specified in the Regulation, access to the published paper in the Institutional Repository might be denied by the publisher.

Q14: Does the F.R.S.-FNRS provide any publishing agreement or contract amendment templates in order to ensure open access publishing contractually?

Publishing agreement and contract amendment templates are set to be available soon.

In any case, recipients should ensure where possible that they retain their intellectual property rights of their work in order to guarantee open access publishing.

Authors can complement their publishing contract with an addendum. To be valid, supplementary agreements must be countersigned by the publisher. The SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Author’s Addendum is the most common used, which includes a contract annex and the following statement: "I hereby declare that I do not wish to assign the exclusive copyright to (Name of the publisher) but reserve the right to publish the article in full on an open access platform."

Q15: How to preserve the rights to use my work?

When signing a contract, make sure the rules and the regulation on copyright is sound and transparent and serves your needs. In fact, copyright terms and conditions can vary according to publishers and journals. Authors are encouraged to opt for "Creative Commons" http://creativecommons.org/ licenses that have become more and more popular and expressly authorise the reproduction of works and their use.

Q16: Should I self-archive my publications in Institutional Repositories even if I have transferred reprography rights to the F.R.S.-FNRS via Assucopie?

Yes, you should.

Q17: Does the F.R.S.-FNRS support publications in scientific journals under the “Gold” Open Access model?

Yes. The F.R.S.-FNRS encourages open access publishing in renowned scientific journals.

Q18: What about the amount covered by the F.R.S-FNRS for the costs of open access publishing under the “Gold” model?

Since 27 February 2014, the F.R.S.-FNRS and its Associated Funds have enabled their F.R.S.-FNRS Grants, CDR, and PDR recipients to claim the costs of immediate publication in OA journals to a limit of €500- per article.

Q19: And what if I have not found the answer to my question on this page?

Please do not hesitate to send your queries to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will try to answer your question as soon as possible.

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