Belgian Open Access legislation

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The Belgian Open Access legislation gives you the right to make the author's version of your journal articles - provided they meet certain conditions - available for free in Open Access via the UHasselt repository, and this after an embargo period of maximum 12 (for the human and social sciences) or 6 (for all other sciences) months. Interestingly, this law always overrules the publisher's embargo provisions. This makes it easier for you to meet possible Open Access requirements of your funder. The full law can be found in the Belgian Official Gazette, 2018-09-05, p. 68691, Art. 29.

For whom?

Any author with a reference point in Belgium (eg. fully/partially employed at a Belgian university, residing in Belgium, financed by a Belgian funder, etc.) can make use of the law.

Which publications?

You can only apply the law to the author's version of journal articles that are behind a paywall and are the result of research that has been financed for at least 50% with public funds (both domestic and foreign funding).

What are your rights as an author?

  • 6 or 12 months embargo
    You may make the author's version of your articles available in Open Access via our repository and/or via personal/networking sites after an embargo period of maximum 12 (for the humanities and social sciences) or 6 (for all other sciences) months, provided that the source of the first edition is mentioned.
  • Compelling
    The law always overrules the embargo provisions of your publisher. Hence, the publisher cannot object to this right, for example via a clause in the publishing contract. Such a clause is not enforceable.
  • Retroactive
    You can apply the law retroactively, so also for articles published before the law came into force.

If you wish to make use of the Belgian Open Access legislation for a publication, please report this to the University Library ( or and upload the author's version of your article in the UHasselt Document Server.