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MarBEF Open Archive (MOA)

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Introduction | Search

The MarBEF Open Archive contains the digital version of published works that are held within the MarBEF Publication Series (i.e. any class of publication where at least one author is a network member and in which MarBEF is acknowledged). In addition, those papers where MarBEF has bought unrestricted 'Open Access' are automatically part of this archive. MOA can only archive those publications for which the publishers agree on the concept and principles of open digital archives [list of green publishers]. Quick search | Advanced search
Show full list of publications in MOA

In addition to MOA, the MarBEF Publication Series holds all MarBEF papers, but this section is password protected and is only accessible for registered MarBEF members.

Through MOA, MarBEF wants to give immediate, permanent and free access to as many published research results as possible. Any MarBEF publication is considered, be it a grey report or a peer-reviewed article in an international journal. This open archive should enhance the visibility, distribution and use of these results, and it supports a much better scientific communication.

This initiative will only be successful with the active collaboration of the entire MarBEF community. Each one of you is invited to contribute to this digital archive and hereby will support our philosophy of Open Access, i.e. free and permanent access to scientific information.

Great! How can I join?

  • Step one: you must be a MarBEF member, which means that you must be affiliated to one of the MarBEF partner or associate partner institutes and your contact details should be in the MarBEF register of resources (RoR). If you are a member, but not yet listed in the RoR, please send us your full contact details, and we will do the necessary. If your institute is not a partner of MarBEF, you might consider applying for the associated membership. See guidelines on how to proceed.

  • Step two: when writing your manuscript, you must acknowledge MarBEF and if possible please copy the text from the guidelines.

  • Step three: when the publisher of the best journal for your paper is a green publisher, then there is no problem, but when it turns out that he is not, you might consider to include a special clause to your copyright agreement, in which you explicitely ask to refrain from the copyright transfer. Some publishers offer the option to pay for open access publication and sometimes they fixed an embargo period of one to several years before the paper can go open access. If the copyright remains with the publisher, your paper will be out of MOA, but please still proceed with the following steps, because your paper is still 'in' for the MarBEF Publication Series.

  • Step four: when your manuscript is accepted for publication, please send the reference (author list, title and journal title) to us. We will provide you with a MarBEF Publication Series number, which you should add to the acknowledgement.

  • Step five: once your paper is published, please send us the digital version (preferrably in PDF).

  • Final step: the MarBEF data management office at VLIZ will verify if the publisher's policy supports the Open Archive Initiative (AOI) and in accordance with their policy we will or will not make the digitial paper available through the MOA-interface. You will receive the direct link to the webpage and we will kindly ask you to check all the related meta information. The newly added references will also be listed in our weekly news bulletin, sent by email through the MarBEF general mailing list.

We recognise the scope of many journals and it is not at all our purpose to interfer with the current way of publishing, although it is true that through this initiative we recommend journals that do support the Open Archive Initiative (with or without charge). At this moment, already 93% of the publishers do support the iniative and allow Open Archives to bring pre- or postprints on the web. For a list of these publishers, go to: or check the Sherpa database.

MOA is a fully legal project

In MOA, MarBEF only releases those publications for which the publishers agree on the concept and principles of open digital archives. Concerning grey literature: in most cases the author can give permission to submit grey publications to a digital archive.

Furthermore, MOA is fully supported by its community, at the 2006 MarBEF General Assembly in Lecce, the network voted unanimously for this open archive.

MOA is free to use. However, some basic rules do apply:

  • These digital documents can be downloaded and saved for personal use only
  • Reproduction or further distribution, partly or in whole, in any format, of these documents, is not allowed
  • Each publication should be cited to its original format
  • When using parts of, or whole publications in your own work, permission from the author(s) or copyright holder(s) is always needed

What are the advantages of MOA?

  • Articles that are freely available on line are more highly cited. For greater impact and faster scientific progress, authors and publishers should aim to make research easy to access. From: Steve Laurence. Online or invisible. Nature, 411 (6837): 521. [full text article]
  • For the scientists:
    • MOA makes up a central archive of all his/her work
    • MOA increases the diffusion of his/her work and increases its impact
    • MOA makes up a CV and a tool for reporting
  • For our MarBEF network :
    • MOA increases the visibility and the prestige of our marine biodiversity community
    • MOA attracts researchers and students
  • For the entire marine research community:
    • MOA gives a global access to MarBEF's research results
    • MOA assures the long-term repository of our academic output
  • For the circulation of publications:
    • Publications (papers, reports, theses etc.) are better accessible online
    • Publications are more cited
    • Publications are better dispersed
    • The information can be searched at all levels through databases
  • There is more than one added value!
    • Hit counts per publication is possible
    • Personalized output is possible
    • Citation analysis is possible

What are the disadvantages?

  • Work load: It involves quite a bit more administration, but the majority of all the work will be done at the MarBEF data management office, who's managing and maintaining the system.

What about quality control, the 'peer review'?

An Open Archive fully supports peer review. Authors can keep publishing in peer-reviewed journals. It should be seen as an added value that these papers will be freely available when deposited in an open archive.

Effects on the establishment of the publishers world?

  • Editors are sometimes payed by publishers: remains
  • Build up reputations within the current publishing system: remains
  • See the open-access-movement as 'anti-publishers' point of view is a myth: repositories are complementary to the products of publishers and do not have commercial objectives.

For an overwiew of the most frequent myths on Open Access and their refutation.

Concept and principles of open digital archives

This archive is managed according to the principles of the Open Access Movement and the Open Archives Initiative. More information on these principles can be found here: