||In 2001, the French-speaking university libraries of Belgium, brought together within the BICfB (Interuniversity Library of the French-speaking Community of Belgium), developed their first initiative for an Open Access institutional directory, the BICTEL/e project. This project’s goal was to create a common directory in order to provide free online access in full text mode to a maximum amount of doctoral theses defended in the nine universities of the French-speaking Community of Belgium.
At the University of Liège, the Administrative Board decided in July 2006 to oblige - effective from October 1st 2006 - all of the ULiège's doctoral candidates to deposit their dissertations, fully or partially, on the ULiège's BICTEL/e directory, followed in June 2007 by the Administrative Board of the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences in Gembloux (FUSAGx), our academy partner.
By October 2009, more than 330 theses had already been deposited in the directories of BICTEL/e-ULg and BICTEL/e-FUSAGx.
In December 2004, the BICfB decided to take things a step further and to study the possibility of organizing on the level of the university academies’ institutional repositories, an expanded depositing to include all types of publication. The pilot phase of this project started for the Wallonia-Europe Academy in January 2005, thanks in part to a budget set aside by the BICfB. Since then, the latter supports its efforts in this area by reserving within its yearly budget the financial means to help the academies install their institutional servers.