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A. Boujdad Mkadem1, P. Nieuwenhuysen2

2Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BELGIUM)
The Abdelmalek University in Morocco is about to create its own digital institutional repository to provide access to digital scientific content to researchers. This repository is supposed to come with a solution to a recent crisis. The scientific publisher Elsevier has renegotiated its agreement with the higher education ministry. As the publisher has augmented its prices, the negotiations did not succeed to find an agreement with the publisher. Therefore some institutions are already looking for an alternative solution.

While these events were taking place, some librarians suggested to the management of the university that there may be some advantage that could come from an open access repository that can afford free and open access to good quality scientific literature. While the project is still debated, the humanities teachers in the university and some librarians have started to think of the repository as an act of creating a recipient to the internal scientific production and at the same time a recipient to the harvested literature from the numerous servers around the world.

It is obvious that they have thought about these solutions because they know that many resources in their fields are free of charge and are freely available to them and that could represent for them an unexpected opportunity for a wider dissemination for their own production within that repository. It is at this moment that we had the idea of participating with digitized old manuscripts in this project (we have already began working on it much earlier. The idea is to try selling the concept at different level: preserve the cultural heritage of the nation, while making sure that the project will be financed by a funding body that could be the University. At the same time, we thought about sharing this kind of content worldwide hoping that it will have a much wider and international audience which in turn may offer its own similar content and exchange it through the harvesting process and thus serving the community, saving money and safeguarding this cultural heritage from being used for lucrative purposes.