Who can write a note?

Members and non-members of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences (RAOS) may write a biographical note for the Academy. Only non-members of the RAOS may obtain a fee.


What is the procedure?

1° Submitting a proposal

Anyone may submit a proposal for a note. This note proposal will be submitted for approval to the Commission for Overseas Belgian Biography, which meets at least once a year (in February).


2° Drawing up the timetable

If the proposal is approved, the time required to prepare the note will be agreed between the author and the Commission, taking into account the author's schedule.

3° drafting guidelines

The author must comply with the rules of form and content for writing a note. These are listed in the guidelines on the RAOS website and can be consulted by clicking on the following link 

The note must be written under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence.

As far as length is concerned, the author chooses the length of the note, but the maximum length is set at 1,800 words. With a line spacing of 1 and a font size of 12, 1,800 words is roughly equivalent to 3 A4 pages.

As far as illustrations are concerned, the author is invited, without any obligation, to provide one or more illustrations, in particular a portrait of the person described. These illustrations must be free of charge and free of rights or covered by a Creative Commons licence. Under no circumstances will RAOS be required to pay any intellectual property rights on the illustrations used by the author.

The author must take particular care not to infringe the rights of third parties in his note and must indemnify RAOS against any claim that may be made by a third party for infringement of his rights by the note.


4° peer review

Once the entry has been completed, the RAOS Secretariat will immediately post it on the online forum accessible only to members of the RAOS Biographical Commission. From the day the entry is posted on the forum, members of the Commission have 30 days to submit their comments. The Chairman of the Biographical Commission will then contact the author to inform him/her of the content of these comments. If the comments lead to a reworking of the note, the author must take them into account as far as possible when drafting the new version.

5° Acceptance

The Biographical Commission is sovereign in approving or rejecting the note, after application of the peer review procedure by the members of the Commission.

The note will be published on the RAOS website immediately after acceptance of the final version and will be accessible via the "biographical notes" menu, in order to avoid long waiting times for paper publication. The administrator of the website will inform the President of the Commission as soon as the final version is online. The latter will contact the author.


Where will the notice be published?


1) online publication

The note will be published under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence on the RAOS website and will be accessible to all via the "biographical notes" menu. Each note will include the name(s) of the author(s) and the date of publication. A DOI number will be added to the online note.


2) selection in book form

The Biography Commission may make a selection of the most important notes and publish them in book form, in particular in the Biographical Dictionary of Belgians Overseas.

Here again, each note will bear the name of the author or authors and the date of publication.


Who is entitled to which fee?

In order to encourage non-members of RAOS to also write a note, non-members will receive the following fee, the amount of which will be determined by the length of the final approved version of the note, as follows.

- 300 words: €12.5

- 300 to 600 words: €25

- 600 to 1200 words: €50

- 1200 to 1800 words: €75

(As a reminder, with 1 line spacing and a font size of 12, 600 words is roughly equivalent to an A4 page).

These amounts are the basic fees set for 2021. The Administrative Committee of the Academy may index or revise these fees on the recommendation of the Biography Commission.

RAOS members are not entitled to the above fees.

If a non-member writes a note jointly with a member, the above fees will be paid in full to the non-member.

If several non-members write a note together, the above remuneration will be distributed once only and in equal shares to each non-member co-author.

However, this does not prevent the non-member co-authors from agreeing a different distribution among themselves and redistributing the remuneration paid in equal shares among them.