The French consortium Couperin is a successful partnership experiment of research, public and educational institutions (256 members: 107 universities, 89 schools, 29 research institutions and 31 other institutes). Under the leadership of its Administrative Board, Couperin is structured in one Professional Board (10 members) and two departments:
- The Pricing and Purchasing Department manages all the negotiations with the publishers and is organised in thematic areas.
- The Prospective and Tech Department is commissioned, for expertise and evaluation for the Professional Board on issues regarding information systems and OA.
Couperin has long been an advocate of OA. The Couperin Manifesto issued in 2005 states very clearly that "COUPERIN is involved, next to other information stakeholders (SPARC, BOAI, ICOLC...), in promoting free and alternative scientific information, and invites all french researchers to commit themselves to these new publishing models, which can today and must tomorrow find a large place besides traditional publishing, for the major profit of researchers, of users and of Science, in short, of free circulation of ideas and knowledge."
It is in this perspective that Couperin set up an OA Working Group which gathered in 2016 around 50 people every two months in order both to create an information portal on OA for Higher Education institutions (http://openaccess.couperin.org/) and to encourage universities to create Institutional Repositories and adopt OA policies.
Couperin's involvement in the OpenAIRE project will be built on the experience gained in the OA Working Group. The network and the tools created then will be of first help in the establishment of a National OA liaison office in partnership with other French stakeholders.
- André Dazy