National Open Access Desk

  • Andre Dazy |
    • France has played an important role in the European open access movement, particularly in the launch of the Berlin declaration, a cooperation between the Max Planck Society and people from the CNRS. The research institutions (CNRS, INSERM in particular) played a major role in early 2000, especially with the launch of the HAL open archive in 2001.

      France also set forth an important initiative regarding open access journals with the platform founded in 1999 and specialized in Humanities and Social Sciences. It is operated by a joint service unit bringing together the CNRS, two universities (Aix-Marseille and Université d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse) and a grande école (EHESS). hosts in 2017 more than 465 journals, 192 of them being fully open access.Universities and grandes écoles joined the open access movement gradually and it is worth noting that some universities have been working on open access publishing (Nice with the database Revel) and Open Archives (in Toulouse for instance) since 2003. After the signature of a national agreement in 2006 aiming to foster OA, some universities and grandes écoles established an institutional open archive. In 2017, 95 of them do have an institutional repository. Couperin is also an actor of this movement through a working group focused on open access. The movement is progressively growing and the Jussieu call shows for example a real concern of the research community on OA issues.

      Support and landscape

      National initiatives

      • On July 4 2018, Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, launched the national open science plan.
        The plan is centered around three key commitments:

        1. Generalise Open Access To Publications
        2. Structure Research Data And Make It Available Through Open Access
        3. Be Part Of A Sustainable European And International Open Science Dynamic

        The National Plan for Open Science are part of France’s international commitment, and aims at making 100% of French scientific publications in open access.

          • Open Access LAW

        In October 2016, the French Law for a Digital Republic Act (LOI n° 2016-1321 du 7 octobre 2016 pour une République numérique) came into force. One article is of specific concern for scholarly communication, as it relates directly to open access/open data. Article 30 creates a new right for researchers where authors have the right to archive an OA copy, even if they have granted the copyright to a publisher.Details can be found here.  Some national OA agreements have been signed or are being discussed with French and major global publishers (see below).

          • Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD)

        A nation-wide effort, coordinated by the ABES, to mandate depositing of ETD has been made. This initiative is supported by a dissemination portal for French thesis: Furthermore TEL, developed by HAL, gives access to PhD thesis via self-archiving: A decree makes the submission of the electronic thesis mandatory for all institutions from 1 September 2016.

          • Dissemin

        HAL, Dissemin and Couperin have worked together to enable Dissemin to be compatible with HAL. Dissemin detects papers behind paywalls and invites authors to upload them in an open repository in one click.

          • Open science national events

        Every two years Couperin together with national stakeholders organise a national event on open science to advance OA policies and display best practices. Two dedicated websites gather the programmes and presentations that have been made. E.g.:

        The Jussieu Call for Open science and bibliodiversity was launched in october 2017 and has already been signed by many major institutions.


      OpenAIRE statistics

      3545767 OA publications in 255 repositories
    • National policy

      France has a national plan for the implementation of Open Science.

      Institutional policy

      Some institutions have open access mandates requiring authors to self-archive their papers in their institutional repository: 23 French institutions are listed in ROARmap.

      Funder policy

      The ANR has issued an open access policy in November 2007, strongly encouraging the deposit of funded publications in open archives systems and in HAL in particular. It is worth noting that the Humanities and Social Sciences department has adopted a stronger policy mandating systematic deposit of publications in HAL-SHS.
    • Key networks and aggregators

      • The national and centralized repository HAL gathers around 20 % of the French publications. Some institutions have made the choice though to develop their own repositories.There are currently 121 open archives running in the French academic environment (listed in OpenDOAR).

      Data repositories

      18 repositories are listed in Re3Data.

      National publishing initiatives

      I-Revues: electronic OA journals of the INIST-CNRS

      OpenEdition: The portal’s mission is to promote open-access academic electronic publishing (465 journals, 4616 books) its purpose is to promote the emergence of epi journals, namely open access electronic journals taking their contents from preprints deposited in open archives such as arXiv or HAL, that have not been published elsewhere.REVEL: electronic OA journals of the University of Nice

      MathOA: some French researchers are part of the project.

      National agreements with publishers

      As part of a support plan for French publisher following agreements are being discussed:
      EDP sciences: an OA agreement including 29 titles to support OA for French publishers.
      Lavoisier, John Libbey: an OA agreement is being discussed with Couperin and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.
      OpenEdition: an OA agreement is being discussed with Couperin and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.
      CAIRN: an OA is being discussed directly with the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.
      Springer: an OA agreement has been considered with Couperin but nothing has been decided yet.
      Elsevier: the national licence contract is ending by the end of 2018. Discussions with Couperin will begin during 2018.

      OA books

      OpenEdition books

      A project of books liberation is under discussion between OpenEdition, Knowledge Unlatched and Couperin.

    • Dedicated OA website for researchers: easy to read information, FAQ on the digital Republic Law.

      Doranum: dedicated website for researchers for research data: synthetic and clear information on research data.

      DMP OPIDoR helps French researchers to write Data Management Plans.

      Cat OPIDoR: wiki on the services dedicated to research data.

    • Funding Agencies

      France has 1 major funding agency :

      Integrated in OpenAIRE

      France has 1 funding agency integrated in OpenAIRE:

      Tara Expeditions Foundation

    • 22 March 2019
      The institutional fundraising campaign for the OpenEdition Books Select offer, conducted jointly with Knowledge Unlatched, OpenEdition and Couperin, is on the right track: 58 institutions (mainly from...
      05 July 2018
      On July 4, Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, launched the national open science plan at the annual congress of the Association of European Research Library (LIBE...
      29 November 2016
      On October 7th 2016, the French Law for a Digital Republic Act (LOI n° 2016-1321 du 7 octobre 2016 pour une République numérique) came into force, following a one year open review process during which...
      24 June 2015
      On the 9th and 10th of march 2015, a training session on research data took place in Lyon, at the National school for librarians. The session was chaired by Monique Joly, head of the INSA Lyon library...
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