OA in France
1. Contact & Overview
Organisation of the french public researchThe French environment of public research differs from that which can be observed in other European countries. At the national level it is possible to distinguish three major types of institutions involved in the research process:
-France has 70 universities (members of the Conference of Universities Presidents) which gather most researchers.
-Grandes Écoles have historically been designed to train engineers in the government service. In 2015 France has around 226 grandes écoles that train students in the fields of engineering, business or humanities and have the particularity to recruit their students through competitive exams. Some grandes écoles don’t have any research structures but for others it is an important activity (Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Normale Superieure for instance).
-Unlike universities and grandes écoles, research institutions have no teaching departments and focus on research. With the exception of the CNRS which works in many subject areas, most organizations have a chosen field like computer sciences (INRIA), life sciences (INSERM), marine sciences (IFREMER)... The size of these institutions is highly variable: the biggest one being the CNRS, structured in ten institutes, which employs some 11 000 scientists and brings together 48 000 researchers in joint research units with universities and other research institutions.
Number of researchers in 2016 in France: 266 200 researchers of which 104 300 in the public sector and 161 900 in the private sector (Source : Etat de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France (juin 2016).
This distinction in three separate sets is somewhat blurred when one looks at the research structure level. It is indeed very common for a single laboratory to depend both on one (or more) university and on a research institution, and possibly also on a grande école. The human resources and financial income of the laboratory come from these different sources, but the work is conducted in joint teams. In this case the laboratory is called a “joint research unit” (Unité Mixte de Recherche – UMR).
One should finally mention the three public bodies that play a major role in the consolidation of the French academic research at the national level in terms of:
- strategy with the Ministry of Higher Education and Research
- funding with the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche - National Research Agency) (see below)
- assessment with the HCERES (Haut Conseil de l'évaluation de la recherche et de l'enseignement supérieur - The High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education).
Research fundingThe French main research funder is the Agence Nationale de la Recherche or ANR (National Research Agency) who has an annual budget dedicated to calls of 457.6 millions euros (2016 figures). Structured in 8 thematic departments, its aim is to increase the number of research projects issued from the entire scientific community, and to provide funding based on calls for proposals and peer review selection processes. The ANR addresses both public research institutions and industries with a double mission of producing new knowledge and promoting interaction between public laboratories and industrial laboratories through the development of partnerships. Through the call for proposals (CFP), projects are selected based on their scientific quality, as well as on their economic relevance for industries, when applicable.
Importance of EU-funded researchThe chart below shows the importance of EU-funded research in France.
|Total number of participants, total EU financial contribution € million||5.770 participants receiving € 2.774,99 m in H2020
|Total number of SME participants, total EC financial contribution € million||1.124 SMEs receiving € 387,65 m in H2020
|Number of ERC Principal Investigators, total EC financial contribution € million||427 ERC grantees receiving € 620,82 m in H2020
|Number of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Participations, total EC financial contribution € million||1.004 MSCA Fellows receiving € 272,15 m in H2020
|Number of applicants||37.312 (8,59% of EU-28)|
|Success rate (EU-28 = 13,5%)||17,0%|
|Rank in number of participants signed contracts (EU-28)||5|
|Rank in budget share (EU-28)||3|
|Top collaborative links
||1. DE - Germany (9.925)
2. UK - United Kingdom (7.298)
3. ES - Spain (7.013)
4. IT - Italy (6.586)
5. NL - Netherlands (4.524)
|Total population & EU 28 population share (source: Eurostat)||65.578.819 (13.0% of EU-28)
Overview on OA in FranceFrance has played an important role in the European open access movement, particularly in the launch of the Berlin declaration that was co-worked by the Max Planck Society and people from the CNRS. Among French research structures, the research institutions (CNRS, INSERM in particular) played a major role in the beginning of the 2000’s, especially with the launch of the HAL open archive in 2001.
France also set forth an important initiative regarding open access journals with the OpenEdition Journals 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). Revues.org 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.
Very great many initiatives have been taken nationaly and at the institutional level to support OA. They are listed below.
A roadmap for 2018-2020 has been issued by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in December 2017 exposing concrete actions to be built in favour of open science in the framework of Open Government Partnership: https://www.etalab.gouv.fr/plan-daction-national (Commitment 18 is about "Building an open science ecosystem".)
In July 2017, Marin Dacos, adviser on open science to the general director of research at the Ministry of Higher Education and Research has been nominated and is currently working on a plan for open science for France. This plan should be made public in 2018.
- Open Access LAW
See the details here: https://blogs.openaire.eu/?p=1602
Some national OA agreements have been signed or are under discussion with French publishers and major global publishers (see below).
- Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD)
- Open science national events
Every two years Couperin and national stakeholders organise a national event on open science towards the goal of advancing OA policies and best practices. Two dedicated websites gather the programmes and presentations that have been made on these occasions:
2013 event: Promoting open access to research outputs
On this occasion, the Minister of Higher Education and research gave a speech drawing a roadmap towards OA.
2015 event: Open science in movement: Researchers, actors of the changes of scientific publishing in the era of Open Access
2018 event: The 7th Open Science Days were an opportunity to reflect, among other things, on new economic models with publishers, on support for bibliodiversity and on changing the system for evaluating researchers: https://jso2018.sciencesconf.org/.
- The Jussieu call
Open Access key players organisations and groups
- Centre pour la Communication Scientifique Directe (CCSD) : the CNRS unit operating the HAL software and all the institutionnal portals hosted by HAL (120 in total).
- Centre pour l’Edition Electronique Ouverte (CLEO) : a joint research and service unit operating the OpenEdition platform.
- BSN: the Ministry of Higher Education and Research has launched this initiative in 2009. It is composed of 10 working groups gathering all the French stokeholders of research and scientific information. 2 working groups are specifically working on OA (BSN 4) and on research data (BSN 10). The general goal of these working groups is to provide up to date information and tools on scientific information to researchers and students.
- Couperin : the french academic consortium that brings together more than 250 members (teaching and research institutions), has initiated a working group on Open Access (GTAO). In 2015, a new website dedicated to Open Access has been launched by this group: http://openaccess.couperin.org/.
- SPARC and DOAJ
André Dazy, Head librarian - Couperin
NOAD contact details
2. Open Science Policy
Institutional PoliciesSome institutions have voted open access mandates requiring that authors self-archive their papers in their own institutional repository: 23 French institutions are listed in ROARmap.
Funder PoliciesThe 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 asking 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).
18 repositories are listed in Re3Data.
RunMyCode is a social media created by two professors of HEC (Business School), supported by the CNRS and the University of Orléans for the global dissemination of scientific research. Its purpose is to disseminate and share scientific research (in the field of economics and management). It works on the principle of open data and uses the potential of the community web.
National Publishing InitiativesI-Revues: electronic OA journals of the INIST-CNRS
OpenEdition: The portal’s mission is to promote open-access academic electronic publishing (480 journals, 4616 books).
Episciences.org: its purpose is to promote the emergence of epijournals, 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
Lavoisier, John Libbey: some OA agreements are under discussion with Couperin and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in the framework of a support plan to French publishers.
OpenEdition: some OA agreements are under discussion with Couperin and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in the framework of a support plan to French publishers.
CAIRN: some OA agreements are under discussion 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 in the end of 2018. Some discussions will begin during 2018 with Couperin.
- OA Books
A project of books liberation is under discussion between OpenEdition, Knowledge Unlatched and Couperin.
5. Training & Support: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.