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. French 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 Revues.org 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 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. As of 2017, 95 of them do have an institutional repository. Couperin also facilitates this movement through a working group focused on open access. The movement is progressively growing and for example, the Jussieu call shows a real concern of the research community on OA issues.

national overview