Open access in France

Growth of open access publications in France, 1990-2018

In France, open access to scholarly communication is relatively robust and has strong public support.[1], a digital platform for social science and humanities publications, launched in 1999. Hyper Articles en Ligne (HAL) began in 2001. The French National Center for Scientific Research participated in 2003 in the creation of the influential Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.[1] Publishers EDP Sciences and OpenEdition [fr] belong to the international Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.[2]

Open Repositories


There are a number of collections of scholarship in France housed in digital open access repositories.[3] They contain journal articles, book chapters, data, and other research outputs that are free to read. The main open repository platform in use for French higher education and research institutions is HAL. It hosts over 520 000 fulltext documents and about 1.5 million references. More than 120 institutions have opened their own institutional portals on the HAL platform.

Open access publishing


France's main actor in open access publishing is Openedition. This set of publishing platforms is specialized in Human and Social Sciences. It hosts 490 journals, 5,600+ books, 2,600+ blogs and 39,000 events. Openedition is operated by an institutional unit called CLEO, and funded by the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales, Université d'Aix-Marseille, and Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse. It uses for books and journals a "freemium" business model: most content is available in HTML format for free, and the other formats (pdf, epub) are available to the subscribed institutions.



Key events in the development of open access in France include the following:

  • 1999
    • Creation of the portal by Marin Dacos, with 2 open access journals
  • 2001
  • 2005
  • 2013
    • Signature of a partnership agreement in favour of open archives and HAL by French higher education and research institutions[4]
  • 2016
    • Law for a digital Republic, creating a right for the researchers to submit their accepted manuscripts to institutional repositories, eventually with an embargo period, even if they've signed a copyright transfer agreement.[5]
  • 2018

See also

Number of open access publications in various French repositories, 2018


  1. ^ a b "OA in France". Open Access in Practice: EU Member States. OpenAIRE. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Members",, The Hague: Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, retrieved 7 April 2018
  3. ^ "France". Directory of Open Access Repositories. UK: University of Nottingham. Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Convention de partenariat en faveur des archives ouvertes et de la plateforme mutualisée HAL" (PDF). Ministère de l'enseignement supérieur, de la recherche et de l'innovation. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  5. ^ "New French Digital Republic Law boosts support for OA and TDM". OpenAIRE blog. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Big Deal Cancellation Tracking",, US: Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, retrieved 30 June 2018
  7. ^ "National plan for open science" (PDF). MESRI. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Plan S: Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications" (PDF). Science Europe. 4 September 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 September 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  9. ^ "European countries demand that publicly funded research should be free to all". The Economist. 13 September 2018.

Further reading