France has been a major player in the Open Access movement, being the first country and having the first university (University of Lyon) to sign the Berlin Declaration.

As of July 2015, there are 93 Open Access repositories in France as registered in OpenDOAR, most of which are institutional. Research strategy is developed by the Ministry of Higher Education, funded by ANR. Research takes place through universities, Grand Ecoles and subject-based research organisations. There are 170+ OA journals indexed in DOAJ.

Currently, 18 OA policies are registered in ROARMAP.

Enabling Environment:

The OA mandate of ANR as major research funder since 2007 provides strong support for OA in France. There is a national OA platform HAL and in addition to national OA activities, France participates in European initiatives such as DRIVER; Economists online; PEER and OpenAIRE and is a member of the consortium, SELL (Southern European Libraries).

Major Projects/Initiatives:


PASTEUR4OA supports the aim of encouraging the development of matching policies on Open Access and Open Data in the European Union. The project helps develop and/or reinforce Open Access strategies and policies at the national level and facilitate their coordination among all Member States. It will build a network of centres of expertise in Member States that will develop a coordinated and collaborative programme of activities in support of policy making at the national level under the direction of project partners.

The project builds on an already existing project, Mediterranean Open Access Network (MedOANet ). It will also take advantage of the experience and extensive networks of organizations such as EOS (Enabling Open Scholarship), JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), SparcEUROPE, LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries), EIFL, as well as prominent funding organizations that participate in the consortium, to secure a European-wide engagement of bodies of authority of the Member States with the project’s aims and extend its impact beyond Member States to neighbouring Accession States.

PASTEUR4OA is an FP7 project funded by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Agence Bibliographique de l‘enseignement Supérieur(ABES)

ABES is the French higher education organisation for bibliographic issues. It has been coordinating STAR, a management system of electronic theses from all French universities since 2007 and has now developed a portal for over 60 000 doctoral theses since 2001.

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)
ANR is the main funding agency for research in Frances and requires all publications from research that is fully or partially funded by them to be deposited in OA archives “at the earliest possible opportunity”.

National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm)
Requires all funded research to deposit peer reviewed publications in OA archives within 6 months of publication.

Details of Key Organizations:

Agence Bibliographique de l‘enseignement Supérieur (ABES)
Overview: ABES is the French higher education organisation for bibliographic issues. It has been coordinating STAR, a management system of electronic theses from all French universities since 2007 and has now developed a portal for over 60 000 doctoral theses since 2001.

OA mandate: Yes. All universities deposit their theses to this centralised disseminating portal.

Communication address: ABES, 227 avenue Professeur Jean-Louis Viala, BP 84308, 34193 Montpellier Cedex 5, France ; e-mail:com(at)

Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
Overview: CNRS is Europe’s major research organisation working through its 7 institutes of Biological Science, Chemistry, Ecology and Environment, Humanities and Social Sciences, Information Sciences and Technologies, Engineering and Systems Sciences, Physics and 3 national institutes: National Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INSMI); National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3); National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy (INSU)/ Its aim is to encourage collaborative and interdisciplinary research.

OA mandate: Mandated through the Ministry of Research.

Communication address: CCSD, Bâtiment CC IN2P3 / CNRS, 43 bd du 11 Novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France; e-mail: contact(at)

Overview: Academic consortium of over 200 members representing higher education institutions in France. Has a website on Open Access.

Communication address: e-mail: Studies and Prospective Department of Consortium Couperin, c/o  Jean-François Lutz, Université Henri Poincaré – Nancy 1 , France; e-mail jlutz(at) (general e-mail: couperin(at)

Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives

HAL: An open access archive for the deposit and dissemination of published and unpublished scientific research papers and for PhD dissertation. The documents are sourced from teaching and research institutions in France and elsewhere.

There are many subject based depositories in France, often allied to educational institutions. The following is a selection representing some of the specialised digital collections available.

A partnership agreement in favor of open archives and shared platform HAL (Hyper Articles en Ligne) was signed by 26 institutions on April 2, 2013. It is part of the national policy on Open Access to share research results, disseminate and preservation.

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

France has been and is to be, an active participant in European OA initiatives.
Nationally, a project with French publishers was initiated in 2009 to gather publishers’ policy information in open repositories.

19-23 October 2015: "Open Access Trends and Open Data for the Agropolis Scientific Community" held in Montpellier, France. The conference will be held on occassion of Open Access Week 2015 with several workshops for the Agropolis scientific community in the fields of agriculture, food, biodiversity and environment.

27 March 2015: Third Open Access Colloquium: Conference de John Willinsky, Stanford University held at l'École normale supérieure (ENS-Paris). The talk addressed various models of open access, how to assess these models and the current and conflicted state of scholarly publishing today.

12- 13 March 2015: Open Access Scientific Revolution for the South; Paris, France.

12 March 2015: International Conference "Open Access and the South"; Paris, France.

5 March 2015: New Forms of Business Intelligence in the Service of Scientific Research; Paris, france.

15 October 2014: Open Access: the Right Platforms and Open Science; Paris, France.

13 October 2014: Open Access and New Models of Publications; Paris, France.

17-19 September 2014: 6th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing; Paris, France

25-26 August 2014: DataCite Annual Conference 2014INIST-CNRS, Nancy, France.

8 July 2014: Collaborative Workshop Annotations Open Access Publications; held in Nancy, France

2-3 July 2014: Present and Future of Scientific Publications

03 June 2014: EBOOK AND OPEN ACCESS; held in Paris, France.

07 February 2014: 23rd Medical Ethics Day in partnership with Maurice Rapin ROCHE; held in Paris, France.

24-25 January 2014: Couperin Open Access Days held in Paris, France.

International Open Access Week Celebrations (

  • 20-21 October, 2010: "Open Access for Earth and Climate Scientists"; The training aimed to make climate-related research & data more transparent and accessible to society & stakeholders. The training focused on the real open access pointers for authors: visibility, use of research, and more citations. The event was organized by Organized By: Ivo Grigorov (CNRS), Catherine Bertignac (UBO) and Dominique Gac (UBO)). Held in Brest, France and globally online

Open Science and Open Data Related Events

April 2015UNESCO- FOSTER Open Science Workshop for Doctoral Schools

This was a two-day workshop which was co-organized by UNESCO and FOSTER.

The workshop was specifically designed for Graduate School administrators across the European Research Area, with the aim to construct a credible roadmap for including Open Science in the doctoral curriculum training, to compliment research excellence and career strategies.

June 2015: Open access and research data management in H2020.

This was a FOSTER-supported training programme organized in partnership with EIFL with the aim of setting in place sustainable mechanisms for EU researchers to Foster Open Science. This was one of the 24 training programmes organized in 2015 for the the research communities of 17 other EU countries.

February 2015Open Science and Citizenship: Back on the SenseCamp 2015

The event consisted of meetings, workshops and conferences which explored the interlink between Open Science and Open Citizenship. The idea was to reflect on the economic model of open science in relation to citizenship.

17 June 2014: Open Science: Sustainable Movement or Passing Fad? 

This event included a series of workshops which were designed to provide participants with an understanding of the many initiatives surrounding the Open Science movement- in France and abroad. Involved stakeholders were able to interact and present their approaches and projects.

Topics covered during the workshops included:

  • Introduction to Open Science: some key concepts
  • Open Data

List of Publications

07 April 2015: PASTEUR4OA report on policy effectiveness "Working Together to Promote Open Access Policy Alignment in Europe" PASTEUR4OA reports on the policy-effectiveness exercise undertaken by the project in view of providing evidence to assist open access policy development. Basis of this work was the rebuilding of ROARMAP, the open access policy registry, which was carried out by the project.  A new classification scheme was built, allowing to record and search the information with far more detail than before. The project also added 250 new policy entries to the ROARMAP database. It now contains approximately 663 entries, mostly institutional policies, 60% of them in Europe. The associated policy effectiveness exercise presented in the report examined deposit rates mandated and non-mandated research institutions.

31 March 2015: PASTEUR4OA Briefing Paper- This paper overviews the open access movement, defines open access, summarises international developments on open access, and examines the advances made on open access at the EC, MS and neighbouring countries levels. By contextualising OA developments at a global and European levels, it informs the role that the PASTEUR4OA project plays in advancing the EC’s Horizon 2020 OA mandate.

André, F (2010). “Open access in France”. In: Anglada, L and Abadal, E (eds). Open access in Southern European countries. Madrid: FECYT, p. 15-37.

Baligand, M.P (2010) Open access and peer reviews: new models
In Proceedings of the 36th Iamslic Annual Conference, Editor Dorothy Barr, Published by Iamslic, Florida - 36th IAMSLIC conference, " Netting Knowledge: 2 hemispheres - one world", Mar del Plata, Argentina,
17-21 October, 2010.

Baruch, P (2007) Open access developments in France: the HAL Open Archives system Learned Publishing Vol.20 (4): 267-282.
DOI: 10.1087/095315107X239636

Bosc, H, (2008) Self-Archiving in France: Two Different Policies and Their Results Liinc em Revista, 4 (2): 196-217.

Bosc, H. (2009) Researchers' Right to Self-Archive Their Articles In Open 113.

Couperin (2010) Open Access in France: a state of the art report.
Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Couperin, INIST-CNRS.

European Geosciences Union (2011) Ten years of Interactive Open Access Publishing.

Gruttemeier, H (2006) The way to Open Access: French strategies to move forward, 2006. In Library and Information Service (Tushu Qingbao Gongzuo). LIS Press, Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences: 27-33.

Rousseau D.D (2010) Open access publications of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) with examples from Climate of the Past, facts, innovative approaches, dissemination, 36 p.

Peyssard, J-C (2011) OpenEdition Freemium: Developing a Sustainable Library-Centered Economic Model for Open Access. Paper presented at IFLA 2011, 13-16 August, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Schöpfel, J (2005) "Between open access and copyright: document supply in France", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 33 (3): 158 – 161. DOI: 10.1108/02641610510618063



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