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.

There are 70 Open Access repositories in France, 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 130+ OA journals indexed in DOAJ.

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:

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:

Funding 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 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.

List of Publications

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


(Modified on December 2013)

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