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EXAMPLARITY CRITERIA for funding from the National Open Science Fund
Committee notes
The criteria are intended to guide the choice of investments to be made under the National Plan for Open Science and the National Open Science Fund in terms of platforms, infrastructure and editorial content. The 44 criteria are classified in three levels - essential, highly recommended and desired.

EXAMPLARITY CRITERIA for funding from the National Open Science Fund through platforms, infrastructures and editorial content.

Version approved by the Open Science Steering Committee on April 17th 2019.

English translation by Richard Dickinson –Translation Unit, Inist-CNRS.

The National Open Science Plan published by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation on July 4th 2018 sets out France’s ambitions in the field of open scientific publishing:

“In general, the scientific community must regain control of the publishing system, in the spirit of the Jussieu Call for Open science and Bibliodiversity. It must make efforts to involve reputable actors who develop a less concentrated publishing environment, obeying the principles of open and ethical access, particularly in terms of transparency, governance and intellectual property.”

Bearing this in mind, the Open Science Committee’s working groups were asked to propose criteria to guide the choice of investments to be made within the framework of the national open science policy in general, and the National Open Science Fund in particular. They established 44 exemplarity criteria. These criteria relate to the degree of openness of current or future initiatives. They are defined in terms of governance, ethics and transparency, viability, replicability/portability, the business model involved and interoperability. These criteria are classified in three levels – essential, highly recommended and desired. An indispensable criterion has to be fulfilled; a highly recommended criterion that is not fulfilled must be compensated for elsewhere or be inapplicable; a desirable criterion is a positive sign if it is met.

These criteria are largely inspired by the international state of the art on the subject, in particular those established by Cameron Neylon et al. [1]Bilder G, Lin J, Neylon C (2015) Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructure-v1, http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1314859 in 2015 and comply with the best practices set out by the DOAJ and the OASPA with the principles of the Fair Open Access Alliance, Go FAIR and finally those disseminated in January 2019 by COAR and Sparc

These criteria were submitted for approval by the Open Science Steering Committee in April 2019. They will be regularly updated to take into account the experience acquired and the evolution of the state of the art.



Exemplarity criteria for the operation of platforms and infrastructures


ESSENTIAL (13 criteria)


DESIRED (3 criteria)

Clear definition of governance institutions, their objectives, relationships and ways of functioning Establishment of science bodies (e. g. a scientific council) that are regularly renewed (with a limited mandate). Governance with the widest possible national, European and international geographical, linguistic and disciplinary diversity depending on the vocation of the structure.
Participation in the governance of user and scientific communities represented in their diversity. Dynamics of dialogue and cooperation with initiatives and actors in the field.
Regular review of the infrastructure or platform roadmap.
Display of the General Terms and Conditions of Use of the infrastructure or platform.
Readability and display of the structure’s methods and sources of financing and how they are adequate for the mission involved.
If necessary, definition of the criteria and way of functioning for membership (for example, a journal wishing to be hosted by a platform) and guarantee of their transparency.
A procedure must exist for the declaration of links and conflicts of interest.
Openness in procedures for the selection of members of governance bodies.
Viability / Durability
Presentation of the financing model which enables the infrastructure or platform’s viability: balanced accounts, scalability of uses, service innovations, maintenance and evolution of technical aspects. The general operation of the infrastructure or platform is not based on the financing of one-off projects
Revenues based on services associated with content and not on the commodification of content itself For privately managed infrastructures or platforms, sufficient financial margin has to exist to ensure it can function during a transition period in the event of cessation of activity
Transparency, proportionality and reasonableness of the prices charged for services where applicable taking into account the reality of the cost and service provided
A public document should set out the possible disappearance of the service in the form of a progressive process or by merging, thus guaranteeing the sustainability of data and missions
Use of open standards in the spirit of the FAIR principles, including the use of open, standardized, structured, documented, valid, easily available and interoperable data and metadata Open source availability of the entire infrastructure or platform source code
Availability of automated access to all metadata and content (e. g. via an API or regular dumps) Infrastructure or platform built from existing open source software building bricks with a good level of technical maturity and possibly a large community of contributors and/or users



Exemplarity criteria for editorial content


ESSENTIAL (12 criteria)


DESIRED (4 criteria)

Governance, integrity and editorial policy

Definition and public dissemination of the composition and method of setting up editorial bodies (editorial committee, etc.)

Open, diversified and regularly renewed editorial bodies (limited mandates which may be renewed)

Selection and evaluation of scientific content by peers according to clearly stated procedures

Public dissemination of a priori or a posteriori procedures taken for the purpose of scientific integrity (data fabrication, plagiarism, etc.)

The editorial line (of the journal or series) and editorial procedures (including evaluation processes) must be clearly displayed

Legal framework

Description and public display of the contractual framework established with the authors and the licensing policy

Use of the most open license possible (preferably the Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY)

Authors should retain all their rights, in compliance with the license (no exclusive transfer to the publisher or a third party)

Business model – general points

The business model shall be explicitly made available for public consultation

The submission and publication of articles do not depend on the payment of unit publication costs (such as “APC” or “BPC”)

Publication in immediate and full open access, now or after a transition process programme

There must be a strategy for the medium-term economic viability of the journal or collection

Business model – The special case of journals and collections with unit payment of publication costs (type “APC” or “BPC”)

Transparency, proportionality and reasonable nature of the price for the services invoiced, where applicable, taking into account the reality of the cost and service provided

Possibilities of exemption from possible publication costs depending on the author’s affiliation institution (middle- and low-income countries, institution supporting the journal or collection, etc.)

Evolution of possible publication costs in the framework of a contractual commitment

Accessibility, interoperability and sustainability of contents

Free access to all content without identification and DRMs

Unique identifier and referencing mechanism (e. g. DOI) for each editorial unit (article or book chapter)

Open dissemination of research data associated with a publication where the legal framework allows this to be the case.

Open, standardized, structured, documented, valid, easily accessible and interoperable data and metadata

Separatable formats (pdf, epub, xml, etc.) for each editorial unit

Content and end-user interface accessibility policy for public groups with difficulty of access and areas with limited Internet speed

Use of ORCID for author identification

Conditions for the long-term storage and accessibility of content

References   [ + ]

1. Bilder G, Lin J, Neylon C (2015) Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructure-v1, http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1314859