French National Fund for Open Science support to three international infrastructures

The National Fund for Open Science

The French National Fund for Open Science (FNSO) has decided to support three international open science infrastructures as part of SCOSS, the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services initiative.

As announced when the fund was created, the Steering Committee for Open Science has decided to support three SCOSS-selected international infrastructures with a total of €450,000 funding.
This international commitment will complement the FNSO’s call for projects released in December 2019 with a budget of €2.15 million for projects and initiatives that are strongly embedded in French interests.
The three supported infrastructures (OpenCitations, Public Knowledge Project and Directory of Open Access Books) were first evaluated by a jury composed by SCOSS, and also afterwards by the French Committee for Open Science, according to its key selection criteria set out in 2019. The results of this analysis were positive and prompted a dialogue with the projects on some minor points for improvement.

OpenCitations is an infrastructure based at the University of Bologna in Italy which aims to disseminate bibliographic and citation metadata in open access in collaboration with other open science infrastructures, and with a level of quality and coverage that provides a workable, free and open alternative to the academic community’s current dependency on proprietary tools. This will free up possibilities for citation analysis, promote the evolution of bibliometric indicators and broaden knowledge of science. The FNSO is contributing €250,000, which is 16% of the amount that was requested under SCOSS, and is committing to a political and technical partnership with OpenCitations.
For Silvio Peroni and David Shotton who lead this project: “OpenCitations are deeply honoured and delighted that the French Open Science Committee has chosen to award such a substantial portion of its open science budget to support our work. These funds will be spent (a) on strengthening our computational infrastructure, (b) on employing software engineers to develop new data sources and services, and data curators to ensure the highest possible quality of our data, and (c) on community engagement through workshops and publications.”

The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) is part of the Simon Fraser University in Canada which has been developing and distributing for 20 years the most widely used open source software in the world for the digital publishing of scholarly content, Open Journal system (OJS) for journals and Open Monograph Press (OMP) for books. PKP also offers a content hosting service. The support allocated by the FNSO is €75,000, or 10% of the target amount under SCOSS.
PKP’s director, John Willinsky said: “PKP is honoured by the National Open Science Fund of France’s decision to support our work. The FNSO’s commitment to the spread of open access, and their part in creating a sustainable European and international open science  dynamic, will help to ensure an open future guided by scientific inquiry and understanding. With their generous contribution we will be able to play a role in making their work a reality.”

The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) is a Franco-Dutch foundation jointly run by the OAPEN infrastructure, Aix-Marseille University and the CNRS. It is a key indexing tool for peer-reviewed academic books in open access. Its equivalent for journals is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Supporting DOAB is an integral part of the National Plan for Open Science. This amounts to €125,000 and represents 25% of the target amount under SCOSS.
Eelco Fewerda, Co-Director of DOAB, said: “We are delighted with the decision by the French Open Science Committee to support DOAB through the SCOSS second round funding cycle. It is not only the first public commitment towards this funding cycle, it is also a substantial contribution. DOAB will be able to engage in community outreach to support the continuation of the SCOSS campaign and interact with the open science community. We hope this contribution from the French Open Science Committee will be an opportunity to work more closely with French University Libraries.”