Open science is the practice of making research publications and data freely available. It takes advantage of the digital transition to develop open access to publications and, to the fullest extent possible, to research data.
Open science seeks to create an ecosystem in which scientific research is more cumulative, better supported by data and more transparent with faster and more universal access to results.
Open science makes knowledge accessible to all, which is useful for research, education, the economy and society.
Open science aims to bring research financed by public funding out of the confines of databases with restricted access. It reduces duplication in gathering, creating, sharing and reusing scientific material and thus improves research efficiency.
Open science also drives scientific progress – especially unexpected breakthroughs – as well as innovation and economic and social progress in France, other industrialised countries and developing countries alike.
Finally, open science fosters scientific integrity and people’s trust in science. It is an advance for both science and society.
With this National Plan, France is adopting an ambitious Open Science policy that aligns with international commitments it has made for the Open Government Partnership (OGP), an initiative that brings together over 70 countries with a view to enhancing transparency in government.
This National Plan also addresses the ambition for Europe laid out in the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science. France is adopting a policy to extend and broaden the European Union’s efforts in this area.
“France is committed to making scientific research results open to all – researchers, companies, citizens.”
Monitor open science
Our ambition is to ensure that data produced by government-funded research in France are gradually structured to comply with the FAIR Data Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable), and that they are preserved and, whenever possible, open to all. During the announcement of the “Artificial Intelligence” plan at the Collège de France on 29 March 2018, the President of the French Republic announced plans to implement an Open Access dissemination compulsory mandate for all data published through government-funded projects. Certain exceptions to this obligation will be admitted as set out in law, such as when the data in question involve professional secrecy, industrial and trade secrets, personal data or content protected by copyright. The mandate will also include best practices determined by each scientific community, such as setting the lengths of embargo periods.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation will create the position of Chief Data Officer (CDO) for research data. The CDO will work with the French government’s Chief Data Officers and oversee a network of research data officers in the relevant institutions. An ANR FLASH call will accelerate the structuring of the scientific community to promote the FAIR Data Principles and open up data. Generally speaking, the inclusion of data processing costs will be allowed in calls for projects.
Researchers will be asked to file data in certified data repositories, whose governance and intellectual property rules must comply with best practices. Accordingly, national and European research infrastructures will be given priority, especially subject-based and discipline-specific repositories. Data management plans, a key tool in defining rules for structuring, preserving and disseminating data, will be generalised. A research data award will be created to showcase and reward teams that have performed outstanding work in this area.
France will support the Research Data Alliance (RDA), an international network that establishes best practices concerning research data. It will also support the development and preservation of software, an inseparable part of humanity’s technical and scientific knowledge. In line with these efforts, France will lend its support to the Software Heritageinitiative.
As part of its government support for journals, France will recommend the adoption of an open data policy associated with articles and the development of data papers. A similar policy on theses will also be implemented.
“Research data are the raw materials of knowledge. Sharing them means opening new scientific perspectives.”
4. Make open access dissemination mandatory for research data resulting from government-funded projects.
5. Create the post of Chief Data Officer and the corresponding network within the relevant institutions.
6. Create the conditions for and promote the adoption of an Open Data policy for articles published by researchers
The success of open science implies developing new basic practices for researchers. This requires defining new skills, developing new training programmes and creating new services. The Open Science Committee, which brings together more than 200 experts in the field, will work to define the new skills required. Initial efforts will be aimed at postgraduate schools, which are at the right level and time in a researcher’s career to implement suitable training. An “Open Science”certification will be awarded to postgraduate schools that offer a training programme in line with the objectives of this National Plan. Additionally, in order to develop training courses focused on data skills as well as other general open science skills, a call for expressions of interest will fund proposals and trial programmes on these topics.
To broaden the scope of this National Plan and deploy it in France, all research agencies are encouraged to develop Open Science policies within their institutions.
It will not be possible to change the science ecosystem without transparency. It is important to open access to datasets that concern financing for calls for projects and winning proposals as well as institutions’ acquisition costs for journals and books.
Although Open Science has certain regional features, it is a global movement that can only be further developed through substantial international coordination. France wants to play its part by promoting the idea of an efficient, regulated, transparent and resilient ecosystem that benefits the scientific community and society. It will help shape this international landscape with regard to services, standards and best practices by strengthening its participation in European and international open science infrastructures (European Open Science Cloud – EOSC; GO FAIR, for which it will run the international office in Paris; Research Data Alliance – RDA; OpenAIRE; Directory of Open Access Journals – DOAJ; OPERAS) as well as in other similar networks or services likely to support transnational structuring (e.g., SCOSS). In particular, France has decided to create a French-Dutch foundation, the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), to develop an international quality certification for open access books. Similarly, it will contribute to sharing information and coordinating international negotiations with publishers, which will be facilitated by efforts to ensure transparency on costs. Finally, France will help define and regulate the building blocks of the open science ecosystem, such as Crossref and DataCite for DOIs and ORCID for researcher identifiers.
Publications: Scientific communications researchers use to share their work. These publications have been validated by a peer review process.
Research data: Factual records (figures, texts, images, sounds, videos, etc.) used as primary sources for research and which are generally accepted by the scientific community as being necessary to validate research results.
Open science skills: Skills related to open science publishing, data structuring, related law, new digital uses and best practices.
Publication charges: Some open access journals (28%) require authors to pay publication fees, also known as article processing charges (APC) to finance publishing work. There are other funding models.
Data paper: As opposed to a traditional scientific article that uses, analyses and interprets scientific data, a data paper describes in detail one or more datasets to facilitate their understanding and eventual reuse.
Chief Data Officer (CDO): The CDO coordinates the actions of stakeholders with regard to research data inventory, governance, production, sharing and use. The term should not be confused with Data Protection Officer (DPO).
FAIR Data Principles: The idea of FAIR data refers to how data is structured, stored, presented and published to ensure that it is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.
Bibliodiversity: In the publishing world, bibliodiversity refers to the diversity of publishing stakeholders, as opposed to a concentrated number of stakeholders.
Sigles et organisations
DOAJ– Directory of open access journals
DOAB– Directory of open access books
Crossref– A digital object identifier (DOI) registration agency for scientific publications
DataCite– A digital object identifier (DOI) registration agency for research data
EOSC– European Open Science Cloud
GO FAIR– International initiative that seeks to create an international research environment enhanced by data
HAL– French national open repository run by the Centre for Direct Scientific Communication (CCSD)
I4OC– Initiative for Open Citations
ISIDORE– Search engine for humanities and social science publications and data
OPERAS– Open access in the European research area through scholarly communication
ORCID– Open Researcher and Contributor ID
OGP– Open Government Partnership, an initiative that brings together over 70 participating countries and hundreds of civil society organisations working for transparency in government
RDA– Research Data Alliance Research data sharing without barriers
ScanR– search engine for research and innovation
SCOSS– The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services(SCOSS) http://scoss.org/