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Publication of a study on opening source codes in French Higher Education and Research

News from committee
22/02/2021

Since its creation the Free and Open Source Software Project Group has studied the many issues linked to software and opening source codes within French Higher Education and Research (ESR). This work led to the publication in 2019 of the opportunity note “Encouraging A Wider Usage Of Software Derived From Research” which gives an overview presentation of the issues at stake and makes recommendations.

In the framework of the expected support from the Interministerial Directorate for Digital Affairs (DINUM) for the public data policy mission, its department Etalab asked the Inno cabinet to provide a study of opening source codes in Higher Education And Research as an extension to the work carried out since 2019.

Inno designed a questionnaire that Etalab and the Committee for Open Science distributed in September 2020. Inno used the results of this questionnaire and numerous interviews to make an inventory of practices for publishing and promoting source codes in Higher Education and Research along with a list of recommendations for the future. This was all shared with the mission led by the French MP Éric Bothorel who based his own work on these elements.

This study and the associated data have now been made public in various formats with a report on HAL and on the site https://opensource-esr.pubpub.org/ and the data uploaded to data.gouv.fr. A framagit directory was created for the source code used to analyse the questionnaire and produce the graphics.

We hope this will help initiate a broader discussion around these now well-identified issues.