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France

Open Science (FR0047)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: France Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Environment and Climate, Open Data, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Science & Technology, Social Accountability Measures & Feedback Loops

IRM Review

IRM Report: France Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Developing an “open science” ecosystem
Lead institution(s):
Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
New commitment
OGP principles with which the commitment is associated:
Transparency; accountability; innovation and technology at the service of openness
Challenges
Open science is a movement in which research materials and results are disseminated without technical, legal, geographical or commercial obstacles, and ideally with no unnecessary delay.
It draws on the digital transformation of our societies in order to develop open access and open data, and, more generally, open scientific processes. It includes openness of assessment procedures, indicators, reuse licences, source codes and digital practices.
It seeks to develop an ecosystem in which science will be more cumulative, more effectively backed up by data, more transparent, more integrated, more rapid and more universally accessible. It leads to a democratisation of access to knowledge useful to research, training and society as a whole, and also provides an opportunity for participatory science. It fosters scientific advances, unforeseen advances (serendipity) in particular, along with economic and social progress in France and Europe, in developed and developing countries alike.
Ambitions
Developing an “open science” ecosystem
In France, open science is making very unequal headway, its level of maturity depending very much on branch, players, organisations and territories. The 2016 Digital Republic Law constituted a major advance, with provisions promoting open access along with text and data mining (TDM).
There is still much to be done, however, if open science is to come fully into its own in scientific practice.
The road map in detail

Setting up a “Committee for Open Science” to promote open national and international exchange on questions relating to open science (Access, data, metrics, codes, participatory science, etc.). 2018
Setting up a system for quantitative monitoring of the state of progress of open-access dissemination of national scientific literature. 2019
Setting up a system for rapid, transparent monitoring of expenditure on “article processing charges” and “book processing charges”. 2020
Setting up a system for transparent (public) monitoring of expenditure on electronic acquisitions in university libraries. Open- data dissemination of expenditure on the Ministry in charge of Higher Education’s open-data portal (Electronic Resources Survey [ERE]).
2018
Creating an open dataset on funding of research projects selected following calls for projects, and its beneficiaries (2019). 2019
National membership of ORCID (Open Research and Contributor ID – a single system for identification of researchers, enabling users to find out, more simply and with greater certainty, what scientific contributions any given researcher has made). 2018 or 2019
Speeding up development of the national open archive, HAL, with investment on simplicity of use and interoperability by increasing its resources. 2018 - 2020
Expanding the scanR R&D search engine and the Isidore research platform providing access to digital data on human and social sciences (HSS), raising awareness of their existence and developing their use, in particular to nourish public debate on research results 2018 - 2020
Communicating to scientific communities on the digital law’s implications with regard to openness of publications and data. 2018 or 2019
In the context of public support for reviews, recommending adoption of a policy on open data associated with articles and development of data papers.
Providing support for progressive universalisation of data management plans in calls for research projects, and encouraging the opening of data produced by funded programmes. 2019 and so on

IRM Midterm Status Summary

18. Developing an “open science” ecosystem

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

Open science is a movement in which research materials and results are disseminated without technical, legal, geographical or commercial obstacles, and ideally with no unnecessary delay.

It draws on the digital transformation of our societies in order to develop open access and open data, and, more generally, open scientific processes. It includes openness of assessment procedures, indicators, reuse licences, source codes and digital practices.

It seeks to develop an ecosystem in which science will be more cumulative, more effectively backed up by data, more transparent, more integrated, more rapid and more universally accessible. It leads to a democratisation of access to knowledge useful to research, training and society as a whole, and also provides an opportunity for participatory science. It fosters scientific advances, unforeseen advances (serendipity) in particular, along with economic and social progress in France and Europe, in developed and developing countries alike.

In France, open science is making very unequal headway, its level of maturity depending very much on branch, players, organisations and territories. The 2016 Digital Republic Law constituted a major advance, with provisions promoting open access along with text and data mining (TDM).

There is still much to be done, however, if open science is to come fully into its own in scientific practice. [71]

Milestones

18.1 Setting up a “Committee for Open Science” to promote open national and international exchange on questions relating to open science (Access, data, metrics, codes, participatory science, etc.).

18.2 Setting up a system for quantitative monitoring of the state of progress of open-access dissemination of national scientific literature.

18.3 Setting up a system for rapid, transparent monitoring of expenditure on “article processing charges” and “book processing charges”.

18.4 Setting up a system for transparent (public) monitoring of expenditure on electronic acquisitions in university libraries. Open- data dissemination of expenditure on the Ministry in charge of Higher Education’s open-data portal (Electronic Resources Survey [ERE]).

18.5 Creating an open dataset on funding of research projects selected following calls for projects, and its beneficiaries (2019).

18.6 National membership of ORCID (Open Research and Contributor ID – a single system for identification of researchers, enabling users to find out, more simply and with greater certainty, what scientific contributions any given researcher has made).

18.7 Speeding up development of the national open archive, HAL, with investment on simplicity of use and interoperability by increasing its resources.

18.8 Expanding the scanR R&D search engine and the Isidore research platform providing access to digital data on human and social sciences (HSS), raising awareness of their existence and developing their use, in particular to nourish public debate on research results

18.9 Communicating to scientific communities on the digital law’s implications with regard to openness of publications and data.

18.10 In the context of public support for reviews, recommending adoption of a policy on open data associated with articles and development of data papers.

18.11 Providing support for progressive universalisation of data management plans in calls for research projects, and encouraging the opening of data produced by funded programmes.

Start Date: 2018

End Date: 2020

Context and Objectives

The mainstream academic publishing industry requires payment to access scientific papers and results. This payment is often obtained through public funding. This situation restricts access to academic research and technical literature, especially for small universities, which creates inequalities. [72] The action plan notes that open science has developed at unequal rhythms depending on disciplines, organizations, and localities.

It was in response to the limited academic results available in open access that the former government included provisions on open access in the 2016 Digital Republic Bill. In this same vein, the current minister for higher education and research developed an action plan for open science in 2018. [73] For this purpose, the ministry hired Marin Dacos, one of the pioneers of open science in France, as a special counsel. [74] In 2018, the ministry created a steering committee for open science, bringing together stakeholders from the government, research institutions, agencies funding research, and the Council of research evaluation. The government created a website to facilitate access to information regarding open science initiatives. [75] The ministry of France’s efforts to facilitate open access to scientific research constitutes part of a global initiative launched in 2002 in Budapest, within the Budapest Open Access Initiative. [76]

The commitment provides a detailed map of initiatives to further open science in France. They range from setting up the institutional infrastructure through the committee, to creating monitoring tools, opening datasets and archives, and accompanying the various actors on the path toward opening science. The commitment is relevant to the OGP values of access to information and technology and innovation. Many of its milestones concern the publication of new data and information, and most of them concern the creation and enrichment of digital platforms.

The commitment is specific enough to be verifiable. The milestones contain concrete actions that could be easily verified in the framework of the implementation report (e.g., setting up a committee, creating an open dataset).

This initiative could have a moderate effect on opening science in France. If fully implemented, this commitment would be an important step, since limited information is currently available. Steps toward opening access to academic results have already been taken (e.g., through the open archives the Open Edition Center, the HAL repository), often at the initiative of academics and universities. [77] This commitment is part of another action plan, specifically on open science, that the commitment itself seeks to operationalize.

Savoirs Com1, a civil society collective, considered this open science action plan “too good to be true.” [78] These activities would provide better access to information regarding the costs of academic publishing and acquisition of subscriptions by public universities. It would also facilitate the management of data produced by the research community and provide new incentives to academics to give open access to their work. These incentives are, however, currently limited to research funded through competitive funding. [79]

Next steps

The IRM researcher recommends that the commitment be carried on in the next action plan and that:

  • The targets to ensure open access to scientific research be made clearer;
  • The number of separate milestones be reduced, and the focus put on what is relevant to OGP principles, rather than what concerns internal coordination and administration; and
  • Training material and an information campaign be prepared to mobilize stakeholders and the public more widely.

 

[71] For a Transparent and Collaborative Government: France National Action Plan 2018–2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/France-Action-Plan-2018-2020-English.pdf (accessed on 10 January 2019).
[72] David Larousserie, and Marin Dacos, “Héraut de la Science Ouverte,” Le Monde, 4 December 2018.
[73] “Recherche,” Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation, Republique Francaise, http://www.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/cid132529/le-plan-national-pour-la-science-ouverte-les-resultats-de-la-recherche-scientifique-ouverts-a-tous-sans-entrave-sans-delai-sans-paiement.html (accessed on 20 February 2019).
[74] David Larousserie, op. cit.
[75] Ouvrir la Science, https://www.ouvrirlascience.fr/ (accessed on 20, February 2019).
[76] “Read the Budapest Open Access Initiative,” Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002, https://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read (accessed on 20 February 2019).
[77] David Larousserie, op. cit.
[78] Xavier Berne, “Le Plan du Gouvernement pour Atteindre ‘100% de Publications Scientifiques en Accès Ouvert.’” Next Inpact, 10 July 2018, https://www.nextinpact.com/news/106817-le-plan-gouvernement-pour-atteindre-100-publications-scientifiques-en-acces-ouvert.htm (accessed on 20 February 2019).
[79] David Larousserie, “La Science Française va être Plus Accessible,” Le Monde, 4 July 2018.

Commitments

  1. Transparency of Public Services

    FR0030, 2018, E-Government

  2. Transparency of Public Procurement

    FR0031, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Transparency of Development Aid

    FR0032, 2018, Access to Information

  4. Expand Open Data

    FR0033, 2018, Access to Information

  5. Improved Data Policies and Administration

    FR0034, 2018, Access to Information

  6. Transparency of Public Algorithms

    FR0035, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open Data at Sub-National Level

    FR0036, 2018, Access to Information

  8. State AI Lab

    FR0037, 2018, Automated Decision-Making

  9. Administrative Capacity-Building

    FR0038, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Public Service Incubators

    FR0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Streamline Data Flows

    FR0040, 2018, Access to Information

  12. Open Etat Forum

    FR0041, 2018, E-Government

  13. Online Procedures Dashboard

    FR0042, 2018, E-Government

  14. Govtech Summit

    FR0043, 2018, Capacity Building

  15. Imrove Public Consultation Mechanisms

    FR0044, 2018, E-Government

  16. International Transparency and Citizen Participation

    FR0045, 2018, Aid

  17. Public Pariticipation in Sustainable Development

    FR0046, 2018, Access to Information

  18. Open Science

    FR0047, 2018, Access to Information

  19. Citizen Involvement in Cour Des Comptes

    FR0048, 2018, Access to Information

  20. Transparency of Interest Representatives

    FR0049, 2018, Access to Information

  21. Access to Information on Public Officials

    FR0050, 2018, Access to Information

  22. Open Regional and Local Authorities' Data

    FR0001, 2015, Access to Information

  23. Publish Municipal Council Decisions and Reports Online

    FR0002, 2015, E-Government

  24. Publish Building Permits in Open Data Format

    FR0003, 2015, Access to Information

  25. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Public Procurement

    FR0004, 2015, Access to Information

  26. Improve Transparency in International Development Aid

    FR0005, 2015, Access to Information

  27. Open Access to Public Policy Evaluations

    FR0006, 2015, E-Government

  28. Involve Citizens in Cour Des Comptes Work

    FR0007, 2015, Access to Information

  29. Access to Public Officials Transparency Obligations

    FR0008, 2015, Access to Information

  30. Starred commitment Beneficial Ownership

    FR0009, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  31. Transparency in Extractive Industries

    FR0010, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  32. Transparency in International Trade Commercial Negotiations

    FR0011, 2015, Access to Information

  33. Fix My Neighborhood

    FR0012, 2015, E-Government

  34. Digital Fix-It

    FR0013, 2015, Access to Information

  35. Co-Produce Data Infrastructure with Civil Society

    FR0014, 2015, Access to Information

  36. Starred commitment Open Legal Resources

    FR0015, 2015, Access to Information

  37. Reform Participatory Mechanisms

    FR0016, 2015, Open Regulations

  38. Mediation and Justice

    FR0017, 2015, Access to Justice

  39. Starred commitment Open and Circulate Data

    FR0018, 2015, Access to Information

  40. Open Calculation Models and Simulators

    FR0019, 2015, Access to Information

  41. Open Platform for Government Resources

    FR0020, 2015, E-Government

  42. Improve Public Services Through E-Government and User Interaction

    FR0021, 2015, E-Government

  43. Empower Civil Society to Support Schools

    FR0022, 2015, E-Government

  44. Diversify Recruitment Within Public Institutions

    FR0023, 2015, Capacity Building

  45. Culture Change

    FR0024, 2015, Capacity Building

  46. Spread Public Innovation

    FR0025, 2015, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Protect Against Conflicts of Interest

    FR0026, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  48. Civil Society & Transparency in COP21 Conference Planning

    FR0027, 2015, Environment and Climate

  49. Open Data and Climate/Sustainable Development

    FR0028, 2015, Access to Information

  50. Collaborate with Civil Society on Climate and Sustainable Development

    FR0029, 2015, Environment and Climate

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