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White Paper — Open Science in a Digital Republic

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Scientific and Technical Information Department - CNRS

Appendix

Presentation of the White Paper

Texte intégral

1The White Paper: A public research approach in support of public research

2At a time when the Digital Republic Bill is proposing to insert provisions relating to open access in the French Research Code, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), alongside its partners in the ISTEX project, as well as a large number of researchers and actors in the field of public research, are offering via this White Paper the results of their deliberations and analyses.

3For several years now, the scientific community involved in public research has been arguing for the need to create a legal and organisational framework for access to scientific and technical data and information in the digital world, in particular data from its own research activities.

4This White Paper gives an account of these reflections on the practices of researchers with regard to the use of scientific and technical information and digital tools. The package of proposals for the creation of Open Science is the result of combined efforts and powerful testimonies from the world of research. The origin, objectives and implementation approach of this White Paper are presented below.

Origin of the White Paper

5The plan to write this White Paper was conceived during discussions on securing the ISTEX platform project and the initial observation that the economic model of scientific publishing, a sector where prices have increased considerably, is no longer viable for education and research organisations as it stands.

6Moreover, the call for Open Science is fully in line with the international Open movement in favour of sharing scientific knowledge and with France’s ambition, which has already been stated on several occasions.

The ISTEX Investments for the Future project: The first platform for open access to science

7ISTEX: A digital multi-use platform. ISTEX, the Excellence Initiative of Scientific and Technical Information, is a project for a digital multi-use platform (database of databases), designed to the highest international standards, accessible remotely by every scientific community and offering “all the means currently available of consultation and analysis in all scientific communities”.1 This database of databases aims to:

  • give researchers open and free access to all scientific and technical information (STI) worldwide, contained in archives and current collections;

  • provide researchers with high value-added services for the processing of scientific and technical knowledge and data.

8The French Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research provides the following definition for STI:

  • Scientific and technical information (STI) comprises the sum of information produced by research that is necessary for scientific and industrial activity. By its nature, STI covers all scientific and technical sectors and can exist in multiple forms: articles, reviews and scientific books, technical specifications describing synthesis processes, technical documentation that accompanies products, patent notices, bibliographic databases, grey literature, raw databases, open archives and data repositories that are accessible on the Internet, portals, etc.”2

9In the framework of the legal underpinning of the ISTEX Investments for the Future project (ANR-10-IDEX-0004-02 – www.istex.fr), certain legal gaps and vacuums have become apparent.

10The issues. An analysis of ISTEX’s technical, economic and legal framework revealed several issues to which positive law offered no satisfactory answers in light of the needs of science:

  • the economic and legal model of scientific publishing no longer corresponds to the technical model of digital platforms;

  • access to and sharing of scientific data as working tools of scientific communities are confronted by clauses on exclusive transfer of intellectual property rights, as well as the principles of copyright and database rights;

  • the ISTEX platform includes value-added services such as the practice of “text and data mining”: this enables researchers to use tools such as smart search, data cross-referencing, exploration and transdisciplinary searches. This practice has no legal framework and certain aspects conflict with copyright and database rights.

  • 3 An open policy for scientific and technical information of the future”, CNRS, page 9.

11The challenges. ISTEX fits more broadly into two challenges for STI in the digital age as reiterated by CNRS in its open strategy for STI of the future,3 i.e.:

  • open access conditions” applicable to STI;

  • provid[ing] a response to all requirements”, in particular to take into account practices that differ according to the scientific communities.

12This context, in the face of these findings (particularly the inadequacy of the legal-economic model of scientific publishing), coupled with these challenges, led to the idea of drafting a White Paper identifying the needs of stakeholders in scientific research, and aimed at changing the legislation in force.

The imperative: To change the economic models of science in the digital age

13The existing models. Several economic models coexist in digital scientific publication. Their precise characteristics are described by the site www.openaccess.inist.fr and their principles are listed below:

  • the “author pays” model: “when authors or their institutions of affiliation or funding bodies pay the publisher an article processing charge to make their articles openly and freely accessible to any reader”;

  • the “reader pays” model: “[the] traditional model in publishing, based on subscription. Readers may only have access to journals and books for which they, or more often their institutions, have purchased a subscription from one or more publishers”;

  • the “sponsor pays” model: “[t]he journal is financed by a learned society, research organisation, foundation, etc.”;

  • the hybrid model: some publishers make articles published in their journals openly accessible in return for a fee paid by the authors or their funders (author pays model); readers must pay a subscription fee for access to the journals or books (reader pays);4

  • the “Green Road”: the Green Road concerns self-archiving and centralised (such as HAL in France) or thematic (such as ArXiv in physics) institutional repositories, enabling the free access and use of scientific articles, on or shortly after their publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

14Criticism of the hybrid model. Today, the model most widely used in practice is the hybrid model, which generates a double payment, most often by the laboratory. It can be summarised as follows:

15The excesses of this hybrid model, author-reader pay, have been widely reported by the scientists themselves:

  • the emergence of predator publishers who “have polluted the global system of scientific publishing by taking advantage of Open Access in order to publicise pseudo-scientific journals”;5

  • the payment by authors of a substantial APC: the study Developing an effective market for Open Access APC shows that the highest APCs are those of the hybrid model, amounting to around $2 727 (€2 328) per article;6

  • as early as September 2012, the three French mathematics learned societies (the French Statistical Society (SFdS), French Society for Applied and Industrial Mathematics (SMAI) and French Mathematical Society (SMF)) published a declaration entitled “Open Access : mise en garde et effets pervers du système auteur-payeur” (Open access: Warnings and the perverse effects of the author pays system);

  • the Opinion of the CNRS Ethics Committee of 29 June 2012 on “Open access to scientific publications” warned against the dangers of this author pays model;

  • the payment by the reader of a continually increasing subscription:

16The march towards Open Science is therefore accompanied by a more general discussion:

    • 9 STI Strategic Orientation Plan of the CNRS, “The Economic Models of Publishing”, page 13.

    on the sharing of values in the publishing chain, on the margins associated with the business of the global groups, on optimal economic publication models”.9

An international context that is broadly open to knowledge sharing

17This White Paper is in tune with the international context that favours the sharing of scientific knowledge.

18The move towards open access is a global phenomenon. In April 2012, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities endorsed a declaration entitled “Open Science for the 21st Century”, which advocates the sharing of research results and tools.

19The accessibility of research data is also being debated in many international forums, including the OECD and UNESCO.

20Examples have also proliferated at national level, with countries incorporating provisions in their legislation promoting open access and/or text and data mining.

21French political discourse is also following this trend.

A new ambition for France

22Origin. The debate on open access to scientific data, which emerged in the 2000s, has in recent months experienced a revival in France in both strength and scope, in the framework of the Digital Republic Bill, focusing on two main topics:

  • the need to place scientific publications online along with the data underlying the scientific hypothesis;

  • the need to enable researchers to conduct data processing, and text and data mining (TDM).

23Speech of January 2013. During the speeches at the Fifth Open Access Days on the theme of “Generalising open access to research results” (on 24 and 25 January 2013), Geneviève Fioraso, then Minister of Higher Education and Research, had already introduced the principle and the issues of Open Science by stating that:

  • Scientific information is a common asset that must be available to all.”

24The Finance Bill of 2014. In addition, the annex to the Finance Bill of 2014, entitled Rapport sur les politiques nationales de recherche et de formations supérieures (Report on the national policies of research and higher education) includes a Point 8 on scientific and technical information and documentary networks, mentioning in particular:

  • the development of open access to scientific publications”.

25Digital Strategy of the Government. In the Government’s Digital Strategy of 18 June 2015, the action of “[f]ostering open science by the free dissemination of research publications and data” is also clearly stated as an emblematic measure of the digital plan.

26The text specifies:

  • In order to ensure that our research is ever more competitive in the global arena, France is intensifying its commitment in the opening of publications and data from publicly funded research”;

  • The free movement of scientific knowledge and its free exploitation contributes to innovation, encourages collaboration, improves the quality of publications, avoids the duplication of effort, allows the exploitation of the results of previous research and promotes the participation of citizens and civil society”;

    • 10 Digital Strategy of the Government”, Gaîté Lyrique, Thursday 18 June 2015.

    Open access to research data, whose terms are being examined in ongoing work, will constitute an extension of open access to publications.”10

27The versions of the draft bill. Several versions of the draft Digital Republic Bill were unveiled before the official version that was submitted for public consultation.

28A first version of the draft bill on France’s digital ambition, the text of which was available online on 21 July 2015, included:

  • a Section 3, “Open access to research work”, creating the right to make scientific contributions, funded at least 50% by public sources, publicly available after an embargo period has been respected:

Article 39

In the Intellectual Property Code, an Article L. 132-8-1 has been created as follows:

“Art. L 132-8-1. – The author of a scientific article, arising from a research activity financed at least 50% by public funds and published in a journal appearing at least once a year, has the right, even if they have transferred an exclusive exploitation right to the publisher, to make the accepted version of the manuscript publicly accessible, after a period of six months for the sciences, and twelve months for the human and social sciences following its first publication, to the exclusion of any commercial purpose.”

  • a Section 4, “Exceptions to text and data mining and panorama”, authorising the exploration of texts and data for public research needs, excluding any commercial purpose:

I. - Article L. 122-5 of the Intellectual Property Code is modified as follows:

1° After the ninth subparagraph, a subparagraph shall be inserted as follows:

“f) Digital copies or reproductions made from a lawful source, with a view to exploring texts and data for public research needs, excluding any commercial purpose. A decree lays down the conditions under which the exploration of texts and data is implemented, as well as the terms for destruction of the files on conclusion of the research activities for which they were produced;”

2° After the twenty-first subparagraph, a subparagraph shall be inserted as follows:

“10° reproductions and representations, full or partial, excluding any commercial purpose, architectural works or sculptures, made to be placed permanently in public places.”

II. - After the sixth subparagraph of Article L. 342-3 of the same code, a subparagraph shall be inserted as follows:

“5° Digital copies or reproductions of the base made by a person with lawful access, in view of text and data mining in a research framework, excluding any commercial purpose. These copies and reproductions shall be made by an organisation appointed by decree, which ensures the destruction of the files on conclusion of the research activities for which they were produced.”

29Version 2 of the draft bill of September 2015 proposed the insertion of an article on open access in the French Research Code (in Chapter III “Exploitation of research results by research institutions and organisations”).

Article 11 (39)
Open access
(political arbitration necessary)

In Chapter 3 of Title 3 of Book V of the Research Code, an Article L. 533-4 shall be inserted as follows:


“I. – The exploitation rights in a digital form of a scientific text, arising from a research activity financed at least 50% by public funds, are transferable on an exclusive basis to a publisher, under the conditions mentioned in the first section of Chapter II of Title III of Book I of the Intellectual Property Code.

II. When a scientific text is published in a periodical, a publication appearing at least once a year, conference or symposia proceedings or compendia, its author, even in the event of exclusive transfer to a publisher, has the right to make available free of charge in digital form, subject to the rights of any co-authors, the latest version of his/her manuscript accepted by the publisher and excluding the formatting work which is the responsibility of the latter, at the end of a period of twelve months for the sciences, technology and medicine and twenty-four months for the human and social sciences, with effect from the date of first publication. This dissemination may not give rise to any commercial exploitation.

“III. – The provisions of this article are public policy and any clause to the contrary is deemed null and void. They shall not apply to contracts in progress.”

30Version 2 of the draft bill:

  • proposes the creation of a right of deposit in the Research Code rather than in the Intellectual Property Code;

  • doubles the embargo periods compared to the first version;

  • removes the article on TDM altogether.

31Official versions. The table below lists the official texts of the Digital Republic Bill and their developments:

  • the text placed online for public consultation from 26 September 2015;

  • the text from the public contribution as sent to the Council of State on 6 November 2015;

  • the final version of the text adopted by the Council of Ministers on 9 December 2015;

  • the text adopted by the National Assembly on 26 January.

Text submitted for the public consultation
26/9/2015

Text resulting from the public consultation sent to the Council of State
6/11/2015

Text adopted by the Council of Ministers
9/12/2015

Text adopted by the National Assembly
26/1/2016

Article 9 – Open access to scientific publications from public research

In Chapter 3 of Title 3 of Book V of the Research Code, an Article L. 533-4 shall be inserted as follows:

“Art. L. 533-4 –
I. – When a scientific text arising from a research activity financed at least 50% by public funds is published in a periodical, a publication appearing at least once a year, conference or symposia proceedings or compendia, its author, even in the event of exclusive transfer to a publisher, has the right to make available free of charge in digital form, subject to the rights of any co-authors, the latest version of his/her manuscript accepted by the publisher and excluding the formatting work which is the responsibility of the latter, at the end of a period of twelve months for the sciences, technology and medicine and twenty-four months for the human and social sciences, with effect from the date of first publication. This dissemination may not give rise to any commercial exploitation.

“II. – The provisions of this article are public policy and any clause to the contrary is deemed to be unwritten. They shall not apply to contracts in progress.”

Article 14

At the end of Chapter III of Title III of Book V of the Research Code, an Article L. 533-4 shall be inserted as follows:

“Art. L. 533-4. –
I. – When a scientific text arising from a research activity financed at least 50% by public funds, is published in a periodical, a publication appearing at least once a year, conference or symposia proceedings or compendia, its author, even in the event of exclusive transfer to a publisher, has the right to make available free of charge in digital form, subject to the rights of any co-authors, the final version of the manuscript accepted for publication, no later than six months for the sciences, technology and medicine and twelve months for the human and social sciences from the date of first publication, or at the latest when the publisher itself makes the text available free of charge in digital form.

He/she is prohibited from exploiting the dissemination permitted under the first subparagraph in the framework of a commercial publishing activity.

“II. – The research data legally made publicly available and arising from a research activity financed at least 50% by public funds, and which are not protected by specific rights, are ‘commons’, within the meaning of Article 714 of the Civil Code.

“III. – The publisher of a scientific text mentioned in I shall not limit the reuse of research data made public in the framework of its publication.

“IV. – The provisions of this article are public policy and any clause to the contrary is deemed to be unwritten.”

Article 17

At the end of Chapter III of Title III of Book V of the Research Code, an Article L. 533-4 shall be inserted as follows:

“Art. L. 533-4. –
I. – When a scientific text, arising from a research activity financed at least 50% by grants allocated by the State, by regional or local authorities or public institutions, by grants from national funding agencies or by European Union funds, is published in a periodical appearing at least once a year, in conference or symposia proceedings or compendia, its author, even in the event of exclusive transfer to a publisher, has the right to make available free of charge in digital form, subject to the rights of any co-authors, the final version of the manuscript accepted for publication, as soon as the publisher itself makes the text available free of charge in digital form, and, failing this, on expiry of a period running from the date of first publication. This period is six months for the sciences, technology and medicine, and twelve months for the human and social sciences.

“He/she is prohibited from exploiting the dissemination permitted under the first subparagraph in the framework of a commercial publishing activity.

“II. – Once the data from a research activity, financed at least 50% by funds allocated by the State, by regional or local authorities or public institutions, by grants from national funding agencies or by European Union funds, are no longer protected by specific rights, or special regulations, and they have been made public by the researcher, the establishment or the research organisation, they can be freely reused.

“III. – The publisher of a scientific text mentioned in I shall not limit the reuse of research data made public in the framework of its publication.

“IV. – The provisions of this article are public policy and any clause to the contrary is deemed to be unwritten.”

Article 17

Chapter III of Title III of Book V of the Research Code is supplemented by an Article L. 533-4 inserted as follows:

“Art. L. 533-4. –
I. – When a scientific text, arising from a research activity financed at least 50% by grants allocated by the State, by regional or local authorities or public institutions, by grants from national funding agencies or by European Union funds, is published in a periodical appearing at least once a year, its author, even after having granted exclusive rights to a publisher, has the right to make available free of charge in an open format, in digital form, subject to the agreement of any co-authors, all successive versions of the manuscript until the final version accepted for publication, as soon as the publisher itself makes the latter available free of charge in digital form, and, failing this, on expiry of a period running from the date of first publication. This period is six months for a publication in the field of the sciences, technology and medicine, and twelve months in that of the human and social sciences. A shorter period may be provided for certain disciplines, by order of the Minister for Research.
“The version made available in application of the first subparagraph may not be exploited in the framework of a commercial publishing activity.
“II. – Once the data from a research activity, financed at least 50% by grants allocated by the State, by regional or local authorities or public institutions, by grants from national funding agencies or by European Union funds, are no longer protected by specific rights, or special regulations, and they have been made public by the researcher, the research establishment or organisation, they can be freely reused.
“III. – The publisher of a scientific text mentioned in I shall not limit the reuse of research data made public in the framework of its publication.
“IV. – The provisions of this Article are public policy and any clause to the contrary is deemed to be unwritten.”

Article 17 ter (new)

The Government shall deliver to the Parliament, no later than two years after the promulgation of this Act, a report that assesses the effects of Article L. 533-4 of the Research Code on the scientific publishing market and on the circulation of scientific ideas and data in France.

Article 18 bis (new)

The Intellectual Property Code is modified as follows:

1° After the second subparagraph of 9° of Article L. 122-5, a 10° shall be inserted as follows:

“10° Digital copies or reproductions made from a lawful source, with a view to exploring texts and data for public research needs, excluding any commercial purpose. A decree lays down the conditions under which the exploration of texts and data is implemented, as well as the terms for storage and communication of the files produced on conclusion of the research activities for which they were produced; these files constitute the research data;”

2° After 4° of Article L. 342-3, a 5° shall be inserted as follows:

“5° Digital copies or reproductions of the base made by a person with lawful access, in view of text and data mining in a research framework, excluding any commercial purpose. The storage and communication of technical copies resulting from processing, on conclusion of the research activities for which they were produced, are carried out by organisations appointed by decree. Other copies or reproductions are destroyed.”

Objective of the White Paper: A specific objective for public research

32This White Paper aims to present the needs of public researchers in their research activity and to propose a legal framework able to enhance the competitiveness of French public research by equipping it with a pioneering and ambitious legislative arsenal:

  • by promoting access to scientific data and results, and their reuse;

  • by providing a legal framework for the actual existing practices and situations necessary to the scientific communities in public research, in order to secure them;

  • by taking into account the imperatives of exploitation of innovation;

  • by restoring a state of balance with the scientific publishers.

33The objectives of this White Paper are in accordance with the intellectual property rights of authors as established by the Intellectual Property Code.

The key witnesses

34In order to identify and give an overview of the practices and needs of researchers in the framework of science in the digital age, hearings were conducted with major witnesses, based on an interview guide. The minutes of these hearings, as well as the interview guide, are annexed to this White Paper.

35The key witnesses interviewed made an essential contribution to this White Paper.

36This White Paper is the result of sharing, mutual deliberation, interviews and collaborative work, taking place over more than a year, on open access and open process, with these key witnesses from and for scientific research.

Universities and the LERU

37Figures from the academic world, university presidents and representatives and members of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) were interviewed:

  • Alain Beretz, President of the University of Strasbourg and President of the LERU;

  • Jean Chambaz, President of the UPMC and President of CURIF (Coordination of French Research-Intensive Universities);

  • Françoise Curtit, CNRS, Responsible for the “Open Science” mission at the University of Strasbourg;

  • Jean-Pierre Finance, President of the Couperin Consortium, Permanent Delegate for the CPU in Brussels, former President of the University of Nancy 1;

  • Paul-Antoine Hervieux, Deputy Vice-President for Partnerships with public scientific and technical research establishments (établissements publics à caractère scientifique et technologique, EPSTs) and local authorities at the University of Strasbourg;

  • Paul Indelicato, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at the UPMC.

CNRS Scientific Board

38Missions. The CNRS Scientific Board ensures consistency in the CNRS’s science policy in conjunction with all the consultative scientific bodies of the National Committee for Scientific Research (CoNRS). In particular, it provides an opinion on:

  • the major scientific policy orientations of the CNRS;

  • the common principles for evaluating the quality of research and the activity of researchers.

  • 11 Decree No. 82-993 of 24 November 1982 on the organisation and functioning of the French National Ce (...)

39In addition, the framework “organic decree” governing the CNRS, amended by Decree No. 2015-1151 of 16 September 2015,11 stipulates that under the scientific policy defined by the government, in relation with the nation’s cultural, economic and social needs and in conjunction with its higher education and research institutions, the CNRS has the following missions:

  • participating in the analysis of the national and international scientific situation and its prospects for development, in view of shaping national policy in this area;

  • ensuring the development and dissemination of scientific documentation and the publication of research work and data, particularly by making documentary platforms available to the scientific and academic community and contributing to their enhancement.”

40The Decree of 16 September 2015 has thus made it a national mission of the CNRS to disseminate and enhance scientific and technical documentation, mainly through the digital tools known as platforms.

41In light of this national mission, the CNRS initiated and led the drafting of this White Paper.

42Working group. In the framework of its missions and following the interview with Renaud Fabre, the Scientific Board of CNRS decided to address the issues presented and proposed a working group made up of the following people:

  • Bruno Chaudret, President of the Scientific Board of the CNRS, Senior Researcher at the CNRS, Laboratory of Space Studies and Instrumentation in Astrophysics (LESIA);

  • Pierre Binetruy, Physicist, Director of the Astroparticle and Cosmology Laboratory (APC), Professor at the University of Paris 7;

  • François Bonnarel, CNRS Engineer, Strasbourg Astronomical Data Centre (CDS);

  • Claire Lemercier, Senior Researcher in History at the CNRS, Centre for the Sociology of Organisations (CSO), Paris;

  • Sophie Pochic, Head of the Professions, Networks, Organisations (PRO) team, Maurice Halbwachs Centre;

  • François Tronche, CNRS Research Director, Paris-Seine Institute of Biology.

43The deliberations of this working group, based on the securing of researchers’ practices and needs, led to two documents, which have been annexed to this White Paper:

  • a contribution accepted by the entire Scientific Board and to which this White Paper makes numerous references;

  • a unanimous recommendation on Open Science.

ISTEX Executive Committee

44This White Paper came from the initiative and shared reflection of the members of the Executive Committee of the ISTEX project under the impetus of Renaud Fabre, Director of Scientific and Technical Information at the CNRS and leader of the ISTEX project.

45The members of the ISTEX Committee were closely involved in the reflections and analyses that presided over the development of this White Paper, and expressed their respective positions.

  • Raymond Bérard, Director of the Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (INIST) and Laurent Schmitt, Head of the Projects and Innovation Department;

  • Grégory Colcanap, Coordinator of Couperin, a university consortium of digital publications, accompanied by Monique Joly, Head of the Studies and Forecasting Department;

  • Jérôme Kalfon, Director of the Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education (ABES);

  • Jean-Marie Pierrel, Professor at Lorraine University, acting on behalf of the Conference of University Presidents (CPU).

46Marie-Pascale Lizée (Scientific and Technical Information and Documentary Networks Department (DISTRD), Sub-Directorate for Strategic Management and Territories, Section for Coordination of Higher Education and Research Strategies) as well as Alain Abecassis (Head of the Section for Coordination of Higher Education and Research Strategies of the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research) followed the progress of the deliberations taking place around the ISTEX project and the Digital Republic Bill.

47The analyses and reflections, as well as the testimonies of public research stakeholders with respect to the needs and values of the scientific communities, were translated legally by the Legal Affairs Department at the CNRS and by Nicolas Castoldi, General Representative for Technology Transfer at the CNRS, in terms of proposed laws or regulations.

CNRS Ethics Committee

48The CNRS Ethics Committee (COMETS) is an independent advisory body answering to the Board of Trustees. It considers the ethical aspects raised by the practice of research, taking account of its purposes and consequences; it identifies the ethical principles that relate to research activities, individual behaviours, collective attitudes and the functioning of the organisation’s bodies.

49In the framework of its missions, and following the interview with Renaud Fabre, the Ethics Committee decided to address the issue of the link between ethics and sharing of scientific data.

50The COMETS published an Opinion on 7 May 2015 entitled “The ethical issues of scientific data sharing” (see Annex), whose findings were mentioned in this White Paper on many occasions.

51The following were interviewed in the framework of the White Paper:

  • Danièle Boursier, Senior Researcher at the CNRS, lawyer and member of the COMETS;

  • Michèle Leduc, Emeritus Senior Researcher at the CNRS in the Kastler Brossel Laboratory at the École Normale Supérieure, Chair of COMETS.

The President of the French Digital Council

52The French Digital Council (CNNum), which authored the report Ambition numérique – Pour une politique française et européenne de la transition numérique (Digital ambition: Towards a French and European digital transition policy), submitted to the Prime Minister in June 2015, is an important player in the consultation on the Digital Republic Bill. The CNNum also published an Opinion on the Digital Republic Bill on 30 November 2015, whose conclusions of interest to this White Paper have been included.12

53The President of the French Digital Council, Benoît Thieulin, accompanied by Yann Bonnet and Charly Berthet, were also interviewed in the framework of the White Paper in order to determine the CNNum’s position on Open Science.

54The contribution of the CNNum is annexed to this White Paper.

Figures from the world of research and open access

55Representative figures, recognised in the world of research and open access, were also interviewed. Possessing a unique view of the practices and needs of researchers, these witnesses expressed their commitment and their position in favour of the Open Science movement:

  • Claude Kirchner, current President of the CCSD, Senior Researcher at the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA);

  • Christophe Pérales, President of the Association of Directors of University Libraries (ADBU);

  • Christoph Sorger, Director of the National Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INSMI).

The approach

56The preferred approach was a consensus approach in order to contribute to the emergence and sharing of mutual values by all the scientific communities.

57To do this, the first step in the White Paper was to produce an inventory and snapshot of:

  • uses of scientific and technical information by the scientific communities;

  • exploitation practices, in particular as part of public–private partnerships.

58Secondly, the results of these analyses were then compared with the existing French and international normative frameworks in order to identify the gaps and define the new emerging requirements for digital use of STI.

59The third and final step was to develop proposals with the scientific communities in order to minimise this gap between the needs and the normative framework.

Emerging digital practices

60Two types of practices were identified in the framework of this White Paper:

  • researcher practices;

  • exploitation practices.

61Researcher practices. Two main methods were used to collect the practices of researchers with regard to the use of scientific and technical information by digital tools.

62CNRS survey. The first method was a survey carried out by the CNRS on the STI uses and needs of research units. This survey, conducted among CNRS unit directors in mid 2014, involved a 91-question questionnaire sent by the DIST to the directors of 1 250 CNRS units publishing articles. One third of them answered all of the questions: 432 complete responses were exploited.

63As the units’ responses were generally in proportion to the breakdown of units in the research fields considered, it can be assumed that the sample is representative of all public research.

64Hearings. The second method used was the hearings. The close association with the universities and other organisations enabled hearings to be conducted with key witnesses and ensured pluralistic expression regarding the desired changes.

65These hearings were conducted on the basis of an interview guide, which is annexed to this White Paper.

66This guide proposed three open-ended questions, the aim being to encourage the interviewees to speak freely:

  • about researchers’ practices and needs in terms of access to and use of the data and results of public research, in particular in light of the privatisation of publications through intellectual property rights and publishing contracts;

  • about the balance to be struck between the sharing of scientific data and the commercial side of scientific publishing; between the sharing of data and the issues of exploiting innovations. In other words, a distinction needs to be made between the misappropriation of scientific data and legal appropriation;

  • about the need to define rules on data sharing and exploration: the place in which sharing and observation take place (the platform), the scope of the shared data (raw data, enriched data, results, publications, etc.) and the conditions under which they are made available, the quality of the associated metadata, and the status of the content created by users (user-generated content).

67Exploitation practices. In accordance with the legal mission of exploitation of public research (Article L. 112-1 of the Research Code), and in a context of international competition, the proposals made in the framework of this White Paper need to take into account the issues of exploitation of research.

68An analysis of the exploitation practices was conducted on the basis of practical examples and contracts entered into by the CNRS, in particular with industrial companies:

  • example from a standard research collaboration contract between the CNRS and an industrial partner;

  • example from a framework contract between the CNRS and industrial partners.

Development of rules and rights

69The inventory of these practices helped identify a number of needs of the scientific communities, which were echoed by the key witnesses.

70These needs were compared with the existing orders:

  • the legal order;

  • ethics and the common values of the scientific communities;

  • the economic order and the respect for a balance with the world of scientific publication and with industry;

  • the inevitable and historic movement towards Open Science.

71The review of practices, the definition of the discrepancies between the practices and the existing order, and the comparison of these two elements in particular with Article 17 of the Digital Republic Bill led to the formulation of normative or organisational proposals in order to reduce these discrepancies while maintaining the balance.

72The proposals come from the deliberations of the working groups and the hearings, and reflect a consensus, as testified by the minutes from the hearings.

Notes

1 http://www.istex.fr/

2 http://www.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/cid20438/les-missions-de-l-information-scientifique-et-technique.html

3 An open policy for scientific and technical information of the future”, CNRS, page 9.

4 Libre accès à l’IST (Open access to STI), INIST – CNRS: http://openaccess.inist.fr/

5 http://sciences.blogs.liberation.fr/home/2013/10/open-access-du-r%C3%AAve-au-cauchemar-bis.html

6 http://www.cnrs.fr/dist/z-outils/documents/Distinfo2/Distinfo4.pdf

7 http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2015/09/10/favorisons-la-libre-diffusion-de-la-culture-et-des-savoirs_4751847_3232.html

8 http://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/2012/04/25/harvard-rejoint-les-universitaires-pour-un-boycott-des-editeurs_1691125_1650684.html

9 STI Strategic Orientation Plan of the CNRS, “The Economic Models of Publishing”, page 13.

10 Digital Strategy of the Government”, Gaîté Lyrique, Thursday 18 June 2015.

11 Decree No. 82-993 of 24 November 1982 on the organisation and functioning of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), as amended by Decree No. 2015-1151 of 16 September 2015.

12 http://www.cnnumerique.fr/avis-du-cnnum-relatif-au-projet-de-loi-pour-une-republique-numerique/

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