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White Paper — Open Science in a Digital Republic — Strategic Guide

Scientific and Technical Information Department - CNRS

Open access to scientific publications

Open Access: A response to the risk of “misappropriation”

Texte intégral

1To be able to carry out their work correctly, researchers need to be able to freely access both the scientific data and the publications of their peers (where this is the result of research published by a private publisher).

2The business models (author-pays or reader-pays) and the legal models (exclusive transfer of rights, subscription contract) of scientific publishing lead to a form of appropriation of scientific knowledge by private publishers. Although some publishers allow authors to deposit their articles in an institutional archive after an embargo period, others retain the entirety of the rights for the full duration of copyright protection (70 years from the death of the author).

3These models for funding publication in the digital age have obliged public research institutions to pay for restricted access to knowledge arising from the research programmes they fund.

4The study conducted by the CNRS’s Scientific and Technical Information Department (DIST) entitled Who should finance scientific publication: The “Reader” and/or the “Author”? (January 2016) sets out precisely this need to reform the “author-pays” model (payment of article processing charges) and the “reader-pays” model (subscription) by developing a hybrid model that particularly takes into account the financial impacts and the risks of the privatisation of knowledge.

5As this model is no longer viable, especially economically, scientific publication should be opened up by creating a right of access to all publications for public research. In its study, the CNRS specifies that:

The goal is to achieve comprehensive security in all the parameters of movement towards Open Science. When ‘negotiations’ are conducted in relative secrecy at national level, with no overall safety net and no announcements (yet) about their content or results, this leaves publishers with the power of decision over digital STI. This situation contains the risk, as observed by the OECD, of an ‘every man for himself’ situation, with confusion and the fragmentation of international scientific collaborative studies, and with foreign publishers being able to pursue their own interests in the way they share out the results of public research.”


Open access


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