Open Science – A French Perspective




France, Infrastructure, Open Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Digital Humanities


In this episode, a true Nestor of Open Science, Pierre Mounier talks us through the origins and growth of various French infrastructures for open research, especially in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). Based at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), he has been instrumental in transforming into OpenEdition, a national publishing infrastructure for open-access journals and books in the SSH disciplines. Mounier also discusses whether political ambitions concerning the rayonnement (‘radiance’, i.e. diffusion) of French as an international language has been a factor in acquiring governmental support for a service like OpenEdition. When negotiating with private publishing houses, the situation of the SSH disciplines contrasts to the domain of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM). In the latter domain, the formation of COSO (Comité pour la science ouverte) has proved extremely important when negotiating read-and-publish deals with major publishers. Regarding the SSH, Mounier argues for a more soft and dialogic approach, since the private companies publishing French books and journals are usually small and far less profit-oriented.

The multidisciplinary CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) is a driver for open access and open research in general. For example, when physicists wanted to have a French repository mirroring the preprint server, this initiative grew organically into the all-encompassing HAL repository, thanks to collaboration between various disciplines facilitated by the CNRS. As for research data repositories, the set-up is slightly different. There now exists both a fallback national repository for researchers that lack an institutional or disciplinary service for their data and a federated service connecting the various institutional and disciplinary repositories across the country. One such disciplinary service is the Huma-Num, which runs a repository designated for Digital Humanities (Humanités numeriques).

This podcast recording was made in conjunction with the Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing. First published online December 8, 2022.

Author Biographies

Pierre Mounier, EHESS (École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Ingénieur de recherche at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and deputy director of OpenEdition.

Per Pippin Aspaas, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Head of Library research and publishing support, UiT The Arctic University of Norway.



How to Cite

Mounier, P., & Aspaas, P. P. (2022). Open Science – A French Perspective. Open Science Talk, (44).