On 6 July 2021, Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, presented the second plan for open science. Running until 2024, this plan will aim to develop open access to publications and -as far as possible- to data, source codes and research methods. The plan will be marked by the creation of the national platform for research data, “Recherche Data Gouv”. The budget will be increased from five to fifteen million euros per year.
A plan to generalize open science throughout France
Between 2018 and 2021, the first national plan for open science had enabled France to develop a coherent and dynamic policy in the field of open science and had seen its rate of scientific publications in open access jump, going from 41% in 2017 to 56% in 2019. On the strength of these encouraging results, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation wishes to continue its efforts and is launching the second plan for open science.
This new initiative will focus on four objectives for open science:
- Generalize open access to publications.
- Structure, share and open research data.
- Open and promote source codes produced by research.
- Transform practices to make open science the default principle.
This new plan follows the wishes expressed by the Law for a Digital Republic of 2016 and confirmed by the Research Programming Law of 2020, which include open science in the missions of researchers and teacher-researchers and set the goal: 100% of publications in open access by 2030.
A second plan for open science
This second plan will have several specificities compared to the first:
- It extends its scope to include source code generated by research.
- It structures actions in favour of the opening or sharing of data through the creation of the “Research Data Gouv” platform.
- It multiplies the levers of transformation in order to generalize open science practices and presents disciplinary and thematic variations.
- It responds to the European Union’s ambition to provide each country with a national plan for open science, and is a major contribution to France’s commitment to transparency in public action within the framework of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which involves more than 70 countries worldwide.
Among the measures already taken in the framework of this initiative are:
- Triple the budget for open science by using the National Fund for Open Science and the Future Investment Programme: the budget will increase from €5M to €15M per year.
- Create “Recherche Data Gouv”, a national platform for research data, to encourage the sharing and opening of data produced by French research.
- Generalize the obligation to publish in open access articles and books resulting from publicly funded research projects.
- Translate the publications of French researchers in order to promote the circulation of scientific knowledge: research on climate, biodiversity and health, which is published in English, will be translated to be accessible to citizens, and research published in French by historians or sociologists will be translated to increase their international influence.
This second plan for open science will aim to generalize open science practices in France, share research data, make open science a habitual and daily practice, contribute to the democratization of access to knowledge in order to bring science closer to society, and hear the movement of data sharing, which is already widespread in astronomy, seismology or genetics.