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Open access guidelines. © INRA

INRA commits further to open science

INRA has just published its official policy guidelines regarding open access to its publications and data. The institute took the first step in 2004: by signing the Berlin Declaration1, it committed to making articles written by its researchers freely available. With the European Commission promoting open science and recent French legislation encouraging open access (see insert), research institutes like INRA have been inspired to go even further, notably by facilitating access to data.

Updated on 02/13/2017
Published on 10/17/2016

INRA open-access policy is founded on seven major principles that researchers are asked to follow to increase the accessibility and reuse of their research data. The goal is two fold:

- By increasing data accessibility, the institute aims to increase research transparency and dissemination (e.g., bolstering support for its scientific publications; conveying its findings to the general public, journalists, stakeholders in civil society, and NGOs; and encouraging citizen science)
- By encouraging data sharing, the institute seeks to create additional value from knowledge it has generated and fuel innovation.

Coming soon: a web portal for accessing INRA-produced data

The institute already has an open repository for its scientific publications, ProdINRA. Over 20% of recent publications are available. However, INRA wishes to go further and make research data accessible as well. INRA has created a website - DATAPARTAGE (in French) - to facilitate this process for its researchers. For example, it provides tools and services that can help scientists manage and publish their data (e.g., data management plans, explicit guidelines, DOI-based2 data referencing ). Furthermore, a web portal is in development and should be available by mid-2017.

Read INRA's official open-access guidelines in French (soon available in English) -

1 The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities defined digital scientific information and asks its signatories to commit to an open-access policy
2 DOI stands for digital object identifier. A DOI is a digital code that identifies a scientific “object” (e.g., publication or database) that one wishes to render citable. DOIs are unique, permanent, and associated with metadata. They are a key part of data citation.

Scientific contact(s):

  • Odile Hologne (33 (0)1 30 83 33 92) Head of INRA's Scientific and Technical Information Delegation
Press Relations:
INRA News Office (33 (0)1 42 75 91 86)

Some open-access regulations and legislation

• H2020 Programme
The Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation was launched on Jan. 1, 2014. The programme’s budget is 79 billion euros for the period spanning 2014–2020. Research benefiting from H2020 funding, even partially, must make any publications produced open access.

• French legislation promotes the diffusion of knowledge produced by the public sector
Two French laws address open access in the sciences: 1) the December 2015 law on free access to and reuse of scientific resources produced by publically funded institutions (la loi Valter: link in French); and 2) the September 2016 law on national policy for digital information sharing, protection, and access (la loi Lemaire: link in French). The first law focuses on making resources available for free and promoting data reuse. It specifies that data produced by public institutions must be made accessible and reusable at no cost, except in special cases, where this embargo period is nonetheless limited to 15 years. Article 17 of the second law specifies that authors can place accepted manuscripts (final or post-print versions) in an open repository 6 months post-publication in the natural and medical sciences and 12 months post-publication in the social sciences and humanities.


Open access takes two forms to promote the diffusion of knowledge while respecting the rights of authors and publishers

- Green open access occurs when a journal adheres to a more traditional “subscription” model. Journals allow researchers to place their articles, whether published or unpublished, in an open repository (e.g., ProdINRA, HAL3 ). In the case of published articles, the accepted manuscript (final or post-print versions) can be deposited in an open repository after 6 or 12 months (in the natural and medical sciences and in the social sciences and humanities, respectively). ProdINRA makes it possible to manage the restriction imposed by this embargo by programming the publication to become open access after a certain date.

- Gold open access occurs when a journal has opted to makes its articles freely accessible on its website. Depending on the journal, this type of accessibility may or may not entail article publication charges (APCs), which are paid by the authors prior to publication. At present, around 20% of INRA publications fall under the gold open-access model and can also be accessed from ProdINRA. This publication model is becoming more common and tending to replace the subscription-based model.

3 HAL is France's multidisciplinary open-access repository