The CNRS’s actions in favour of Open Science

Roadmap for Open Science

The CNRS committed to open science very early on with, for example, the creation of the HAL open archive in 2001 and the organisation signing the Berlin Declaration ‘Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities’ in 2003. This declaration was signed by over 300 stakeholders including the CERN, the Max Planck Society, Harvard University and so forth.

Among recent initiatives, we should mention the Jussieu Call (a third of the authors of which were from the CNRS) and the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) drafted in 2012 by a group of journal editors and publishers and signed by many organisations and individuals.

The CNRS signed this on July 14th 2018. It represents a commitment to avoiding use of bibliometrics for research evaluation and to opting instead for more qualitative evaluation combined with taking the full variety of types of research output into account.

The CNRS also became the operator of the national fund for open science, the GIS (Scientific Interest Group) FNSO. This was set up and financed in particular thanks to savings made during negotiations with publishers. The fund’s prime objectives are to promote bibliodiversity and support open publishing platforms through a call for projects.

On November 18th 2019, the CNRS announced its Roadmap for Open Science at the National Open Science Days (JNSO). The organisation’s aim is to accelerate the movement towards open science among scientific communities.

November 18th 2019

Download CNRS Roadmap for Open Science (english version)


Research Data Plan

At the second Open Science Day on November 16th 2020, Alain Schuhl, the CNRS Deputy CEO for Science announced the organisation’s upcoming Research Data Plan. He gave details of the implementation of this plan in an interview published on the institutional website.

The aims of the plan are to boost and disseminate the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data culture, promote existing services and tools and support the creation of new practices, services and tools.

November 16th 2020

Download CNRS Research Data Plan (english version)


The four principles for the evaluation of researchers

1 – Research results should be evaluated in themselves rather than evaluating researchers on whether their results have been published in a prestigious journal or other reputed media.

The members of the CoNRS (National Committee for Scientific Research) must take responsibility for their own judgements rather than relying on algorithms or anonymous assessments by publishers. This needs to be reflected in researcher evaluation reports.

2 – Researchers should give details on the scope and impact of all the productions cited in their evaluation files and explain their own personal contributions.

It is of no interest to give an exhaustive list of productions.

3 – It should be possible to cite all types of research productions as elements for evaluation of a researcher’s work.

In particular, in all cases where this makes sense, the data underpinning a publication and the source required to produce the results should be made available. Preprints and other working papers including data papers are acceptable productions for evaluation.

4 – All productions cited in evaluation files should be accessible in HAL or possibly another open archive.

This should be the full texts and not their references. It is not normally necessary to provide these in the evaluation file as an active link to the archive should suffice.


Researchers’ annual activity report (CRAC)

Article 10 of decree no. °83-1260 dated December 30th 1983 and article 3 of decree no. 84-1185 dated December 27th 1984 stipulate that researchers should provide an annual report on their activity. This document summarises the highlights of a person’s research activity and the various activities related to his or her work.

On April 27th 2021, Alain Schuhl, the Deputy CEO for Science, sent a first letter to CNRS researchers regarding the CRAC campaign. He thanked CNRS research communities for their efforts in depositing their manuscripts in the HAL or arXiv open archives during the 2020 CRAC campaign.

Read the letter on the CRAC campaign dated April 27th 2021 (Intranet)

The objective of this message was to make it obligatory for CNRS scientific productions to be deposited in open archives and thus to make the content of scientific research more visible and accessible to all. It also aims to work towards the long-term archiving of all scientists’ research publications thus enabling scientists to conserve reuse rights to their own productions.

The development of text mining tools based on artificial intelligence supports research professionals in effectively exploring scientific literature and extracting information. This is possible as long as you have not ceded your rights to publishers who then charge you to re-use your own texts.

The dynamic underpinning the open science movement encourages researchers to deposit their scientific publications in open archives. Consequently, the 2021 CRAC campaign will stress the importance of depositing manuscripts and take preprints into account. The exception to depositing manuscripts for resources accessible in the arXiv open archive has also been extended to the BioRxiv preprints server.

The CRAC campaign will also enable you to give notification of your pre-prints in the same way. Finally, using the IdHAL identifier to link all your publications will greatly facilitate your task.

We are continuing to work on improving these repositories for the future. This includes work on the ORCID identifier which will be taken into account in the next campaigns and also on improving interoperability with other open archives and/or pre-print servers we collaborate with.


The 2021 CRAC campaign

The 2021 CRAC campaign is open from October 5th to November 30th 2021

On September 22nd 2021, Alain Schuhl sent a second letter to CNRS researchers giving details of how the CRAC campaign works and to support the evolution of the CRAC for 2021.

Read the letter on the CRAC campaign dated September 22nd 2021 (Intranet)

The current campaign concerns work carried out during the reference period between September 1st 2020 and August 31st 2021.

The CRAC 2021 digital form

Here are the types of documents which can be deposited in the HAL open archive and are covered by the 2021 CRAC form:

  • Accepted Author Manuscript (AAM)
  • A publisher’s PDF: the final version if the publisher gives authorisation
  • The full text of preprints
  • The references for preprints deposited in arXiv and bioRxiv

A test tool developed by the CCSD enables you to quickly find the publications which will appear on your 2021 CRAC form.

The CCSD test tool

If you are looking for technical help with depositing techniques in the HAL archive and filling out your CRAC form, please consult the CCSD’s FAQ.

For any other questions on the HAL archive, please do not hesitate to contact the HAL support service which is available to assist you.