CSPLA launches mission on open access publication of research articles under “open science” policies

Open science policies aim to ensure the unimpeded dissemination of the results, methods and outputs of scientific research. One of the main instruments now being mobilized in the service of “open science” is open access, or open access, which consists, in a wide variety of ways, to make scientific publications freely available on the Internet and to facilitate their exploitation, particularly for research purposes.

The law of 7 October 2016 for a Digital Republic thus guarantees the right of researchers to deposit in digital form their articles mainly funded by public funds in an archive opened on the expiry of a current deadline from the date of the first publication. The implementation of these embargoes is the result of a compromise between the interests of publishers, who want to have exclusive economic exploitation of their publications, and the expectations of the research community, committed to the free dissemination of knowledge as quickly as possible. The law also preserves the copyright of researchers since it gives them the freedom not to exercise the right offered to make their writings available at the expiry of the embargo periods.

Beyond this legislative framework, reflections have been made to further develop the openness of science, even under conditions that raise questions about copyright. In practice, therefore, research organisations are increasingly inclined to evaluate the scientists attached to them, taking into account their propensity to publish natively in open access publications and not to assign their rights, which is not free of litigation risk.

In this regard, on 11 March 2022, the Book Ombudsman published a draft opinion on scientific publishing, in which he reports on the delicate balances to be achieved in the context of open science policy, including issues of assignment of rights.

In this context, Olivier Japiot, president of the Conseil supérieur de la propriété littéraire et artistique (CSPLA), entrusted to Mr. Maxime Boutron, master of requests to the Conseil d'Etat, a mission to examine the implementation of the current legislative and regulatory framework, to analyse the proposals for the evolution of this framework that are currently being put forward, in France or at European Union level, and to evaluate their consequences on literary and artistic property, and in particular on the possibility for research authors to master the form in which their publications are made available.

This mission will be assisted by a rapporteur, Mr. Alexandre Trémolière, master of requests to the Council of State. The mission will report its findings by the end of 2023.