In France, open access to scholarly communication is relatively robust and has strong public support. Revues.org, a digital platform for social science and humanities publications, launched in 1999. Hyper Articles en Ligne (HAL) began in 2001. The French National Center for Scientific Research participated in 2003 in the creation of the influential Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Publishers EDP Sciences and OpenEdition belong to the international Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.
There are a number of collections of scholarship in France housed in digital open access repositories. They contain journal articles, book chapters, data, and other research outputs that are free to read. The main open repository platform in use for French higher education and research institutions is HAL. It hosts over 520 000 fulltext documents and about 1.5 million references. More than 120 institutions have opened their own institutional portals on the HAL platform.
France's main actor in open access publishing is Openedition. This set of publishing platforms is specialized in Human and Social Sciences. It hosts 490 journals, 5,600+ books, 2,600+ blogs and 39,000 events. Openedition is operated by an institutional unit called CLEO, and funded by the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales, Université d'Aix-Marseille, and Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse. It uses for books and journals a "freemium" business model: most content is available in HTML format for free, and the other formats (pdf, epub) are available to the subscribed institutions.
Key events in the development of open access in France include the following:
News and comment from the worldwide movement for open access to research
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition