Breaking news: Software and Software Heritage in the new National Plan for Open Science in France

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Robbie Morrison

Jul 8, 2021, 4:36:13 AMJul 8
to openmod list

Hello all

Am forwarding the following posting with permission of the author and also licensed under CC‑BY‑4.0.

In summary, the French Ministry of Research has just released a National Plan for Open Science that raises the status of code development in that context.

There will be a blog on english from Roberto in due course. which I will duly post back to this list.

with best wishes, Robbie

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: [LN] Breaking news: Software and Software Heritage in the new National Plan for Open Science in France
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2021 10:03:00 +0200
From: Roberto Di Cosmo <>

Dear all,

I am delighted to share great breaking news: yesterday afternoon the French Ministry of Research unveiled the second multi-annual National Plan for Open Science in France, that squarely puts software on a par with publications and data in the Open Science framework, announcing a number of measures designed to open research software and better recognize software development in research.

Since this is currently only available in French (an English version will be available in the next days/weeks from the Ministry of Research dedicated page), here are some highlights of the measures that you might find the most interesting:
  • a clear recommendation to make research software available under an open source licence, unless there are clear strong reasons not to do so; quoting from the text itself (quick and dirty translation):
    • "Making software source code available, with the possibility of modifying it, reusing it and disseminating it, is essential to allow the reproducibility of scientific results and support the sharing and creation of knowledge, in a logic of Open Science." ... 
    • "Hence, the distribution of software as free software, that is to say published under one of the licenses recognized by the Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative, will be privileged, in compliance with legal constraints."
  • the creation of a high level expert group dedicated to research software in the National Committee for Open Science
  • the objective to provide better recognition of software development in career evaluation for researchers and engineers
  • a renewed and strengthened official support of Software Heritage, with a recommendation to archive in it all research software [1] 
This is the result of a long, steady effort to raise awareness of these issues, in collaboration with many dedicated people and organisations, like it was the case for the Paris Call on Software Source code (published in February 2019, with contributions from some of the members of this list).

And to the best of my knowledge, it is the first time that such an organic, clearly designed strategy for (open source) software in research is laid out in an official government document: I hope this may serve as a reference for similar initiatives in other countries, and will be more than happy to help if/when such initiatives get started.

All the best


[1] updated, actionable instructions are now available at (for french researchers, an updated and streamlined metadata deposit workflow with HAL is coming soon)

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           (on leave at Inria from IRIF/Université de Paris)

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Robbie Morrison

Jul 8, 2021, 10:15:57 AMJul 8
Roberto Di Cosmo writes again:
Here is the link to a (preliminary) english translation already available on one website controlled by the Ministry of Research: 

The final version, with a properly typeset PDF etc. etc., will be on the official website for the French Ministry of Research (much) later.
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Robbie Morrison
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