Sharing scientific information

Scientific and Technical Information, which gathers all research-derived information, is a valuable and necessary resource for researchers. A pioneer in the domain, the CNRS offers a complete range of services for higher education and research. At the same time, it is committed to developing open science that is accessible to the largest number of people.

The actors of scientific and technical information

The Scientific and Technical Information Department (DIST) implements the strategy on the production of scientific analyses, publications and data. It oversees the gathering, processing, archiving, and diffusion of documentary resources. It also provides laboratories with thematic and interdisciplinary portals for accessing these resources, as well as scientific monitoring tools. It takes part in the national debate on the transition to the digital age, and promotes knowledge sharing through open archives. The DIST leads a network of IST representatives in joint research units. It also publishes a wealth of material on scientific information news and strategy.

DIST publications (in French)

Bâtiment de l'Inist à Vandreuve-lès-Nancy
The Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (INIST), an intramural service unit of the CNRS in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy (northeastern France), provides access to and promotes technology transfer for scientific production. Since 1989, it has been hea© DR

Essential services for research

Science is driven by science, and IST services are therefore essential to the activity of researchers, who need to access information on existing research in a particular field, analyse data, publish research results in scientific publications, and find applications for their work.

Global science at a click

The CNRS facilitates access to global scientific production through open archives and bibliographical databases. The organisation is the world’s second scientific producer, with more than 50,000 papers published each year (Scopus, Scimago, 2017).

Hal (Hyper articles online)
The objective of the multidisciplinary Hal open archive, which was created by the CNRS, is to share research results. It allows researchers to file research-level papers, whether published or not, in an open access database, as well as dissertations from French and foreign teaching and research institutions, or from public or private laboratories.

Découvrir Hal

CNRS researchers have access to the Scopus and Web of Science bibliographical databases, published by Elsevier and Thomson Scientific, respectively. They allow researchers to gain a better understanding of what is being published, and to plan for new collaborations. They are also used for bibliometric analyses, which quantify the publications of researchers.

Open science, or free access to knowledge

The potential of digital technology has opened the way for a new knowledge dissemination system. Open science has been a game-changer, promoting greater knowledge sharing for the benefit of researchers and society. This involves giving freer and wider access to public research data and results. This free access is not only free of charge; it also requires more transparency and discussions surrounding scientific work.

The CNRS is deeply committed to this process, and brings together numerous actors around this issue at the national level. It is therefore in keeping with the priorities of the European Union, which seeks to open up and pool knowledge on a large scale.

Digital law: the contribution of the CNRS

The “Law for a Digital Republic” of October 7, 2016 is the first legislative text co-written with Internet users. The contribution of the CNRS, which largely inspired the legislators, promoted breakthrough advances for researchers, entitling them to publish, after a shorter embargo period, any articles related to research that is funded mostly by public funds. In addition, the law enables public sector researchers to explore both scientific and non-scientific material without prior authorisation from right-holders, as well as the data associated with such material (Text and Data Mining).