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Thematic issue n° 52: “Open Access and Research Data. Contributions from the Information and Communication Sciences”

Dossier thématique n° 52 : « Libre accès et données de la recherche. Quelle résonance dans les SIC ? »

Coordination: Joachim Schöpfel (Univ. Lille, EA 4073 – GERiiCO, F59000 Lille, France), Renaud Fabre(Univ. Paris 8 Vincennes–Saint-Denis, Laboratoire d’Économie Dionysien, France) and Bernard Jacquemin (Univ. Lille, EA 4073 – GERiiCO, F59000 Lille, France)

Since the early 2000s, a political and social movement has been aiming at liberalizing access to data (Open Data), and in particular to scientific and institutional data. The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI, 2002) recommends free and open access to research publications. The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) has expanded this scope by promoting open access to knowledge, including international scientific literature, research data, and the tools used to collect these data. Meanwhile, government authorities are encouraged to give access to public data. Accordingly, in 2003, the European Parliament voted on the Public Sector Information Directive (PSI), aiming at opening institutional data for reuse. In France, the Étalab Mission was established as a symbol of the Government’s policy on openness and sharing of administrative, scientific, industrial or commercial data coming from both public institutions and companies (published on the portal). At Fall 2016, the French Parliament voted on the Digital Republic bill (Loi pour une République numérique), closing the gap between academic and institutional data. The bill requires institutional and academic data to be made available, including research publications.

A rather recent movement, the call for a systematic publication of research data (Open Research Data) is still less present in the media, which is more interested in scientific literature and public data access. Nevertheless, public research institutions are becoming more interested in research data preservation and sharing, so that public research funding requires Data Management Plans (DMP) at both international (e.g. European H2020 projects) and national (e.g. French ANR projects) levels. It is no longer enough to publish research results: either raw or pre-processed research data have to be made sustainable, and as far as possible must be shared. Academic publishers prove to be involved in this process: authors are increasingly required to give access to research data for evidence purposes. And many universities and research institutions are considering new means of archiving and sharing of research data, and they are proposing new policies to get the researchers to change their practice.

The public institutions have opted for an open data model, and new equipment and facilities are being deployed for collecting, safekeeping and data sharing. Yet, very few researches – essentially focused on document and heterogeneous information lifecycle in large databases, and involving academic librarians – have been conducted by information and communication scientists in order to consider the changes brought about by Open Research Data, and to provide answers to pending questions.

However, in their day-to-day work, researchers in information and communication sciences are particularly confronted with these developments, which are likely to influence both their practices and their research subjects. Indeed, from the collection of data, their description, structuring, analysis, conservation and communication, to their valorization and future reuse, all aspects of the researcher's work are questioned, e.g. methodology, analysis and treatment, interpretation, dissemination, in addition to ethics.

The special issue aims to publish papers on the following four topics:

  • Operations: analysis of research data management systems (platforms, networks, etc.), forms of mediation and communication of research data;

  • Users and usage: studies of the practices and needs of researchers in information and communication sciences, in terms of production and management of research data, evaluation of the use of data infrastructures, studies of the information culture of research data (“data literacy”);

  • Research data and its processing: conceptual approach of data, in particular in the digital humanities, epistemology of the research data (construction of knowledge based on the reuse of datasets in other contexts, or on the crossing of different datasets), archiving and valorization of the research activity, curation of research data (good practices);

  • Public and citizen sphere: studies of research data policies, ethical and regulatory aspects (rules for data publishing, sharing and appropriation; rules for recording documentary trajectories on platforms; international comparisons of ethics and laws).

Review Process

All submissions will go through a two-part review process:

  • Submission of an abstract (3,000 characters including spaces) which should include a presentation of objectives and principle arguments, explain the originality of the paper and provide key bibliographical references;

  • For accepted abstracts, a second evaluation will take place for final papers (30,000-40,000 characters including spaces). No definite decision will be taken before reception of the full paper.

Instructions for authors are available at the journal homepage:

Papers will be peer-reviewed by at least two anonymous referees.

Proposals may be made in French or English. The paper will be published in French.

Abstracts should be submitted in Word (.doc) or PDF and sent to at least two of the following email addresses:

Important Dates

May 4, 2018: Abstract submission deadline (3,000 characters)

June 1, 2018: Notification of acceptance/refusal

September 15, 2018: Preliminary version of article due

December 15, 2018: Final version of accepted article due

May 2019: Publication date of issue 52 of Études de communication (paper and digital)

Scientific Committee

Joumana Boustany (Paris)

Guillaume Cabanac (Toulouse)

Ghislaine Chartron (Paris)

Stéphane Chaudiron (Lille)

Viviane Clavier (Grenoble)

Jacques Ducloy (Nancy)

Hans Dillaerts (Montpellier)

Ulrich Herb (Saarbruck)

Maxi Kindling (Berlin)

Annaig Mahé (Paris)

Florence Millerand (Montréal)

Samuel Moore (London)

Achim Osswald (Cologne)

Céline Paganelli (Montpellier)

Laurent Romary (Berlin)

Jérôme Valluy (Paris)

Marc Vanholsbeeck (Brussels)


Awre, C., Baxter, J., Clifford, B et al., 2015. Research data management as a “wicked problem”. Library Review, 64 (4/5), 356-371.

Borgman, C. L., 2015. Big data, little data, no data: scholarship in the networked world. The MIT Press, Cambridge MA.

Klump, J., 2017. Data as social capital and the gift culture in research. Data Science Journal, 16 (14), 1-8.

Leonelli, S., 2016. Locating ethics in data science: responsibility and accountability in global and distributed knowledge production systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 374 (2083), 20160122+. DOI : 10.1098/rsta.2016.0122

Müller, B., 2006. À la recherche des archives de la recherche. Problèmes de sens et enjeux scientifiques, Genèses, 63(2), 4‑24. DOI : 10.3917/gen.063.04.

Piponnier, A., 2017. Le rapport scientifique, un observable de l’institutionnalisation de la recherche contractualisée en sciences humaines et sociales. Mots. Les langages du politique, 114, 135‑144.

Prost, H., Schöpfel, J., 2015. Les données de la recherche en SHS. Une enquête à l'Université de Lille 3. Rapport final. Université de Lille 3, Villeneuve d'Ascq.

Schöpfel, J., Kergosien, E., Prost, H., 2017. « Pour commencer, pourriez-vous définir 'données de la recherche' ? » une tentative de réponse. In: Atelier VADOR : Valorisation et Analyse des Données de la Recherche, INFORSID 2017, 31 May 2017 Toulouse (France).

Schöpfel, J., Ferrant, C., André, F., Fabre, R., 2018 forthcoming. Research data management in the French National Research Center (CNRS), Data Technologies and Applications, 52.

Serres, A. et al., 2017. Données de la recherche en SHS. Pratiques, représentations et attentes des chercheurs : une enquête à l'Université Rennes 2. Université Rennes 2.

Thanos, C., 2017. Research data reusability: conceptual foundations, impediments and enabling technologies. Publications, 5 (1), 2+.

van Zeeland, H., Ringersma, J., 2017. The development of a research data policy at Wageningen University & Research: best practices as a framework. LIBER Quaterly, 27 (1), 153-170.

Wilkinson, M.D., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, IJ.J. et al., 2016. The FAIR guiding principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Scientific Data, 3, 160018. DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2016.18

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