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Scientific with and for society

BRGM publishes its open science policy for 2022

Objective: to become a national and Europe-wide reference centre for ground and subsurface data. In 2022, BRGM published its general policy on open science. This policy is central to BRGM’s scientific strategy as a leading national and European player in the field of science and information concerning ground, the subsurface and their resources.

As a reference centre for ground and subsurface data, BRGM has an increasingly important role to play on a national and international level, notably with the French government and as part of European infrastructures, such as the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) or the European Geological Survey Alliance (EuroGeoSurveys) and the international initiative, OneGeology.

As the manager of a very large number of freely available databases, as part of its public-policy support activities, it is committed to sharing the results of its research as much as possible.

A general policy document published in 2022

BRGM’s open science policy aims to structure the organisation’s practices and accelerate the open-science process in all BRGM’s scientific work. It will be implemented as part of the 2023-2027 objectives, resources and performance contract (COMP) signed by BRGM and its supervisory Ministries.

BRGM’s open science policy establishes the general principle of making any data, source codes and knowledge produced through public funding freely available, while respecting the frameworks of confidentiality legislation and rules with respect to National Security, business secrecy and defending national sovereignty.

BRGM’s open science policy has several objectives, including:

  • modernising and redesigning InfoTerre one-stop portal for disseminating BRGM reports and data;
  • rapidly achieving open-access for all the organisation’s scientific production (scientific articles, public reports and maps);
  • systematically implementing data management plans for all BRGM’s projects;
  • guaranteeing the long-term availability of scientific data for research and audit/survey activities and ensuring open access to the information;
  • developing an in-house culture regarding the management of data by all players involved in the data life cycle, based on the FAIR (Findable , Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) principles;
  • developing and promoting infrastructures, tools and standards that allow independent queries and independent analysis of scientific content;
  • involving BRGM in the major national initiatives that are in progress, such as Equipex+ TERRA FORMA, and developing strategic partnerships with other public establishments that produce knowledge and data. 

84% of BRGM’s scientific publications are now open access

For the first time, BRGM is publishing its open science barometer as part of its Annual Report, according to the criteria set down by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. In 2022, 84% of the scientific publications from the previous year, involving at least one BRGM-affiliated author, were open access, i.e. accessible to everyone with no need for subscriptions to scientific journals.  The trend as regards this indicator has been very positive over the last five years, with an increase of almost 70%.

To facilitate open access to its publications, BRGM has teamed up with the national HAL platform, via its HAL-BRGM portal. In 2022, a total of 74% of BRGM’s scientific publications from 2021 were hosted on an open archive, including 70% on the HAL open archive, which is our reference platform. Some of these publications may also be made available in open access by their publishers.

In addition to providing open access to scientific publications, it is important to provide access to the data used in the research in order to consolidate the credibility of the work and ensure reproducibility. This is why an indicator concerning the availability of the source datasets for a scientific article (Data availability statement) is very important. This practice is still not widespread, but, since 2021, there has been a marked increase in the practice of indicating in the article that associated research datasets are available.

The challenge is to implement this policy at every level of the organisation with a shared and coordinated vision of the entire scientific data cycle, from data acquisition in the field to digital services via Internet.
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Director, Research, Scientific Programme and Communication