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National science archive moves forward

A €60 million project to establish a national science archive took a step forward on 19 April when the Conference of University Presidents signed a deal with Laurent Wauquiez, minister for higher education and research, and flagship research agency the CNRS.

The ISTEX project aims to establish a digital library of between 50 million and 60 million publications within three years.

Those involved in the project say they are seeking to tackle unequal access to scientific publications stemming from prohibitively expensive archive subscription costs by offering all researchers in France the chance to use the new archive on an equal footing.

It is not yet clear whether institutions will have to pay to access the ISTEX archives but those involved say the project will enable universities to make considerable savings.

The project is led by Lorraine University and is funded by the eight universities that are receiving funding from the government’s €7.7 billion excellence initiative, aimed at establishing a group of world-leading institutions.