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First and foremost ...

Deposits in HAL must comply with intellectual property rules and legislation :

  • The author of a deposit retains copyright of his/her work, including authorship and crediting rights ;
  • Full text deposit requires consent from all co-authors. Failing that, only the bibliographic references can be deposited ;
  • Before depositing a published item, the contributor must obtain the publisher’s consent or check the publisher’s policy if it is made public.


About versions

There are often several different versions of one published article, which correspond to the steps in the publication process (writing, submitting, editing, accepting, publishing and distributing) :

  • Working version* : it's the researcher's working material, to wich he/she has exclusive moral and property rights.
  • Submitted version*it is sent by the researcher to the publisher for peer review, editing and validation. The author has exclusive moral and property rights to it.
  • Accepted version* : it's the peer-reviewed version, accepted for publishing and the final draft before lay out by the publisher. The author has exclusive moral and property rights to it, but the publisher can require an embargo before open distribution and archiving.
  • Published version* : final version with the publisher's lay out. The author has moral rights to it, the property rights can be reserved to the publisher or shared (depending on the terms of contract).

*Numerous terms are employed to designate these versions (working paper, preprint, postprint, publisher file, etc.) but it is not uncommon for their meaning to vary depending on the source.


It is important to know about these differences and to take them into account if you wish to make an open source deposit.
Terms of distribution vary from one publisher and/or journal to another. Contracts have to specify which versions can be distributed in open access by an author, along with the publisher's copyrighted material.

For more information, visit the legal aspects page of the HAL documentation..


The French law

The Law for a Digital Republic :

Article 30 of this law makes clear that if research :

  • Has been funded at least 50% by the French state, territories, public establishments, national finance agencies, or by funds coming from the European Union,
  • and it appears in a review published at least annually (digitally or on paper), then
  • the author or authors have the right, with the consent of any coauthors, to deposit the resulting research, in the form of the manuscript accepted by a publisher, into an open archive in a digital form.

This can be done from the moment of publication, if the publisher allows, but a publisher’s embargo cannot last more than 6 months for a publication in the domain of sciences and no more than 12 months for a publication in the domain of humanities and social sciences.

For more information :



The national plan for open science :

On July 4th 2018, the minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation Frédérique Vidal launched the national plan for open science, which aims at making open access compulsory for state funded research.

Learn more about the plan.


European recommendations

Funding program Horizon 2020 (or H2020) for research and innovation, effective from 2014 to 2020, recommends open access for research publications funded by it. It also makes open access compulsory for research data.

For more information, visit the website Horizon 2020.


Useful resources

Viewing a publisher's distribution policy :

There are 3 data bases listing publishing policy in terms of copyright and archiving : Sherpa-Romeo (worldwide journals), Héloise (French journals), Dulcinea (Spanish journals).p>



Consulter Sherpa-Romeo




Learn about rights and duties :

Willo (WillOpen) is a questionnaire developed by the staff at Lilliad (University of Lille), with a goal to offer a publishing scenario suiting a researcher's situation, based on his answers to the questions, and taking into account his legal rights and duties..



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