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A new portal for the INRAE Research Journals on the BMC platform

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It is our great pleasure to open this new portal within the BMC platform, (part of Springer Nature) dedicated to six international research journals published on behalf of INRAE (Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement). This portal is an expression of an active cooperation over the last decade between INRAE, Springer and BMC, who publishes the six journals on behalf of INRAE. Publication has been, and continues, under a full Open Access model (with BMC) and a hybrid model (with Springer).

INRAE and Springer Nature share a strong commitment to disseminate science and research results within the Open Science framework. This commitment to open the content of our journals as much as possible to all, the scientific community (who are the main users of the information we disseminate), but also the broader public, is the backbone of our cooperation and in the centre of many shared decisions.

The Open Science framework refers to, in part, immediate access to journal articles, which is possible through access to (i) archiving the final versions of the manuscripts in public repositories like HAL (which is usually referred to as “Green Open Access”) and to (ii) the Final publication of the version of record (VOR) via the Publisher ’s platform commonly known as “Gold Open Access” publishing. This is a growing fraction of the papers that INRAE publishes. This is indeed a first and important step.

But our journals also promote accessibility to the data backing the published results. Open Access to data means that the data sets are structured following the FAIR principles (they are findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable), and that they are deposited by their authors in public repositories with a permanent identifier, preferably a DOI, and described in explicit meta-data files. The journals are not directly involved in the maintenance of such repositories (this is rather the duty of the institutions employing the researchers, research communities or third parties. Moreover, the authors are solely in charge of the actual deposits of their data set and keep full credit for the production of the datasets. The journals, with the continuous support of Springer-BMC, actively promote this approach.

INRAE journals are also promoting the publication of Data Papers that describe large and potentially very useful datasets shared among interested scientists. This increases the visibility of important data sets and provides an incentive to reuse them. It also helps colleagues involved in data production to gain credit for their invaluable contribution to the advancement of research.

Another important contribution of our journals to Open Access is that they accept the submission of preprints, i.e., of manuscripts that have been made available in a preprint server. In the case the preprint has already been assessed and possibly recommended by peers (like in the case of a Peer Community in…, Peer Community In - free peer review & validation of preprints of articles), we even use the reviews and recommendations made by such a community in addition to our own internal assessment.

Each journal is edited by an independent and international Editorial Board under the lead of one or more Chief Editors. Neither INRAE, Springer or BMC will interfere with any decision made by the Editors. Our aim is however to promote the journals, increase their visibility and bring them any support they might need to maintain their scientific quality.

The present portal invites you to further discover the diversity of topics covered in each of our journals.  All journals are briefly described, and links are provided to the individual websites of all journals, to read their contents or to submit your manuscript. It also highlights some original content of the different journals.

January 2023

Erwin Dreyer and Sabine Arbeille on behalf of INRAE.