Terms of use

1.   Introduction

The Episciences platform comprises an open collection of scientific journals enabling the sharing of information and knowledge in various scientific fields with as wide an audience as possible.

The multilingual and configurable platform is administered by the Centre pour la Communication Scientifique et Directe (hereafter the CCSD) and hosted in France.

The mission of the CCSD (UAR 3668) is to enable its community of users, from French or foreign educational and research institutions and public or private laboratories, to deposit and disseminate published or unpublished research-level scientific documents or data.

Created and co-directed by its Supervisory Bodies - the CNRS, INRIA and INRAE -, the CCSD is managed by the CNRS as mandated by INRIA and INRAE.

This platform is open to the entire scientific community.

2.   Definition

Terms: shall mean these terms of use as a whole including the main text and annexes thereto.

User Account: shall mean a personal account created by a User, by means of a specific login.

Force majeure: unforeseeable and unpreventable event beyond the control of the Supervisory Bodies.

Metadata: information describing a published document (title, subtitle, abstract, author’s name, table of contents, bibliography, ISBN/ISSN, DOI, URL, language of publication, etc.). The full text does not constitute Metadata.

Publication or pre-publication: documents provided by an Episciences User, distributed on the Platform and downloadable by any User. This includes but is not limited to a journal, a book, a series of documents...

Platform: shall mean the whole of the infrastructure and application managed by Episciences allowing the communication of Publications and Metadata.

Evaluations: documents evaluating the scientific content of publications submitted to Episciences. The journals define the criteria of such evaluations.

DOI: Digital Object Identifier[1]

User(s): any person(s) who use(s) the Platform. Each user benefits from a varying level of access to the platform’s services as specified in Annex 1.

[1]      https://www.doi.org/

3.   Purpose and scope

These Terms are intended to set out:

-the terms and conditions of use of the Platform by Users

By accessing and using the Platform, Users explicitly and unconditionally accept these Terms.

Users confirm they have read these Terms and undertake to comply with them.

4.   Amendment of Terms of Use

The Terms are applicable to Users once validated on the Platform.

The Supervisory Bodies reserve the right to make any changes to the Terms they deem necessary or useful. The new Terms will then be notified to Users for acceptance.

5.   Entry into force – Duration

 The Terms are applicable to Users with a User Account once they have been accepted, until such time as the User Account is closed.

6.   Description of the Platform’s services

The Platform offers Users a number of services allowing the online publication of scientific journals on the basis of pre-publications and publications available in open repositories. The following specific services are offered:

  • document submission,
  • editorial management,
  • review of documents,
  • publications of documents,
  • email management,
  • website creation,
  • administration of a scientific journal and its publication process,
  • sending automatic or manual emails,
  • DOI declaration.

7.   Terms and conditions of access to the Platform

Terms of access

Anonymous Users can view public content on the platform, mainly published documents and associated Metadata, without needing a user account. Other actions offered by the platform are linked to one or more roles described below which require a user account.

Episciences defines different roles with associated rights in terms of functions.

  • Member: any person with an account on the website of a journal hosted by Episciences. No specific rights on the journal are conferred.
  • Reviewer: member whose role is to review a specific article and provide a recommendation to the editorial team via an Online Evaluation. Depending on the parameters of the journal, the reviewer can communicate with the author.
  • Editor: manages and publishes an article. Their privileges depend on the parameters of the journal. They can skip an article in a section or volume, assign reviewers, make suggestions (accept or reject an article).
  • Guest Editor: editor managing a limited number of publications.
  • Editor-in-chief: role with full rights on a journal. Manages users and allocates privileges to them, manages reviewers and articles and can also configure or modify the journal’s website.
  • Copy editor: manages the copy editing process on their own or with the author, resulting in a final version that will be published by the journal.
  • Editorial secretary: performs an initial sort on articles submitted and can reject an article (if it does not meet the journal’s objectives for example) but not accept one and can manage users (account creation).
  • Webmaster: responsible for the journal’s website, including the parameters and design.

A complete table of possible actions on a journal for each role can be found in Annex 1. It is also available on each journal’s website.

Publication Submission

Document submissions for a journal must be carried out in the following order:

Deposit your pre-publication in a compatible open repository:

  • HAL
  • arXiv
  • CWI
  • Zenodo

A proposal for pre-publication in the journal using the document identifier is obtained after being deposited in one of the compatible open repositories.

To have the right to propose a document for publication in one of the platform’s journals, the User must:

  • Certify they are the author, or the representative of one of the authors
  • Certify they have not published/submitted this document elsewhere

You may be asked for later versions of the published document. As decided by the journal, these new versions will have to be deposited in an open repository or on the platform in the form of files for upload.

Submission of Review report

To submit a review report, the User must accept the invitation to review a document sent by email. Following acceptance of the invitation, the User must log on or create an account on the platform.

The review report must be completed according to the criteria defined by each journal. As decided by the journal, each criterion can be accessed by:

- the editors in charge of the article only

- the author of the article

or be made public

These levels of dissemination are indicated on the article’s peer review grid for each criterion.

8.   Terms of use of the Platform

Technical prerequisites

By accepting these Terms, the User undertakes to have a secure internet connection to access the Platform and to guarantee the traceability of the User’s actions on the Platform.

User’s obligations

The User undertakes to adhere to these Terms and annexes and to comply with all the documentation on the Platform relating in particular to use of the Platform and established best practice to ensure the standardisation and structuring of data provided on the platform in the interest of all the organisations able to access it.

The User undertakes to deposit content that meets the standards of scientific selection.

The User shall be liable for any failure to adhere to these conditions which will be sanctioned by suspension, or even termination, of access to the Platform, which the User expressly accepts.

If Users fail to adhere to the Terms or if the Publications published on the Platform contravene French law, the Supervisory Bodies reserve the right to delete any such content or Publications.

9.   Intellectual property

All content on the Platform, including texts, images, video, data and code, is protected under copyright and belongs to the Joint Supervisory Body with the exception of content created or posted online by Users themselves.

Users undertake that they shall only post publications they have authored on the Platform or Publications they have not authored but have been explicitly authorised to publish on the Platform by the rights holders. If the author of a Publication published without permission asks for it to be removed from the Platform, the Joint Supervisory Bodies will inform the Users concerned and reserve the right to remove the Publication from the Platform. Users will be required to provide proof of the author’s permission to publish the Publication concerned.

The free access and right of use enjoyed by the User do not entail any intellectual property right to the content concerned.

The entire Platform is subject to French legislation on copyright and intellectual property. All rights of reproduction and dissemination are reserved (except for strictly private use), including for iconographic and photographic representations.

The principle of short citation must be respected subject to mentioning the source by a link to the page cited (or, otherwise, the home page) or, in the case of reproduction on a physical medium, by indicating the author and URL address of the page cited.

Permission must be obtained for any other reproduction or public communication of all or a substantial part of the content on the platform.

Any partial or total reproduction without the prior written permission of the supervisory bodies constitutes an infringement that may lead to legal proceedings.

Nevertheless, some content is published under a free licence according to the principles of open access. It is understood that such content is available to be read and downloaded by all persons, without limitation, and can in particular be shared or reused by the User, subject to the conditions of the licence.

The licence that applies to each downloadable document is indicated on the cover page and/or in the description.

Trademarks – Logos

The CNRS, Inria and INRAE signs and their respective names (“Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique”, “Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique” and “Institut national de recherche pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement”) and logo are registered as trademarks. The User is therefore prohibited from referring to the company names or CNRS, Inria and INRAE trademarks, for any purpose whatsoever, without the prior, express and written permission of the Joint Supervisory Bodies concerned.

Furthermore, no reference can be made to the names and logos of the platform without the prior permission of the Supervisory Bodies.

10.   Responsibilities

Responsibility of Users

Users of the Platform are solely responsible for their use of the Platform and the Publications published on the Platform. The Supervisory Bodies cannot be held liable for any error, disclosure of confidential information, missing information, lack of response, erroneous result and so on arising from the use of the services available on the Platform.

Furthermore, the Supervisory Bodies cannot be held liable if the Platform’s website ceases operating or if any of the User’s Publications or Metadata are removed.

Users undertake to inform the CCSD as soon as they are informed in writing of any claim or dispute regarding the posting of a Publication and of any issues so the CCSD can withdraw the content without delay.

Responsibilities of Supervisory Bodies

The Supervisory Bodies shall make every effort to ensure the Platform remains available to Users but cannot guarantee its permanent availability or total freedom from errors.

The Supervisory Bodies undertake to correct any bug or error of which they are aware as soon as possible.

In addition, the Supervisory Bodies reserve the right to limit access to all or part of the Platform for the purposes of scheduled or urgent maintenance work.

The Supervisory Bodies use highly effective security tools available on the market but cannot absolutely guarantee the User is protected from third party fraudulent intrusions into the User’s digital environment. Therefore, the Supervisory Bodies cannot be held liable for malicious acts or third party fraudulent intrusions on the Platform.

11.   Protection of personal data

The Supervisory Bodies and Users undertake to comply with the legal and regulatory obligations incumbent on them under European Regulation 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and under the French data protection act No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978, as amended at any time.

12.   Invalidity of a clause of these terms of use

The invalidity, illegality or unenforceability of one or more stipulations of these Terms of Use shall not affect the validity, legality or enforceability of any other stipulation.

13.   Suspension - Termination

If a User fails to comply with any of the provisions of these Terms, the Supervisory Bodies reserve the right to terminate or suspend use of the Platform by the User, based on the seriousness of the non-compliance.

If translated into several languages, only the French text shall be authoritative.

If a User fails to comply with these Terms, the supervisory bodies reserve the right to take legal action and can, at their sole discretion, suspend access to a User Account immediately and without prior notice.

14.   Force majeure

Force majeure shall suspend the application of these Terms.

The party citing force majeure shall inform the other party immediately by all means available as soon as it is aware of the event concerned, providing all necessary evidence and explanations, indicating its foreseeable duration and informing the other party of the measures taken or envisaged to bring it to an end. It must also inform the other party immediately and by all means available when the force majeure event ends. The other party has the right to verify and check the reality of the alleged facts.

If force majeure lasts for more than two months, these Terms will be terminated automatically, unless agreed otherwise between the User and the Joint Supervisory Bodies.

15.   Applicable law

These Terms are governed by French law.

In the event of a dispute, the Supervisory Bodies and Users will endeavour to resolve their dispute amicably.

If agreement cannot be reached, the matter will be referred to the competent courts.

16.   Annexes

Appendix 1: Services Offered and User Consents

Permissions

Permissions

Permissions

Permissions

Permissions

Terms of Use (PDF version)

15/11/2022