Maintaining trust in HAL: the CCSD establishes a research integrity board

Written by Agnès Magron

How should scientific integrity misconduct related to a publication deposited in HAL be addressed and dealt with? Although reports are rare, they unfortunately do occur. The CCSD is implementing a system that will allow it to rely on the scientific advisors of its three supervising institutions.


Cases are rare, but they do occur where someone reports a dispute to the CCSD about a publication deposited in the HAL. These reports concern issues such as authorship of texts, plagiarism, lack of anonymisation of data, disputes between authors, or misrepresentation of research status or affiliation. They may concern published articles, preprints or theses. Some cases can be resolved simply through dialogue with the authors, while others may be more complex.

In order to deal efficiently and calmly with cases that may arise in the future, the CCSD is setting up a system for reporting and dealing with breaches of scientific integrity. This system is in line with the legal and regulatory framework, in particular in coherence with the network of Scientific Integrity Officers (RIS) of the  higher education and research institutions.

The system consists of a board that brings together the scientific officers of the supervising institutions (CNRS, Inria and INRAE). Its role will be to advise the management of the CCSD and to make recommendations to improve the transparency and management of breaches of scientific integrity related to publications in the HAL. This board will have an overview of reported cases and will be consulted when necessary.

In addition, internal procedures will be established within the CCSD to collect reports and ensure their appropriate handling. User information is another component of the system: the principles and submission procedures are detailed on information pages available on the HAL. General Terms of Use (GTU) for depositors and readers will soon complement these, mentioning the reporting and handling procedures for contentious cases.

In 2023, the CCSD, in consultation with its governance, undertook a reflection on the relationship between open archives and scientific integrity. This issue was particularly central to the discussions during the scientific day of the third HAL Partners’ Assembly in November 2023 (See the post summarising the discussions). Nathalie Fargier presented the approach taken to develop this system (replay, in french). She will also present it on 4 June at the Open Repositories 2024 international conference.

The CCSD is not a publisher, but as manager of a dissemination platform, it must contribute to maintaining integrity, which is essential for the credibility of science. The aim is to preserve the image of HAL, and the trust that the scientific communities and society must have in the national archive.

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