Freemium programme

 By an unknown photographer From the collection of the State Library of New South Wales Flickr:

Jocelyn Howarth and Nancy Bird, ca. 1930-33
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OpenEdition Freemium, an innovative programme for open access to scientific publishing

OpenEdition Freemium is an innovation in the domain of open-access academic publishing. It is based on a hybrid economic model combining open-access to information and paid services generating income for the producers of its resources. The program offers the perfect opportunity to place libraries at the heart of the development of open-access publication. It is OpenEdition’s way of offering libraries and publishers a mean to create a sustainable alliance to promote open-access in the humanities and social sciences. Two-thirds of income is allocated to those journals and partner publishers who adopt the freemium model. The other third enables us to develop the platform. All income created by OpenEdition Freemium is then reinvested in the development of open-access academic publishing.

Since February 2011, the OpenEdition Freemium has enabled libraries:

  • to access six premium services specially designed to respond to their needs;
  • to take part in the construction of an economic model for open access and find an alternative to restricted access platforms, which constrict users and diminish the impact of academic production;
  • to create a dynamic which will incite more journals of quality to become open-access.

OpenEdition serves the humanities and social sciences research communities through four complementary publication and information platforms in the humanities and social sciences :

  • founded in 1999, which today distributes more than 400 journals and 100,000 articles on immediate or deffered open access.
  • Calenda: founded in 2000, which has already published 23,000 academic event announcements in all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences.
  • Hypotheses: founded in 2008, which now hosts over 700 research blogs, containing 35,000 posts and articles relating to research in the humanities and social sciences.
  • OpenEdition books: this new platform inaugurated in 2013 with 1000 books  in all fields of research in the HSS and in the majority of academic languages.16,000 books will be online by 2020.

OpenEdition is developed by the Centre for Open Electronic Publishing (Cleo), a non-profit public initiative promoting Open Access academic publishing, with the support of the main French research institutions.

OpenEdition Freemium, a package with 6 main services

1. Premium access to the open-access journal and book collection service

Libraries subscribing to OpenEdition Freemium will be able to offer unlimited, DRM-free download access to PDF, ePub files of the articles of the 90 journals which have adopted the OpenEdition Freemium model.

Library access to the dedicated platform: headlining of new publications, thematic resource selection, advanced search engines, fast access to downloadable resources.

2. Assistance and training

Libraries and campuses who sign up to OpenEdition Freemium will have direct access, by email and telephone, to a technical assistant who will answer any questions relating to the platform’s functioning and the state of collections. On-site or online training, in French or English, of library staff, including the presentation of documentary resources, the platform’s functions and what is new in OpenEdition.

3. Data services and supply

The catalogue of journals and books available on has been made user-friendlier by making its references available in the MARC format. Libraries subscribing to OpenEdition Freemium can automatically integrate these records in their ILMS.

A customised alerts system is available to library users to automatically receive email notifications related to keywords or authors of their choice, or about of new publications in their discipline, and that on all platforms and all types of publications: journal issue, article, book, call for papers, conference announcement, blog post, etc..

Users have access to Calenda’s database using simple requests related to all available fields: dates, places, categories, event partners, etc. Requests use the Calenda webservice, an API which produces data flows in several formats (ATOM, JSON, RSS, PHPS, iCal). They can be displayed and consulted on all types of website, like institutions’ own digital workspaces, documentary platforms, and departmental or laboratory web pages. They can also be exported in the electronic organizers of library users.

4. Indicators

Access is also available to campus statistics in accordance with the COUNTER norm. We also supply editorial statistics tables, accessible online and sent monthly by email featuring:

  • lists of the most consulted publications and documents by title;
  • lists of referrer sites collated by type (search engines, blogs, documentary platforms, online encyclopaedias);
  • visual statistics with progression curves for all types of information (visits, visitors, pages visited, referrer sites, connection country, etc.).

5. Information and documentation

Subscriber libraries regularly receive information about the evolution of OpenEdition Freemium, new additions to platforms and Cléo’s activities:

  • training sessions, public presentations and various conferences;
  • posters and notices relating to Cléo’s three platforms and Cléo’s own activities: training, conferences, the open electronic publishing summer university, THATCamp Paris (a Digital humanities “unconference”), etc.
  • printed documentation in French and English relating to the three platforms:, Calenda and user guides; the catalogue of works available on

6. Management

Subscribing libraries automatically become member of the "Library working group" of the OpenEdition users' committee. The committee meets once a year and is constantly engaged in development work through workgroups operating in situ or at a distance on such areas as referencing and bibliometrics, internationalisation, bibliographical tools, the quality of metadata, among others. The members of the Committee receive OpenEdition annual activity report. 

Information and subscriptions

Libraries and institutions may request a trial period of the Freemium programme. 

Couperin member libraries should refer to the OpenEdition Freemium state of trade available on Couperin website.

For further information:


Phone number
+33 (0)4 13 55 09 80

Adresse postale
Cléo / OpenEdition
CNRS - Université d'Aix Marseille - EHESS - Université d’Avignon
Château Gombert / Ecole Centrale - 38 Rue Frédéric Joliot Curie - 13451 Marseille Cedex 20 - France

Downloadable documents

Three platforms for electronic resources in the humanities and social sciences:,, Calenda