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The Centre Mersenne, One Year On



One year has passed since the launch of Centre Mersenne and a lot of things happened in 2018 for Open Access! Initiatives, events, new infrastructures, mandates including Plan S.

And Centre Mersenne experienced its first year of operation and tested its project that became a reality.

Welcoming its first journals, testing its accession process, its economic model, developing new functionalities to address the journals demands, adapting, 2018 was an intense year!


Before the launch: from Cedram to Centre Mersenne

Creating a open access publishing platform is a result of several years hard work, conducted by Mathdoc's team, who developed a scalable and high capacity technical platform. It should be noted that Centre Mersenne didn't start from scratch since it benefited from the technical experience acquired by this very same team on Numdam and Cedram's projects.

In terms of content, Centre Mersenne was guaranteed to ingest the whole Cedram content, that is 9 journals, 1 book and 6 proceedings. We also knew, before launching the project, that three new journals would join us.


An overview of our first year activity: 3 new journals + Cedram journals

Centre Mersenne successfully opened on 1 January 2018 and launched its first journal, Algebraic Combinatorics, at the end of January 2018.

In 2018, Centre Mersenne welcomed 3 new journals and integrated 2 Cedram journals. So we do web-publish 5 journals on our platform as of today. 7 journals and 6 proceedings are still web-published with Cedram, but are in the process to integrate Centre Mersenne (during 2019).


In 2018,

7011 pages (206 articles) were published online

including Cedram publications.



Services delivery overview

  • Typesetting and proofreading

7 journals and 2 proceedings (including Cedram publications) benefit from this service.

In 2018, 5612 pages were typeset (treated internally, outsourced) and turned into accessible PDF articles that you can read on any type of device. 5229 of those pages were processed internally by our in-house layout designer, and 383 were outsourced to trustworthy freelances.

The 1399 pages that were published but not typeset by us are typeset by the journal's editors themselves, after our norms.

  • Website creation

Centre Mersenne created 5 new websites, with new visual identities, and new norms, since they all comply with OASPA and DOAJ norms are now.

  • Support to editorial process with Open Journal System (OJS)

Development and adaptation of 4 OJS instances, after the specificities of each journal's editorial process. Each journal has its own editorial process with different peer review models and we had to adapt the OJS systems.

  • LaTeX layout

Creation of 3 LaTeX layouts with specificities of each journal.

  • IT adaptation of the platform

  • More accessibility

For accessibility reasons, Centre Mersenne decided make the TeX source files available to the reader. TeX sources are indeed easier to read by screen readers for the visually impaired.


Feedback on our economic model

As explained in the article titled “Introducing the Centre Mersenne”, Centre Mersenne adopted a mixed economic model: basic services that are free, additional services (not required for publication) that are charged.

So far, 5 of our services are charged: copy editing, typesetting and proofreading, managing editor, plagiarism detection, print-on-demand. Typesetting and proofreading is the most requested service (by most of the journals). Copy editing was selected by one journal.

All the Cedram journals that benefit from the Typesetting service are financially supported by INSMI (CNRS), which provides funds directly to Cedram/centre Mersenne.

As for the new journals which selected the charged services, they found specific institutions supporting them. We then received our first payment for the first 422 pages typeset externally, that we directly forwarded to the freelance.


Communication in the community

Centre Mersenne attended every major event in the domains of mathematics, open access and scientific publishing as to introduce the project. It raised a high interest in the community which was waiting for such an alternative open access publishing solution.

  • 10 events to present Centre Mersenne: Journées nationales de la Science Ouverte (Paris, France), ANF Mathrice (Marseille, France), Journées Médici (Avignon, France), International Congress of Mathematics (Brazil), Conférence ElPub 2018 (Toronto, Canada), Journées science ouverte Couperin 2018 (Paris, France), Joint Mathematics Meetings 2018 (USA)...
  • 3 articles on Centre Mersenne


Accession requests

Over 2017 (announcement of the Mersenne creation was mid-2017) and 2018, Centre Mersenne received around 8 accession requests, among which three were approved: Algebraic Combinatorics, launched in January 2018, Annales Henri Lebesgue, launched in March 2018 and Open Geomechanics, not launched yet. Others were out of scope.


Lots still has to be done and 2019 appears to be even more intense with a lot of projects.