The Scientific Council of theAbes

TheAbes Scientific Advisory Board was created by a decision of the Board of Directors on April 29, 2010. As a consultative body, the Scientific Council's role is to issue opinions and recommendations onAbes's strategic orientations, in a forward-looking approach. The Scientific Advisory Board analyzes certain issues or orientations submitted by the Board of Directors.


Composition of the Scientific Council of theAbes

TheAbes Scientific Council is made up of 18 members:

  • 16 personalities appointed by the Board of Directors with competence in the areas of activity of the Abes 
  •  2 representatives elected byAbes staff for a 3-year term.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Director of the Labo Abes and the Head of the Labo attend the meetings of the Scientific Council as of right.

The SC is chaired by Laurent Romary, Director of Scientific Culture and Communication at INRIA.

Professional members of partner institutions

  • Emmanuel Jaslier, Bibliothèque nationale de France
  • Olivier Rouchon, CINES
  • Stéphane Pouyllau, HumaNum

Documentation professionals working in university or research libraries

  • Frédérique Joannic-Seta, SCD Université Rennes 2
  • Grégory Miura, SCD Université Bordeaux Montaigne
  • Julien Roche, SCD Université de Lille and President of the LIBER association

Documentation professional working in an EPST

  • Claire François, INIST-CNRS

Professionals working in the same sector abroad

  • Magaly Bascones, Gale Cengage, UK
  • Jeannette Frey, BCU Lausanne

Researchers with expertise in the sector

  • Patrice Bellot, LSIS Laboratory, Aix Marseille University
  • Gilles Dumont, University of Nantes
  • Sébastien Ferré, IRISA
  • Laurent Romary, INRIA

Elected members of the staff of theAbes

  • Michaël Jeulin, for the college of library staff
  • Raluca Pierrot, for the college of library curators


Summaries of Scientific Council meetingsAbes

Summary of the SC of Friday 22 January 2022

The mandate of the current BoG runs until November 2022. Due to staff movements within the institutions, we are making some changes for the remainder of the term. The websiteAbes is updated accordingly.

In addition, last autumn the BoG set up an office to coordinate the organisation of meetings and the sharing of information with the Board and professional networks.

Today's session is devoted to a progress report and a collection of opinions on the perspectives of the Bibliographic Transition ofAbes, composed of several sub-projects of which the main ones will be discussed today:

  • The national Bibliographic Transition (Tb) programme
  • The National Entity File (NEF) project
  • The LRMisation ofAbes

Reminder: for its director, the "Tb de l'Abes " is 11 deliverables which constitute the results of actions carried out internally or in partnership, at a local, national and international level:



The national bibliographic transition programme, piloted byAbes and BnF under the aegis of the bibliographic strategic committee (MESRI / MC / Abes / Bnf) aims to design and ensure that all French libraries and library software publishers adopt the cataloguing standards, formats, rules and tools resulting from the IFLA-LRM conceptual data model and the RDA international cataloguing code. This is to insert catalogues into the web of data and to make bibliographic and documentary information much more accessible to all users.

National working groups of volunteer professionals from agencies and network libraries carry out all the work, the results of which are described on the website The drafting of the RDA-FR code desired by France, the evolution of the UNIMARC cataloguing format, and the training and information of professionals have made good progress and place France in the group of countries actively involved in the bibliographic transition.

The short- and medium-term management of the programme calls for adjustments in its organisation and operation. For the SC ofAbes, it has become crucial to maintain the motivation of the working groups, and the support of the supervisory bodies, by showing concrete results of the standardisation work carried out over the last 10 years. Because of the achievements of the programme and the developments underway, presenting cataloguing and catalogue interfaces that illustrate what Tb produces, that can be manipulated by users and that contain real data, is now seen as both indispensable and possible. Creating substantial datasets, shared and exploitable with partners, will enhance the benefits of Tb and facilitate this international appropriation. The SC also recommends that the heads of documentation institutions be better involved in the national programme, so that they understand the issues, support it and help to provide adequate means to complete it.

For the future, despite an uncertain national context (human resources allocated to Tb) and an international context that is still in flux (standardisation still in progress, competition between several development paths, major announcements expected from BMS publishers), the two agencies Abes and BnF, noting the progress made in the national programme, have undertaken to submit proposals to the BSC concerning the next phase of the national Tb programme, particularly concerning the :

  1. France's strategy in relation to Eurig and the RSC and more broadly at international level to develop RDA
  2. Governance of the RDA-Fr standard to follow international developments and meet the needs of the French community
  3. Strategy towards BMS vendors to accelerate the transformation of their tools
  4. Articulation and maintenance of the different levels of documentation to be made available to cataloguers: code/standard, manuals and cataloguing instructions, medium/long term training
  5. Economic model of the standards system in the medium to long term (in conjunction with AFNOR)

A concrete illustration of the bibliographic transition, the FNE also aims to promote the shared production of quality data, in compliance with the principles of FAIR (Easy to find, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) to share widely the millions of descriptions of entities useful to library professionals and ultimately to users of catalogues and documentary tools available on the web.

The work carried out in 2020 and 2021 by the working groups, the project leaders and the FNE steering committee has enabled progress to be made on the structure and alignment of the data, the technical base and the use cases. The FNE scientific council has been set up and now serves as a forum for exchange and relay with the various professional communities concerned.

However, the current organisation, the complexity of the project, and the context in which it is taking place at bothAbes and the BnF, mean that measures must be taken to ensure that it can produce the expected concrete results in the short term.

Three scenarios were developed to help in the decision-making process: FNE now, FNE later, no FNE. After the presentation of their main advantages and disadvantages, the SC was able to express an opinion on the choices open to it atAbes, in conjunction with its partner the BnF.

The SC believes that a scenario of concentrating human resources on the FNE should also be studied, in order to arrive at a convincing pilot/prototype as soon as possible. Failing that,Abes should carry out one of the intermediate scenarios. The scenario of stopping the FNE is not conceivable because it would delay by several years the modernisation and optimisation of the national system of bibliographic data production, at a time when the flows should increase considerably (digital legal deposit, global data graphs, etc). The Scientific Council insists on the fact that the projects of mutualisation will be those which will obtain human and financial means from the supervisory authorities.

The last point dealt with in the SC concerned the LRMisation of existing catalogues, a complex operation that the two agencies Abes and BnF must each carry out, but in a different context. Each agency has about 15 million bibliographic records and 6 million authority records to convert into entities. TheAbes wishes to join forces with a private partner that has a promising technology for processing such quantities of data and together they submitted an application in December 2021 to the ICC Call for tenders opened under the PIA4 ( The results are expected in April-May 2022.

The next two SCs in 2022 should deal with the application of artificial intelligence in the production of documentary data and metadata - all SC members are invited to share their experiences on this topic, and the granularity and scope ofAbes data - a topic that has been evolving over the last few years, and one on which the SC has been hoping for an update for some time now