2 min

Quæ, sharing knowledge

Established in 2006, Quæ is the publishing house for three French research institutes: INRAE, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER). With a catalogue of nearly 1,500 publications, Quæ’s aim is to foster knowledge transmission, to support interaction among scientists, to inform policy-making and to contribute to public discourse.

Published on 16 February 2021

illustration Quæ, sharing knowledge
© AdobeStock

Better together! In 2006, four French research institutes — INRA and IRSTEA, which merged as INRAE in 2020, IFREMER and CIRAD — decided to pool their expertise in scientific publishing. The result was Quæ, a joint publishing house whose aim was to support interactions among scientists and to disseminate knowledge as widely as possible. Quæ’s work focuses on agriculture and agricultural science, environmental science, food, oceans, aquatic and marine resources, and social sciences.

Collections to cater to a range of audiences

Across 17 collections, Éditions Quæ reveals the beauty of science, explores social issues, informs public debate and provides keys to understanding a range to topics. Some publications are intended for the general public and provide an overview of a field of study. Others delve into specialised subject matter and allow the scientific community to stay up to date on the work of their other experts in the field. And since knowledge knows no borders, an increasing number of Quæ publications are being translated into English for the benefit of the wider scientific community.

Quæ key figures

Nearly 1,500 publications

Nearly 1,000 publications digitally available

• 50 publications per year

More than 2,000 authors

110 publications in English

Making science accessible to all

The move towards open access

In recent years, the move towards open science has been gaining momentum in the scientific community. Open science is fuelled by the belief that research findings and knowledge — publicly funded research in particular — should be accessible to all and at no cost. This is known as “open access”. Quæ adopted open access principles in 2018, as its director, Jean Arbeille, explains. “Our work is an extension of the open science movement. One of our missions is to support researchers in the creation and dissemination of open‑access, digital work.” A critical question for Quæ is, of course, the financing of open‑source publications. If a publication is free for the reader, who will pay for the publication’s costs? A common strategy in scientific publishing is for the researcher to pay for publication costs — or, more accurately, for the research centre, institution or laboratory hosting the researcher to finance the publication in order to promote the author’s research findings. This new economic model has proven effective, with half of Quæ’s 2020 publications released either as fully or partially open access. For some publications, Quæ uses a hybrid system known as “freemium”. The same publication can be accessed for free as a PDF or a digital e-pub, while the printed version is available for purchase. It’s a system that works well. “It creates uplift. Readers may discover the free version and then buy the paper version to further their exploration of the topic.” Since 2019, Quæ has had a dedicated web portal for its open access publications: https://www.quae-open.com/.

Learn more

Odile Hologne, an ambassador for open science

Since the start of her career, Odile Hologne, director of INRAE’s Directorate for Open Science (DipSO), has always been motivated by her desire to disseminate knowledge within and outside of the scientific community. For Odile, the best way to do this is with new information technologies and a healthy dose of enthusiasm.

02 January 2020

Society and regional strategies

Innovation in action at INRA

PRESS RELEASE - Agricultural, food, environmental and energy-related transitions are necessary to enable our societies to live better and sustainably. INRA is a targeted research organisation unique in the world due to the diversity of its research topics and has numerous assets for proposing disruptive innovations and accompanying transitions.

27 May 2020


First evidence that extracellular nanofilaments manipulate cell shape

PRESS RELEASE - Until now, it was thought that the shape of plant cells was determined only by the hydrostatic pressure within the cells exerted against the cell wall. INRAE ​​researchers, in collaboration with scientists from Cambridge University and Caltech / Howard Hughes Medical Institute, have discovered that the cell wall is an active participant in shaping plant cells. Published in the journal Science on February 27, 2020, these results also have implications in the animal world and could, in the future, inspire the development of new smart self-expanding materials.

28 February 2020