20 years of Érudit

A word from our team

This fall, Érudit celebrates its 20th anniversary.

20 years is a lifetime in the digital realm, where things evolve at an astounding pace. Despite its venerable age, Érudit is as fit as ever.

20 years during which we have devoted all of our energy to one mission: the open dissemination of knowledge for the benefit all.

20 years during which our team has worked to disseminate over 200 scholarly and cultural journals internationally in collaboration with hundreds of research centres, university presses, libraries, and other institutions dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge.

To mark this anniversary, we invite you to discover a brief history of our organization, as well as our major ongoing projects, which will provide the foundations for an even more substantial and fair scholarly publishing ecosystem in the years to come.


– The Érudit team


  • 1996–1997
    Pilot project

    Érudit’s forerunner was created by the Presses de l’Université de Montréal (PUM) in order to assist five scholarly journals in their transition towards a digital format: Géographie physique et Quaternaire, Meta, Relations Industrielles / Industrial Relations, Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française and Sociologie et Sociétés. The project was launched by Gérard Boismenu, then scientific director of the press, and by Guylaine Beaudry, then a recent graduate of the Master’s programme at the École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’information.

    The journals were produced in SGML format (Standard Generalized Markup Language), one of the first standards used to describe digital documents with a tag set.

  • 1998
    First website

    The first version of the Érudit platform is finally online!

    The platform also disseminated Surfaces, one of the very first entirely digital French-language scholarly journals, edited by Jean-Claude Guédon, professor of literature at the Université de Montréal and advocate for an open Internet.

    In the same year

    Creation of SciELO, now the leading non-commercial digital dissemination platform for South-American scholarly journals, is created. It currently disseminates over 1500 journals.

  • 1999
    Disseminating journal archives

    Papers in the humanities and social sciences have a long lifespan and remain useful to researchers for several decades after their publication. This is why Érudit took on the endeavour of digitizing and disseminating archival issues with two historical French-language scholarly journals: Meta (launched in 1966) and Sociologie et sociétés (launched in 1969).

    In the same year

    Google’s search engine, launched in 1998, gathers over 3 million searches daily and becomes one of the most visited websites worldwide.

  • 2000
    An interuniversity steering committee

    With the growing demand for digital publishing services within the Canadian academic community, an Interuniversity group for digital publishing was created in order to manage Érudit. It was comprised of representatives from Université de Montréal, Université Laval, Université du Québec à Montréal and the Réseau d’informations scientifiques du Québec (RISQ). The Érudit Consortium, created in 2004, was derived from this group.

  • 2001
    Second iteration of the website

    The website’s new version allowed us to disseminate other types of content in digital format (books, prepublications, and dissertations). The platform then included 6,000 digital documents, all available in open access.

  • 2004
    Establishing a consortium

    In order to better reflect its mission, Érudit became a consortium comprised of Université de Montréal, Université Laval and Université du Québec à Montréal. The platform also began disseminating journals funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec.

    29 additional journals were disseminated, including Anthropologie et sociétés, Cinémas, Phytoprotection, Théologiques and Voix et images.

    During the previous year (2003)

    The Berlin Declaration for Open Access to Knowledge is signed by over 400 university leaders worldwide, thus expressing their commitment to the promotion of open access to knowledge.

  • 2006
    Implementing a moving paywall

    Most journals, seeing a decrease in their sales, asked Érudit to implement a digital subscription rate to compensate for these financial losses. Access to articles published in the last two years’ issues was limited to subscribing institutions, whereas all of the archives remained in open access.

  • 2008
    Third iteration of the website

    The readership of the platform was ever-increasing, with more and more visits from abroad. A new version, with a trilingual interface (French, English, and Spanish) as well as new features (export of bibliographic records, advanced search options, etc.), was made available.

  • 2010
    Welcoming cultural magazines

    A retrospective digitization project for magazines that are members of the Société de développement des périodiques culturels québécois (SODEP) was launched. 250,000 pages were digitized and over 60,000 articles were published online thanks to a grant from Canadian Heritage by the SODEP.

    The following year (2011)

    Launch of the OpenEdition portal, which aggregates three existing platforms: Revues.org, Calenda, and Hypothèses.

  • 2013
    Developing the Theses section

    Érudit harvests metadata from Canadian university libraries’ thesis and dissertation repositories, free of charge, in order to showcase their contents. In 2013, several new universities were added (UQAM, UQAT, UQTR, UQAC), and over 55,000 theses and dissertations are now referenced.

  • 2015
    Partnership for Open Access

    In association with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Érudit has established its first Partnership for Open Access, involving 107 Canadian journals and 53 university libraries. Another highlight of this year, the Érudit platform was recognized as a Initiative scientifique majeure by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

  • 2016
    Creation of CO.SHS

    Funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and overseen by Professor Vincent Larivière (Université de Montréal), the Open Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CO.SHS) is a national research initiative in the humanities and social sciences as well as in the arts and letters, supporting the discovery of information, the exploration of vast textual datasets and the production of new research results. The project is is a collaborative effort between Érudit, several multidisciplinary research teams, as well as various national and international documentary institutions.

    In the same year

    Les Bibliothèques de l’Université de Montréal prennent la décision de déconstruire leurs ententes concernants les grands ensembles de revues commercialisés avec leurs éditeurs commerciaux.

  • 2017
    Fourth iteration of the website

    A new version of the Érudit platform has been implemented in order to improve the reading experience, to enhance the dissemination and the referencing of documents, and to prepare the ground for the development of new services.

    The following year (2018)

    The Jussieu Call for Open Science and Bibliodiversity is signed by dozens of institutions and major stakeholders of the scholarly publishing field.


Érudit disseminates and preserves 206 scholarly and cultural journals, which have collectively published more than 210,000 articles. Over 21 million page views are tracked every year on the platform, owing to a user base from over 85 countries, and 1,100 commercial or partnership agreements have been established with documentary institutions all around the world.

  • Volet recherche et développement stratégique

    Avec la création d’une direction scientifique assurée par le professeur Vincent Larivière en 2015 et d’un comité scientifique en 2017, Érudit bénéficie maintenant de l’expertise de nombreux.ses acteur.trice.s du milieu de la recherche au Québec et au Canada, qui participent à la définition des grandes orientations stratégiques d’Érudit et à la réflexion sur les enjeux qui concernent les revues en sciences humaines et sociales. C’est aussi dans ce contexte que nous développons de nouveaux services aux chercheur.e.s dans le cadre de CO.SHS.

    En savoir plus

    Sur nos activités de recherche

  • Le Partenariat pour le libre accès

    Le Partenariat pour le libre accès est un modèle économique innovant de collaboration entre les bibliothèques universitaires et les revues savantes dans un contexte de transition vers le libre accès. Il est actuellement soutenu par 90 institutions à travers le monde, en collaboration avec des consortiums du Canada, de la France et de la Belgique. Nous travaillons actuellement à développer le Partenariat en Europe, notamment au Royaume-Uni avec l’organisme JISC.

    En savoir plus

  • Coalition Publica

    Érudit et l’organisme Public Knowledge Project se sont associés pour lancer Coalition Publica au printemps 2017, un partenariat stratégique pancanadien. L’un des objectifs principaux de cette initiative est de présenter une offre de services complète aux revues savantes canadiennes, francophones et anglophones, en collaboration avec l’ensemble des acteurs du milieu de la diffusion scientifique.

    Coalition Publica s’inscrit dans le mouvement international de redéfinition des rapports de forces dans le milieu pour soutenir la circulation libre des savoirs, la bibliodiversité, et le développement d’outils en code source ouvert.

    En savoir plus


Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Québec

The Fonds de recherche du Québec is a long-standing partner of Érudit, and we recognize the importance of offering the scientific community this unique and powerful digital scholarly publishing tool. This cutting-edge digital platform ensures that our publications in the humanities, social sciences, arts and letters have a broad outreach in the Francophonie.

Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Thanks to Érudit, over the past two decades, we have enjoyed access to Canadian research outputs in the humanities and social sciences. Érudit was able to successfully leverage worldwide partnerships in the fields of research, publishing, academia, and libraries, in order to create what has now become an essential platform.

Sophie Montreuil, General Director, Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Québec

For the ACS, Érudit’s 20th anniversary means 20 years devoted enriching the scientific culture of the population of Quebec through an extensive dissemination of research in the humanities and social sciences. Congratulations to the Érudit team for its innovative work, and thank you for being a loyal partner to our association.

Aminata Keita, Librarian, Université de Montréal

Any librarian working in a university libraries seeks to provide students with quality documentation. In the arts and letters and the humanities and social sciences, Érudit has become a critical resource for online research, making available articles from Quebec scholarly journals in French, many of which are in open access.

Jean-Marie Bioteau, Associate Editor, Santé mentale au Québec

Santé mentale au Québec would not be where it is today without Érudit. Their unwavering support through our transition toward open access has been truly invaluable. Erudit: an amiable and professional collaboration.

Yves Gingras, Chairholder, Canada Research Chair in History and Sociology of Science

Twenty years have already gone by since Érudit’s founders designed the key to free all of the knowledge that was locked up in scholarly journals to make it available for any curious person to peruse. Érudit makes a critical contribution by returning knowledge that has essentially been produced thanks to public funds into the hands of the public. Here’s to wishing Érudit a long life!

Louise Poissant, Scientific director, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture

I applaud Érudit’s vision, competence, and determination, which helped it develop, over the course of the past twenty years, a remarkable dissemination platform for the humanities, social sciences, arts and letters. The FRQSC is proud to support this work, and wishes to further extend our collaboration. Congratulations, and wishing you the best of luck for the next twenty years!

Pauline Curien, Editor of Études internationales

Études internationales has been disseminated on Érudit in its entirety since 2009. We have nothing but good things to say about this initiative, as Érudit provides remarkable services in terms of metadata construction (a technological skill set that is unattainable for journal editors) as well as dissemination (developing commercial strategies is also out of reach). These services, in addition to the consortium’s tireless efforts to accompany journals in their transition towards open access, are what makes Érudit vital for Études internationales. We are truly aware and appreciative of this!

Jean-Claude Guédon, UNESCO Open Access Strategy Expert

Érudit started with two journals, the first was in quaternary geology, and the second was Surfaces, an entirely electronic journal that I had launched in 1991 with Bill Readings. Érudit has opened many doors in terms of electronic publishing, and I salute this success. When it comes to open access, it took some more time, but little by little, Érudit found its way. I applaud its decision-makers for doing so. A lot of work lies ahead, but the French-speaking world now has access to two major non-commercial platforms, and Érudit is one of them.

Guy Jobin, Editor of Laval théologique et philosophique, Université Laval

The partnership between Laval théologique et philosophique (LTP) and Érudit has resulted in a continuous increase in institutional subscriptions to the electronic version of the journal. By supporting LTP, Érudit offers it a broader readership. Thank you and congratulations to Érudit for its twenty years of existence!

Elsa Devron, PhD student in Information science, Université de Montréal

Érudit is an indispensable platform providing access to French-language knowledge in the humanities and social sciences. I regularly use it to browse journals in my field, be it in information science or in management. I am also glad to discover articles in other disciplines thanks to its monthly newsletter. Érudit opens new horizons and fosters curiosity!

Daniel Marquis, Professional Librarian, Cégep de Granby

Access to information is crucial in today’s world. This is what Érudit makes available: access to information, but not just of any kind… verified information in the field of research, with scholarly journals (peer-reviewed knowledge) and in the cultural sector, with the SODEP journals. And all of that is at our fingertips!

Lionel Villalonga, General Director of l’Association pour l’avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation (ASTED)

The Érudit platform has allowed us to reach all of the information professionals around the world. We are now able to “cultivate our knowledge” in library studies all across the globe!

The Liberté journal team

Érudit gives us access to our collective memory.

Articles on open access

  1. Paquin, É. (2013). Les modèles économiques de l’accès libre : réflexions à partir de l’expérience d’Érudit. Documentation et bibliothèques, 59(3), 155–160. https://doi.org/10.7202/1018845ar
  2. Allnutt, V. & Goulet, M. (2015). Libre accès : vers une science plus ouverte. Documentation et bibliothèques, 61(1), 3–5. https://doi.org/10.7202/1028998ar
  3. Bernatchez, J. (2015). Le libre accès aux articles scientifiques : référentiels, principes, normes et modalités. Documentation et bibliothèques, 61(1), 6–14. https://doi.org/10.7202/1028999ar
  4. Cameron-Pesant, S., Sainte-Marie, M., Jansen, Y. & Larivière, V. (2018). Criminologie à portée de clic : analyse de l’usage de la revue numérique. Criminologie, 51(1), 111–142. https://doi.org/10.7202/1045310ar
  5. Rolfe, V. (2017). Striving Toward Openness: But What Do We Really Mean? International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(7). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i7.3207



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