The N°1 issue of the journal “Cahiers Costech”, presenting research work in an open access format, has been launched on-line! It is entirely devoted to social science research with technological implications. The editors aim through this unique initiative, to gain higher visibility for the laboratory’ work in these fields and to create a forum for the scientists involved.


“Our ambition is to propose a useful tool that differs from classic, paper-based printed, scientific reviews. Consequently neither the length nor the format of the articles displayed are predetermined by the Editor. The Internet allows us to extend the visibility of a given N° over a several weeks span”, says Jérôme Valluy, Chief Editor for the Cahiers and a research scientist in political science/information and ‘comm’ sciences at the UTC-Costech Laboratory.

In order to enhance this flexible approach, the sub-editors - each in charge of a heading – make their selections from among articles submitted by the contributing scientists. The headings run from ‘anthropology’ to philosophy’ via political science and economics, each of which corresponds to a theme studied by Costech research teams. Costech, we recall is an acronym in French for Knowledge, Organisation and Technology-intensive Systems. Of course, the underlying idea is to valorise the significant research contributions made by member of this UTC unit but also, and above all other considerations, provides a forum for scientists to exchanges on these same themes.

In the highly pluridisciplinary domain of social sciences, research articles are dispersed among numerous specialist reviews. The Costech Cahiers now constitute a bookmark reference that is freely accessible. Another advantage inherent in the Cahiers format will be to encourage exchanges in social sciences within the ranks of a French engineering school. “We do our research in a setting that differs a lot from that of universities who limit themselves to exploring social ‘human’ sciences. This UTC project enables us to claim our scientific legitimacy on the themes”, assert Chief Editor Valluy. The N°1 issue (dated June 2017) carries the headline title “Social and Human Sciences in technology intensive HE establishments”. The N°2 issue of the UTC-‘Costech Cahiers’ is planned for the end of the year.

Illustrating science on the move

This new platform proposes article contents that differ from classic, mainstream papers. By attributing the same level of importance to scientific bibliographies, research notes and/or oral transcriptions compared with previously printed scientific review articles, UTC-Costech has adopted a totally novel editorial line. The aim is to throw light on work as it evolves and progresses and not only on the definitive research results (which alone count in current peer-review reviews).

“We in fact produce numerous interesting documents which are never published because the underlying research is not quite finished and therefore do not qualify for submission to the reading committees of these reviews”, stresses Pierre Steiner, a UTC lecturer in philosophy engaged in the HOMTECH programme (human sciences in a technological universe) who is in charge of the Cahiers heading with the same title. The objective is to illustrate the various steps that lead scientists to drawing their final conclusions. Over and above enabling access to hitherto unpublished laboratory documents, the new Costech on-line media proposed evolving contents.

After initial publication, the editing work can continue as a function of research progress and re-reading. Thanks to this diverse approach, the Costech Cahiers site offers a continuously updated site one can consult and hear about the latest progress in the relevant fields.