In the EU financing program, Open Access is stated as a general principle.

Open Access is mandatory for all research products, with the exception of patents or when special clauses for confidentiality obligation and data protection apply.

Starting from 2017, open access to research data is mandatory for all projects harvesting and/or producing data. Opt-in is the default option. However, beneficiaries have the opportunity to opt-out, not sharing their data (or part of it) for security reasons, incompatibility with GDPR, in cases when the sharing of data may threaten the success of the project, or when no data would be produced.

During the evaluation of the project proposal, opt-out would not compromise the award of the grant.

In the Annotated Model of Grant Agreement beneficiaries can find all practices and tools to guarantee open access to research products. Any breach to the obligations stated in the Grant Agreement may result in financial consequences as the reduction of the fund.

29.2 Open access to scientific publications

Section 29.2 of the Grant Agreement is dedicated to scholarly dissemination. Beneficiaries must archive:

  • The digital copy of the published or final peer-reviewed version of the work, as accepted for publication;
  • The copy must be deposited as soon as possible or immediately after publication at latest in:
    • An institutional repository (if available);
    • Zenodo (multidisciplinary repository hosted by CERN);
    • A disciplinary repository.
  • Open Access to the filed copy must be granted:
    • At the time of publication, as allowed by the publisher (post-print or final version provided by the author with no editorial layout);
    • Within 6 months from the publication date (12 months for SSH), if embargo applies.

 Moreover, section 29.2 of the Grant Agreement points out that beneficiaries must grant Open Access to the bibliographic metadata of the filed copy. Metadata must be in a standard format including:

  • The labels “European Union (EU)” and “Horizon 2020”;
  • The name of the action (financing program), the project acronym and its number;
  • The publication date and possible embargo period;
  • A persistent identifier (e.g. DOI).

29.3 Open access to research data

Section 29.3 of the Grant Agreement focuses on research data sharing. It is stated that researchers should adopt all necessary measures to share data with any possible user. It is mandatory the production of a Data Management Plan (DMP), making available information on:

  • the type of data that would be produced during the project;
  • strategies for their management in order to guarantee their short- and long-term preservation;
  • how much of the produced data would be openly available.  

The DMP is a project deliverable to be submitted on M6, but it may be updated anytime if required by specific conditions and/or during the project development. Therefore, beneficiaries have to:  

  • deposit their datasets in an open repository of their choice (e.g. Zenodo);
  • state possible embargo periods for the exploitation of one or more part of data;
  • choose a license that is as open as possible (CC0 o CC-BY);
  • provide documentation for dataset description in order to validate both the data and its outcomes.

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