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Open Access & Pilot on Open Data (Horizon 2020)


Why free access to European research results?

Every research effort builds on earlier work and depends on the fact that researchers are able to access and share scientific information and data. Thus, the access to information and data is of essential importance for education, research and the general progress of a society.


Since when did the European Commission (EC) promote free access to European research results?

The Open Access pilot project started in August 2008 under the former 7th framework programme for research.


What does Open Access in Horizon 2020 comprise?

The EC and the European Research Council (ERC) aim to maximize the dissemination of and the access to publications that have been funded by them. Hence, for all scientific work funded under Horizon 2020 the publication via Open Access is obligatory: either Open Access publishing in an Open Access journal (also called 'Gold' Open Access) or self-archiving (also called 'Green' Open Access). The latter means that the published article or the final peer-reviewed manuscript is archived by the researcher - or a representative - in a free online repository before, after or alongside its publication.
In both cases, there is the requirement to make the publication available via an institutional or disciplinary repository (cf. Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement, 29.2). A free access to the full text has to be provided for all Open Access publications immediately and for all other publications after a maximum of 6 months (respectively 12 month in the social sciences and humanities). At the same time, the data on which the scientific results are based upon should be made available in a data repository for the purpose of review and reproduction.

If an institutional or disciplinary repository is not available, the researcher can fall back to Zenodo, the repository developed by CERN in "OpenAIRE". Here, the publications and data of all disciplines can be made available.
The ERC strongly encourages ERC funded researchers to use discipline-specific repositories for their publications. The recommended repository for Life Sciences is Europe PubMed Central and for Physical Sciences and Engineering arXiv. The recommended repository for monographs, book chapters and other long-text publications is the OAPEN Library. Institutional repositories and centralised repositories are also acceptable.


What does the Pilot on Open Research Data comprise?

The Pilot on Open Research Data comprises all data that is generated in Horizon 2020 projects (cf. Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement, 29.3). In the proposal part 'impact', the applicants have to state reasons, why they take part completely, they take part partially or they do not take part in the Pilot. If they decide to take part completely or partially, they have to describe intended approaches for the collection and the processing of data. After the approval of the project proposal, Data Management Plans (DMP) have to be developed by the project consortium for the whole project cycle containing mehtods for the collection and the processing of data. The EC has published "Guidelines on FAIR Data Management" that contain further information.

Initially, only certain areas of Horizon 2020 were included. Since July 2016, the Pilot on Open Research Data was expanded by the EC on the whole programme area of Horizon 2020.

Projects can opt-out of the participation in the Open Data Pilot at any time, if it is e.g. necessary for the protection of intellectual property, for the objectives of the project, for ethical or security reasons. Specific reasons for an opt-out can be:

- exploitation of results,
- confidentiality,
- protection of data related to individuals,
- endangerment of project's objectives,
- no creation of data,
- any other relevant reasons.

A complete opt-out can also be reached by an amendment to the Grant Agreement.


How can the demands of the EC/ ERC at the University of Goettingen be met?

Please, note that the funding of the EC and the ERC has to be stated in your publications (Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement, 28.2 and 29.4):

"This project has received funding from the [European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme] [Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018] under grant agreement No [Number]".

"This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No [number])".

As a scientist of the University of Goettingen, please, follow these steps to make your publication openly accessible:

1. Submit your contribution to a peer-reviewed journal or another publication media of your choice. Please point out the Open Access requirement to the publishing company so that a suitable contract is offered to you.
2. Add your bibliographical data to the FactScience data base of the University of Goettingen (this data is transferred to GoeScholar).
3. Please sent your publication (final manuscript after peer review or publisher PDF if permitted) to the GoeScholar team (oa@sub.uni-goettingen.de) which will take care of making the publication online available. Via this e-mail please also inform us about your project's Grant Agreement Number and, where required, the end of the embargo period (if available in your publication contract).

On this basis, we are going to add your publication to CORDIS, the information portal of the EC, and to "OpenAIRE".


Publication costs

Please, integrate the costs for your publications of research results into your proposal. This is also necessary for publications in Open Access media. Publication costs can be requested and deducted under "other costs". Here, the funding quote amounts to 100 per cent.
Open access fees are eligible costs that may be charged to the ERC grant, if they incur in the duration of the projects, even if this was not planned in the original budget. There is however no additional funding for this type of costs after the end of the project.

Further information on Open Access, data management and archiving at the University of Goettingen, the Open Access attempt of the EC and numerous other useful documents can be found in the right column.