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Open Science in Horizon Europe

Open Science in the EU context

Open Science has been an integral part of the EU's research policy since 2015 and, based on this, of funding measures in the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation. As a subset of Open Science, an Open Access policy was already introduced in 2008 as a pilot measure in the 7th EU Research Framework Programme and has been successively expanded since then, for example with the Open Data pilot since 2014 in Horizon 2020.

The EU Commission is bundling its Open Science activities in the following fields of action:

  • Scientific publications: Open Access to scientific publications as standard for EU-funded projects,
  • Research data: compliance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) and Open Data exchange as a standard for the results of EU-funded research,
  • European Open Science Cloud (EOSC): promotion of information infrastructures for cross-border and cross-disciplinary access and exchange of research data,
  • Establishment of new indicators to measure research quality and impact,
  • Competences and incentive systems: consideration of Open Science aspects in the training of researchers and the evaluation of research careers,
  • Citizen science: involvement of the public or civil society in the research process (for example, through participation in the collection of research data).

Open Science in Horizon Europe

The EU Commission distinguishes between mandatory and recommended Open Science practices (see Horizon Europe Programme Guide page 39 and following pages).

Scientific publications from EU-funded projects, in particular, are to be made openly accessible directly via suitable repositories (Open Access). Only the publication costs of publishers operating exclusively in Open Access mode are eligible for reimbursement. Furthermore, the authors of publications must ensure that they have the necessary intellectual property rights. To facilitate compliance with their open access obligations, beneficiaries/ researchers are encouraged to notify publishers of their grant agreement obligations (including the licensing requirements) already at manuscript submission, for example, by adding the following statement to their manuscript:

"This work was funded by the Εuropean Union under the Horizon Europe grant [grant number]. As set out in the Grant Agreement, beneficiaries must ensure that at the latest at the time of publication, open access is provided via a trusted repository to the published version or the final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication under the latest available version of the Creative Commons Attribution International Public Licence (CC BY) or a licence with equivalent rights. CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND, CC BY-NC-ND or equivalent licenses could be applied to long-text formats."

In projects funded under Horizon Europe, responsible management of research data in line with the FAIR principles is mandatory, notably through the generalised use of data management plans (DMP, for support see GRO.plan), including regular updates, and ensuring open access to research data under the principle "as open as possible, as closed as necessary". Researchers can opt-out in the case of interests worthy of protection e.g. personal data, trade secrets. Please note that FAIR data is not equivalent to Open Data. Data can, and should be FAIR even when access is restricted. The Göttingen eResearch Alliance (eRA) offers advice on research data management in Horizon Europe.

Costs for providing open access to publications and data are eligible and should be budgeted in the Horizon Europe proposal.

Open Research Europe (ORE) started

The EU Commission officially launched Open Research Europe, the open access publishing platform for scientific articles that present the results of research funded by the EU framework programmes for research and innovation, Horizon 2020, and Horizon Europe (2021-2027).

Open Research Europe champions open science principles by immediately publishing articles, followed by transparent, invited and open peer review with the inclusion of all supporting data and materials. The names of the reviewers are open, as well as their reviews, which are also citable. Article-level metrics will continuously track the scientific and social impact of publications. Ultimately, Open Research Europe will give everyone, researchers and citizens alike, free-of-charge access to your latest scientific discoveries.

Horizon 2020 beneficiaries are eligible to publish research articles stemming from their Horizon 2020 research on this platform. The platform accepts articles in all fields of science. It showcases a variety of article types ranging from research articles to methods and essays. Open Research Europe is not a repository to deposit papers already published somewhere else: research submitted there must be original, not be submitted anywhere else for publication, and stem from a Horizon 2020 grant in which at least one of the authors is involved.

Publishing in Open Research Europe is an optional service. Because the EU Commission covers all costs upfront, there is no author fee, which means also no administrative burden. Moreover, there is the guarantee of automatic compliance with the open access requirements of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. Lastly, Open Research Europe is also a solution to publish articles even after the Horizon 2020 grant has ended.