Open Science in Horizon 2020

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Open Access and Open Data in Horizon 2020

When researchers are involved in their first proposal within the European framework research programme, they often know little about Grant Agreements and their Open Access and Open Data requirements.

Here is a short overview of the Open Science Jargon in Horizon 2020.

Open Access  in Horizon 2020

Open Access (of research publications) is not an option. It was optional in the preceding Framework Programme (FP7) as a pilot initiative.

Now, in Article 29.2 of the current General Model Grant Agreement (MGA, which sets the general rules for every H2020 project), “Each beneficiary must ensure open access (free of charge, online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results.”

  • Whenever you decide to publish peer-reviewed articles (you can also decide to protect the results), these must be open access
  • You need to plan sufficient budget for open access publishing in the H2020 proposal.
  • During the project, you need to decide if you publish your article in an open access journal (“gold“ path) or through a repository (self-archiving, „green“ path), either with or without embargo.

Open Data in Horizon 2020

Open Data means open access to research data in Horizon 2020.
Open access to your research data is still an option in Horizon 2020, within the frame of the extended Open Research Data Pilot. Officially, there are no consequences for the evaluation if you opt out. However, in your proposal you would still need to describe how you will manage your research data.

If you opt in, there are two main formal implications.

  • You will have an additional article 29.3 in your Grant Agreement.
  • You commit to write a Data Management Plan (DMP) within the first 6 months of your project as a project deliverable, and you also commit to regularly update it. Fortunately, DMP templates are now provided. You can find interesting examples and helpful information in DMP online

During the ongoing project you need to put your data in a repository according to FAIR principles (see below). So far, the European project OpenAIRE is the right place to get the information on repositories, and Zenodo is so far the main repository by default.

You do not have to publish all your data: only data linked to your scientific publications, and only if it does not jeopardize project’s main objective. Opening your data should follow the principle “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”.

What is FAIR? It means Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable data, and constitutes a set of principles guiding the Open Data sharing in H2020 projects since 2016. The Data Management Plan and its short description at proposal stage should show how „FAIR“ project data will be.

In the next framework Programme Horizon Europe 

The rules regarding Open Access and Open Data will be reinforced, as well as the support for researchers. “Fostering Open science” is an overall objective of the next framework programme. To this date (June 2020), it is not clear how the use of European Open Science Cloud will be integrated in the programme.

image: Graph:“ Open access policies and requirements in Horizon 2020“, Victoria Tsoukala, DG RTD A.2ITN 2018 –Coordinators Info Day, Brussels, 23rd November https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/sites/mariecurie2/files/05_open_access_itn_2018.pdf
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