Guidelines on the Implementation of Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data

Since its creation, the European Research Council (ERC) has been supporting the principle of open access to the published output of research as a fundamental part of its mission. It also promotes the basic principle of open access to research data. On 07 April 2017, ERC released Guidelines on the Implementation of Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in projects supported by the European Research Council under Horizon 2020.


Under Horizon 2020, beneficiaries of ERC grants must ensure open access (free of charge, online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results.

# View: Open Access section of the ERC website

The ERC recommends to all its funded researchers that they follow best practice by retaining files of all the research data they have produced and used during the course of their work, and that they be prepared to share these data with other researchers whenever they are not bound by copyright restrictions, confidentiality requirements, or contractual clauses.

As of the Work Programme 2017 the Pilot on Open Research Data (ORD Pilot) is being extended to cover all thematic areas of Horizon 2020 and open access becomes the default setting for the research data generated. The beneficiaries may still opt out at any stage, freeing themselves from any obligations regarding the open access to digital research data generated in the action.

# View: ERC Data Management Plan template

# View: ERC Model Grant Agreement for frontier research grants

# View:  Horizon 2020 Annotated Grant Agreement - ERC specific annotations to Articles 29.2 and 29.3 (pp. 363 – 365)

Open access to peer-reviewed scientific publications Article 29.2 of the Grant Agreement sets out detailed legal requirements on open access to scientific publications: under Horizon 2020, each beneficiary must ensure open access – via a repository – to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to the project's results (including not only journal articles but also conference proceedings and long-text publications such as monographs, book chapters, edited volumes, etc.).

The open access to publications mandate comprises 3 steps:

1. Depositing publications in repositories (online archive: Europe PubMed Central; arXiv; OAPEN library;  Zenodo etc.)

2. Selecting the open access route (green or gold open access)

3. Providing open access to publications

These steps – that may or may not occur simultaneously, depending on the selected open access route and whether an embargo period applies - ,

are explained in detail in the original source document.

Open access to research data

In Horizon 2020 the European Commission has been encouraging open access to and reuse of digital research data generated by Horizon 2020 projects through the ORD Pilot, following FAIR data principles - all research data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). Examples of research data include statistics, results of experiments, measurements, observations resulting from fieldwork, survey results, interview recordings and images.

All necessary steps that participants of the ORD Pilot need to take are explained in detail in the original source document.

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