European Commission Horizon 2020 open access policy

The Commission strategy is to develop and implement open access to research results from projects funded by the EU Research Framework Programmes, including Horizon 2020.

Open access requirements are based on a balanced support to both 'green' open access (immediate or delayed open access that is provided through self-archiving) and 'gold' open access (immediate open access that is provided by a publisher).

How do I comply?

Under Horizon 2020, you must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results. The detailed legal requirements on open access to publications are contained in article 29.2 of the Model Grant Agreement (PDF - 9840KB)

You must make your work open access via publishing open access in a journal or publishing platform or self-archiving a version of the work (green open access). You must make the bibliographic metadata immediately available as open access in PURE, including:

  • the terms ["European Union (EU)" and "Horizon 2020"]["Euratom" and Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018"]
  • the name of the action, acronym and grant number
  • the publication date
  • length of embargo period if applicable
  • a persistent identifier

Publishing open access in a journal or publishing platform (gold open access)

Check the publishing open access information page to find out if you are eligible to publish OA in a journal or publishing platform (gold OA), and to make an application for funding.

If the chosen journal is not part of an institutional publisher agreement, the Article Processing Charges (APCs) for 'gold' open access incurred by beneficiaries are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project.

  • Details can be found in the Model Grant Agreement (PDF - 9840 KB) (see article 6.2.D.3). 
  • On publication, you are encouraged by the University to deposit a copy of the final PDF of your 'gold' OA publication into PURE.
  • The cost of 'gold' open access publications incurred after the end of projects is not eligible for reimbursement via the budget of the specific action.

Self-archiving (green open access)

EC Horizon 2020 permits self-archiving (green open access) with a six-month embargo for STEM subjects (health, energy, environment, information and communication technologies, research infrastructures), and 12 months for SSH (science in society, socioeconomic sciences and humanities) after publication.

Use Sherpa Romeo to check your publishers’ policy is compatible with your funders self-archiving policy.

To self-archive, deposit the Accepted Author Manuscript (AAM) of your publication using Pure immediately on acceptance. Ensure your publication is linked to the grant using the ‘Projects’ link in PURE.

  • The accepted version is also known as the authors final manuscript, or post print.
  • It is the version after peer review and before final publisher formatting or copy-editing.

If your chosen publisher has an embargo longer than permitted, it will have to be agreed by your funder as an exception. 

Open research data

Horizon 2020 has introduced an open research data pilot, which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects.

  • The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are contained in the optional article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement (PDF - 9840KB).
  • Other relevant information, such as the scope of the pilot, is provided in the introduction to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.
  • The pilot will be monitored throughout Horizon 2020 with a view to further developing EC policy on open research.

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