European Commission

The Commission has been promoting policies and measures related to open access since 2006. In 2007, a petition was presented to the European Commission to guarantee free access to research results. Among the key documents that launched the first mandates in favour of open access to research results within the European institutions, is the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee on scientific information in the Digital Age: Access, Dissemination and Preservation and the Council Conclusions in 2007. Since then, the European open access policy has been embodied in successive Framework Programs, the main Community initiative to promote and support R&D in the European Union.

In the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) (2007 - 2013) all the projects financed in the areas of Energy, Environment (including Climate Change), Health, Information and Communication Technologies (Cognitive Systems, Interaction , Robotics), Research Infrastructures (e-Infrastructures), Science in Society, Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities, whose financing agreement (grant agreement) was signed after August 2008, included the so-called Special Clause 39. This clause obliged the researchers participating in these projects to do "their best" to publish their research results in an open access repository.

En elIn the Horizon 2020 Programme (2014-2020) the open access deposit mandate was strengthened and extended to research data. In article 29.2 Open Access to scientific publications of the Grant Agreement, the following is established:

Each beneficiary must ensure open access (free of charge, online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results. 

In particular, it must:

(a) as soon as possible and at the latest on publication, deposit a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository for scientific publications.

Moreover, the beneficiary must aim to deposit at the same time the research data needed to validate the results presented in the deposited scientific publications.

(b) ensure open access to the deposited publication —via the repository —at the latest:

(i) on publication, if an electronic version is available for free via the publisher, or

(ii) within six months of publication (twelve months for publications in the social sciences and humanities) in any other case.

(c)ensure open access —via the repository —to the bibliographic metadata that identify the deposited publication.

The bibliographic metadata must be in a standard format and must include all of the following:

- 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, and length of embargo period if applicable, and

- a persistent identifier

The European Commission establishes that open access can be provided either through an open access repository, or by publishing in an open access journal.In both cases, your publications must be deposited in a repository.

Regarding research data, article 29.3 Open Access to research data establishes the following:

The beneficiaries must:

(a)deposit in a research data repository and take measures to make it possible for third parties to access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate —free of charge for any user —the following:

(i)the data, including associated metadata, needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications as soon as possible;

(ii)other data, including associated metadata, as specified and within the deadlines laid down in the ‘data management plan’;

(b)provide information —via the repository —about tools and instruments at the disposal of the beneficiaries and necessary for validating the results (and —where possible —provide the tools and instruments themselves).