Updated: Oct 30
What is Open Science and why is it featured so prominently in Horizon Europe?
Open Science is an approach based on open cooperative work and systematic sharing of knowledge and tools, as early and widely as possible in the process. This innovative approach to disseminating information to a wider audience is a large part of the Horizon Europe program, shifting the payment for access to important information away from the reader and on to the authors. While this may seem like a minor detail, the concept of a wider audience having more free avenues to access highly important knowledge and data undoubtedly means more will benefit from such an open platform and increased availability of research results.
Horizon Europe aims to fund groundbreaking research with the potential to substantially impact our world. It should be no surprise that a major focus of this program lies in ensuring research results and important discoveries extend past scientific communities to additional avenues that can build off of the information, especially to take advantage of it for more impactful applications in the broader world. Mandating Open Access to all Horizon Europe research results is one of the best ways to ensure this is achieved. A schematic of the Horizon Europe mandate is shown below.
What encompasses the Open Access requirement in Horizon Europe?
The main Open Access requirement essentially calls for researchers to provide continuous online access, free-of-charge, to scientific information in the form of peer-reviewed scientific publications and research data, according to Article 29.2 and 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.
Below is a brief summary of important aspects pertaining to Open Science implementation in Horizon Europe projects. If more information is needed, the full instructions can be found in the official Horizon Europe Open Access document.
Peer-reviewed scientific publications
This type of information usually refers to articles and final manuscripts that were assessed by other scholars, typically organized by the journal or the publisher. These are subjected to Open Access following two steps:
Deposition in institutional, subject-based or centralized repositories.
Ensuring Open Access to the publication through one of the available options:
“Green” – self-archiving, depending on an embargo period (if any). This option generally consists of providing access to scientific data through one of the following: the Horizon Europe research project’s direct website, the author’s website, the host institution’s website or an independent central open repository.
“Gold” – paid archiving and the process of depositing scientific publications on websites and platforms that are not your own. Here the Open Access is immediate upon publication. Since the main premise of Open Access is that it is free, the payment is therefore handled by the author and not the reader. Within the execution phase of any Horizon Europe project, the associated costs of such publications are eligible for reimbursement as part of the Horizon Europe grant.
Choosing the right option for your publication largely depends on your overall dissemination, communication & exploitation strategy, and availability of resources.
This type of information includes all numerical, visual, and other data that were collected during research to be further examined. Dissemination of these data complies with the Open Research Data Pilot and currently is included by default in the grant agreement. However, considering that not all data can be shared, the commission follows the “as open as possible, as closed as necessary” approach, thus allowing opting out either prior to signing Grant Agreement or retroactively upon legitimate reasons. Among these is potential commercial implementation of the data, security issues and protection of personal data considerations.
Similar to scientific publications, Open Access to research data is satisfied through two steps:
Deposition in designated research data online archives. When choosing an archive, you may refer to the following listings of optional repositories: Registry of Research Data Repositories and Databib.
Promoting availability and free of charge usage of the data first by granting copyright permissions. Among the available tools to attach an appropriate license is Creative Commons Licenses. After this, access to this data is enabled via your Horizon Europe project’s website or any other website that you use. We would recommend that such data sharing activity is part of your Horizon Europe dissemination strategy.
Where does Open Science fit in the Horizon Europe proposal?
There are three specific areas within a Horizon Europe proposal that should explicitly state how Open Science is implemented and available:
On the application form, five publications, widely-used datasets, software, goods, services or any other achievements relevant to the call should be listed.
In the project proposal, in the Excellence section (first section) ‘1.2 Methodology,’ the project’s Open Science approach, Research Data Management, and management of other research outputs should all be detailed. In the Impact section (second section) ‘2.2 Measures to maximise impact,’ engagement of citizens, civil society, and end-users should be described. It is also best to include Open Science approaches under ‘Quality and efficiency of the implementation’ in the third section of the proposal, under ‘3.1 Work plan and resources’ and ‘3.2 Capacity of participants and consortium as a whole.’
Help with including Open Science in your Horizon Europe application
The landscape for securing funding can be daunting, confusing, and difficult to manoeuvre.
We can help you not only with satisfying the Open Science requirements of Horizon Europe proposals, but can also help navigate the process from grant proposal preparation through to project implementation, including data management once funding is awarded.
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