Monday 27 January 2014

Horizon 2020 Open Access Guidelines Published

Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020
(Image: European Commission)
On 11th December 2013, the European Commission published their latest guidance document for Open Access to scientific publications and research data. These Guidelines are designed to 'provide context and explanation for the rules on open access applicable to beneficiaries in projects funded or co-funded under Horizon 2020.' Horizon 2020, the largest ever EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available (2014 to 2020), is designed to open up access to published research.

According to the guide, 'information already paid for by the public purse should not be paid for again each time it is accessed or used, and that it should benefit European companies and citizens to the full. This means making publicly-funded scientific information available online, at no extra cost, to European researchers, innovative industries and citizens, while ensuring long-term preservation.'

While the document details and describes both Green and Gold versions of Open Access, it does not make a clear preference over which form of Open Access the data should take, only that it be open.

The guide sets out the political and legal basis for rules on Open Access in Horizon 2020, detailing various EU policies that correspond with Horizon 2020, including the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Innovation Union policy.

The document also includes a guide on the legal mandate of work funded by the Horizons 2020 project to be open access. It clearly describes the steps and actions necessary to meet these requirements. Also included in the guide is information on open research data pilot and the selected projects. This pilot runs from 2014-5 and aims 'to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects.' The findings from the pilot will help formulate future policy on research data. As well as providing information on the scale and scope of the pilot, it also states the options for those wishing to opt out of the pilot.

The full guidelines publication is available online at the European Commission website.

Neil Waghorn
Steve Smith

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