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Guides for Researchers

How to comply with Horizon Europe mandate

for publications

  • What is required?

    All peer-reviewed scientific publications arising from Horizon Europe funding have to be made available in open access. This implies that publications are to be made freely available online, immediately upon publication and with no restrictions on use, by depositing them on a repository. You should be aware that you are required to retain sufficient intellectual property rights (IPR) to comply with these open access obligations.

    There are two ways to ensure immediate open access:

    1. Deposit your publication in a repository for scientific publications and ensure open access.
    2. Publish your research in an open access journal.

    In both cases you have to deposit your publications in a repository, even when publishing in an open access journal.

    EC OA Mandate


  • How to comply?

    All peer-reviewed publications of a project must be made openly available through a repository. Ok, so how do I deposit my publication in a repository?

    At the latest at the time of publication (i.e. no embargo period), upload a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or the final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication (i.e. Author Accepted Manuscript - AAM; or author's postprint) in a trusted repository for scientific publications, with a CC-BY or equivalent license for articles (at least for the AAM); or with a CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND or equivalent license prohibiting commercial use or derivative works, for monographs and other long texts, with information about any research outputs, tools or instruments necessary to substantiate the conclusions of the scientific publication. Moreover, you must aim to deposit at the same time the research data needed to validate the results presented in the deposited scientific publication.

    Metadata of deposited publications must be open under a Creative Common Public Domain Dedication (CC 0) or equivalent, in line with the FAIR principles (in particular machine-actionable) and provide information at least about the following:

    • publication (author(s), title, date of publication, publication venue;
    • Horizon Europe or Euratom funding;
    • grant project name, acronym and number;
    • licensing terms;
    • a persistent identifier for the publication, the authors involved in the action and, if possible, for their organisations and the grant. Where applicable, the metadata must include persistent identifiers for any research output or any other tools and instruments needed to validate the conclusions of the publication.

    You are free to publish wherever you want, but note that an embargo on open access is no longer accepted.

    Consider publishing in the Open Research Europe that will allow you to comply with the Open Access EC requirements.

    Open Research Europe is an open access publishing platform for the publication of research stemming from Horizon Europe funding across all subject areas. The platform makes it easy for Horizon Europe beneficiaries to comply with the open access terms of their funding and offers researchers a publishing venue to share their results and insights rapidly and facilitate open, constructive research discussion.

    Know how it works


    Personal websites and databases, publisher websites, as well as cloud storage services (Dropbox, Google drive, etc) are not considered repositories., ResearchGate and similar platforms do not allow open access under the terms required and are NOT considered repositories.



  • Which repository to use?

    You can use a trusted repository for scientific publications of your choice:

    Trusted repositories are:

    Certified repositories (e.g. CoreTrustSeal, nestor Seal DIN31644, ISO16363) or disciplinary and domain repositories commonly used and endorsed by the research communities. Such repositories should be recognised internationally.
    General-purpose repositories or institutional repositories that present the essential characteristics of trusted repositories, i.e.:
    Display specific characteristics of organisational, technical and procedural quality such as services, mechanisms and/or provisions that are intended to secure the integrity and authenticity of their contents, thus facilitating their use and re-use in the short- and long-term. Trusted repositories have specific provisions in place and offer explicit information online about their policies, which define their services (e.g. acquisition, access, security of content, long-term sustainability of service including funding etc.).
    Provide broad, equitable and ideally open access to content free at the point of use, as appropriate, and respect applicable legal and ethical limitations. They assign persistent unique identifiers to contents (e.g. DOIs, handles, etc.), such that the contents (publications, data and other research outputs) are unequivocally referenced and thus citable. They ensure that contents are accompanied by metadata sufficiently detailed and of sufficiently high quality to enable discovery, reuse and citation and contain information about provenance and licensing; metadata are machine- actionable and standardized (e.g. Dublin Core, Data Cite etc.) preferably using common non-proprietary formats and following the standards of the respective community the repository serves, where applicable.
    Facilitate mid- and long-term preservation of the deposited material. They have mechanisms or provisions for expert curation and quality assurance for the accuracy and integrity of datasets and metadata, as well as procedures to liaise with depositors where issues are detected. They meet generally accepted international and national criteria for security to prevent unauthorized access and release of content and have different levels of security depending on the sensitivity of the data being deposited to maintain privacy and confidentiality.


    OpenAIRE can also help you to find the appropriate repository. Find here.


    Did you know?
    Other types of scientific publications (non peer-reviewed articles, monographs, conference proceedings, reports, …) are not covered by the mandate, but good practice to make them open as well!
  • How to retain your copyright?

    By depositing an accepted version of the publication (aka. Author Accepted Manuscript - AAM; or author's postprint) in a repository, you can immediately make your publication open access if one of the following condition is met:

    • you have signed a Copyright Transfer Agreement, but the publisher allows for the AAM or the edited version (i.e. Version of Record - VoR) to be uploaded on a repository.
    • you retained your copyright to the published article, by applying the Rights Retention Strategy outlined by cOAlition S.


    Did you know?
    Authors may need to interact with prospective publishers, in particular when they publish in venues that are not open access. To facilitate compliance with their open access obligations, researchers are encouraged to notify publishers of their grant agreement obligations (including the licensing requirements) already at manuscript submission. For example, by adding the following statement to their manuscript: “This work was funded by the Εuropean Union under the Horizon Europe grant [grant number]. As set out in the Grant Agreement, beneficiaries must ensure that at the latest at the time of publication, open access is provided via a trusted repository to the published version or the final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication under the latest available version of the Creative Commons Attribution International Public License (CC BY) or a license with equivalent rights. CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND, CC BY-NC-ND or equivalent licenses could be applied to long-text formats.” If the publishing agreement is contrary to the grant agreement obligations, authors should negotiate its terms and, alternatively, look for a different publishing venue/options.
  • Are publication costs supported?

    You are not restricted as to where to publish. You may publish in open access journals, or in journals that sell subscriptions. Some Open Access journals charge authors a fee to publish Open Access (i.e. Article Processing Charges - APC).

    Only costs for APC in a fully Open Access journal or platform can be charged to the project.
    An APC to publish in a traditional subscription-based journal that offers an OA option (so-called Hybrid journals), will not be covered under the grant. In the case of Article Processing Charges (APCs), you are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project. But you should include costs for open access publishing in the budget of your project proposal.

    You can avoid APC’s! Making your research open access does not have to cost anything. By depositing your articles in a repository or finding an finding an open access journal that does not charge APCs, you can provide open access for free. EC grant holders can also publish free of charge on the Open Research Europe platform. It is an OA publishing platform created by the EC for the publication of research stemming from Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe funding across all subject areas.

    Did you know?

    The Budget for Publications = Average APC x number of publications.

    Look at these methods:

    Method 1:
    Average APC based on list of journals used by the consortium (look up prices at publisher websites and/or consult a librarian).

    Method 2:
    Average APC based on general market figures. Björk & Solomon (2014) estimated the average price of Article Processing Charges (APC) for established OA journals at ca. 1,020 EUR and for hybrid journals (subscription journal with OA option for individual articles) at ca. 1,980 EUR. More recently, the Open APC initiative, that releases datasets on fees paid for OA journal articles by universities and research institutions under an open database license in Github, estimates the average payment for fully OA journals at 1,484 EUR, whereas for hybrid journals the average fee is 2,492 EUR.

    Horizon Europe Open Access Mandate graphic 

  • View our webinars recordings

    Horizon Europe Open Science requirements in practice. June 14th, 2022

  • How can OpenAIRE help?

    We make sure your publications are picked up by our infrastructure and send them to the EC so you don’t have to when it is time to report. For example, we link to CORDIS and the EC Participants Portal. We link papers to projects and projects to datasets. You can look up your project page in our EXPLORE portal - where we also include a neat AppBox which allows you to download all project results. Keep in mind though, that it can take several weeks before you see these publications in the reporting portal.

    For additional questions you can send your request to the OpenAIRE ask a question service.

    The OpenAIRE helpdesk system provides several materials to support you. Please find it in our support page.





Publication date: June 7, 2022

Horizon Europe related guides

Still have questions?

Contact us via our Helpdesk.
We try to respond within 48 hours.
OpenAIRE participated in the EOSC Policy Event on May 4,2022 in Stasbourg. Key actors participated in high level discusssions, reafirming the needs and the commitments to make EOSC a success. Read our reflections on the event.

Guides for Researchers

Open Science in Horizon Europe proposal

  • Introduction

    Open Science (OS) is an approach based on open cooperative work and systematic sharing of knowledge and tools as early and widely as possible in the process. It has the potential to increase the quality and efficiency of research and accelerate the advancement of knowledge and innovation by sharing results, making them more reusable and improving their reproducibility. It entails the involvement of all relevant knowledge actors (+ info).

    Researchers could practice OS at different stages of their research: conceptualisation, data gathering, analysis, publication, and review (+ info); therefore, open science is not limited to just publishing in open access journals/platforms. By using the appropriate licensing, researcher(s) can share knowledge at an earlier stage, retaining the intellectual property, but also boosting the innovation and the impact in societal challenges (+ info). The aim of this guide is to support the researchers to include OS practises in the Horizon Europe Proposal.

  • What to include in your proposal?

    In the Program Guide of Horizon Europe and in the Annotated Model Grant Agreement, the mandatory and recommended practises are described. In the following sections we summarise how you can meet these requirements in each proposal section:

    Part A: Application form

    • List of up to 5 publications, widely-used datasets, software, goods, services or any other achievements relevant to the call content

    Part B: Project proposal – Technical description

    1. Under ‘Excellence’– ‘1.2 Methodology’
      • Open science
      • Research Data Management and management of other research outputs

    2. Under ‘Impact’
      • ‘2.2 Measures to maximise impact. Dissemination, exploitation and communication’

    3. Under ‘Quality and efficiency of the implementation’
      • ‘3.1 Work plan and resources’ and
      • ‘3.2 Capacity of participants and consortium as a whole’

  • How to address OS in HE proposals?

    • Open science in Part A - Application Form

      In the proposal Standard Application Form, there is a section where you should list “up to 5 publications, widely-used datasets, software, goods, services or any other achievements relevant to the call content.” 


      Any publications listed in this part of the proposal, and in particular journal articles, are expected to be open access. The significance of publications will not be evaluated on the basis of the Journal Impact Factor or the venue they are published in, but on the basis of a qualitative assessment provided by you for each publication.

      Research data

      Included datasets  are expected to be FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) and ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’.

      For any dataset listed, provide the persistent identifier (e.g. DOI) which resolves to the dataset’s landing page in the trusted data repository that holds the research data. 

        Tips by using OpenAIRE services

      Consider uploading the relevant datasets from your previous projects on Zenodo, check if there exists some data or software or other relevant research output that you can discover on EXPLORE, and imaging the research output you would like to produce by the end of the project by starting a Data Management Plan on Argos. You will have a better idea about what you can produce, reuse, what make available, and what data disclose but still provide sufficient metadata (description of data) to be open science compliant. In case of doubts, you can contact the NOADs or our helpdesk.   

      Extra things you may consider in budget allocation that are considered as part of OS

      Citizen Science and participation in crowdsourcing activities:

      • Check with the internationalisation office about research dissemination activities,  such as researchers’ nights, pint of science, and citizen science activities 
      • Check funders’ events that may be related to dissemination (e.g. MSCA-Science is Wonderful)
      • Participation in International Conferences by specific fields (ask your supervisor), for impact on policy (e.g. ESOF), for Open Science (e.g. Open Science FAIR)
    • Open science in Part B - 'Excellence'

      1.2 Methodology

      1. Open Science [max. 1 page]

      Which open science practises should you select for inclusion in this part of your proposal (unless you justify not implementing any - if you believe that none of these practises are appropriate for your project)?

      • Describe the implementation of open science practices that are mandatory for Horizon Europe beneficiaries. Be as specific as possible, provide concrete information on how you will do this, e.g. mention the name of the repository where you will deposit your peer reviewed publications and data. In particular, there are requirements on providing open access to research outputs:
        • All projects must ensure open access to peer-reviewed scientific publications under the conditions stipulated in the Grant Agreement, as well as access to research data in line with the principle ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’.
        • Work programmes/call conditions may impose additional obligations, e.g. regarding digital/physical access to results for validation of scientific publications, or in case of public emergencies.

      • Management of research data and other research outputs is also mandatory, but you should address it in the specific section of the proposal dedicated to this topic (see below).

      • In addition, consider which other recommended open science practices are appropriate and feasible given the nature of your project and its objectives. This could include any of the non-mandatory practices, such as involving citizens and/or other relevant knowledge actors, early and open sharing of research, and open peer review. Provide specific information on whether and how you will implement early and open sharing and for which part of your expected output. For example, you may mention what type of early and open sharing is appropriate for your discipline and project, such as preprints or preregistration/registration reports, and which platforms you plan to use.

      • Note that outreach actions planned as part of communication, dissemination and exploitation activities are not in scope here. Such actions should instead be described in the ‘Impact’ part of your proposal.

      Below is an example from an OpenAIRE project proposal. This follows current best practices to ensure Open Science is embedded in all aspects of the project and includes:

      • Introducing policies for sharing all research results early, considering IPR in the project handbook (WP1).
      • Open Access to peer-reviewed publications: as a minimum, depositing in an OpenAIRE compatible repository - Zenodo - at the time of article submission (preprint) and updated version with Author Accepted Manuscript (postprint), also consider publishing in Open Research Europe, which offers open peer review. An overall budget of 10000 Euros has been allocated to partners for publishing in Open Access journals (if an APCs is charged).
      • Following OpenAIRE Guidelines when publishing results to ensure all research outputs are linked to each other, providing pathways of publication-data-code-algorithm service.
      • Applying standards and well-established ontologies when producing research results (WP2-3-4).
      • Developing and updating (M6, M18) a Data Management Plan according to the Horizon Europe template, using the OpenAIRE Argos service ( (WP1).
      • Fostering open collaboration by actively enrolling users in co-design and evaluation processes (all WPs).]

      The EOSC marketplace offers a series of services and resources that can support you in storage (eg. Zenodo up to 50 GB; finding notebook or computing storage if the storage is higher), repositories, datasources, core facilities and open infrastructures, tools for managing data (e.g Argos and Amnesia), and create your user profile to receive updates on new services related to your area of interest. Consider to mention in the proposal the consultation of the EOSC marketplace. 

      2. Research Data Management and management of other research outputs [max. 1 page]  

      Proper Research Data Management (RDM) is mandatory for any Horizon Europe project generating or reusing research data and should be considered from the proposal stage. Be aware that in this context, ‘research data’ is a very broad concept and certainly not limited to numerical/tabular data. 


      The Horizon Europe application templates provide the following instructions: 

      “Applicants generating/collecting data and/or other research outputs (except for publications) during the project must provide maximum 1 page on how the data/ research outputs will be managed in line with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable)”. 

      A full data management plan (DMP) is normally not yet required as part of your proposal, but you do need to address the following aspects in a project-specific manner:

      • Types of data/research outputs (e.g. experimental, observational, images, text, numerical) and their estimated size; if applicable, combined with, and provenance of, existing data.
      • Findability of data/research outputs: Types of persistent and unique identifiers (e.g. digital object identifiers) and trusted repositories that will be used.
      • Accessibility of data/research outputs: IPR considerations and timeline for open access (if open access not provided, explain why); provisions for access to restricted data for verification purposes. 
      • Interoperability of data/research outputs: Standards, formats and vocabularies for data and metadata. 
      • Reusability of data/research outputs:  Licences for data sharing and re-use (e.g. Creative Commons, Open Data Commons); availability of tools/software/models for data generation and validation/interpretation /re-use. 
      • Curation and storage/preservation costs
      • Person/team responsible for data management and quality assurance

      When you start your project implementation, you can use a data management planning tool such as Argos and find more information on complying with the Horizon Europe research data management requirement in our guide: Research Data management in Horizon Europe

      Reproducibility of research outputs: you should outline the measures planned in the project that tend to increase reproducibility. Such measures may already be interweaved in other parts of the methodology of a proposal (such as transparent research design, the robustness of statistical analyses, addressing negative results, etc) or in mandatory/non-mandatory open science practises (e.g. the DMP, early sharing through preregistration and preprints, open access to software, workflows, tools, etc) to be implemented.

      Below is an example of RDM practises descriptions from one of the OpenAIRE’s project proposals:

      • Developing and updating (M6, M18) a Data Management Plan according to the Horizon Europe template, using the OpenAIRE Argos service ( (WP1).
      • Creating Datasets: These are text, audio recordings and videos from surveys, interviews, case studies and desk research. Data will be collected following the GDPR rules, sensitive data won’t be shared and direct identifiers will be removed, if reasonable, otherwise consent will be asked to share data with identifiers. OpenAIRE will be the Data Controller and ensure data security.
      • Standards and metadata: All datasets will be documented with sufficient metadata, codebooks will be shared as well and variables described, data will be shared under CC 0 licence.
      • Persistent identifier for datasets: Zenodo (providing DOIs) will be used as a data repository.
      • Curation and preservation: We will make an inventory of data produced per year. Data with long-term value will be identified and passed to a long-term data archive (DANS).
      • Data sharing: All members of the consortium agree to share data produced in an open repository. Data will be cited from publications and reports.]
    • Open science in Part B - ‘Impact’

      2.2 Measures to maximise impact: dissemination, exploitation and communication

      Although the ‘Excellence’ section has outlined much of your rationale in open science, practices of providing open access to research outputs and early and open sharing in particular result in a broad dissemination of knowledge and are also relevant in the context of ‘Impact’. The dissemination, exploitation plan can therefore refer to your envisaged open access and early sharing practices described under ‘Excellence’, if applicable.   

      Above all, make sure that your proposed practices regarding early sharing of/open access to research outputs (publications, research data, software, models, protocols etc.) are compatible with your dissemination,exploitation and communication plan.  

      • For example, take potential commercial exploitation activities and ownership of potential results into account in your open science approach. Making research outputs publicly available online could jeopardise commercial exploitation of results, or it may infringe (certain) IPR protecting results if you neither are the (sole) rights holder(s) nor have permission from the rights holder(s). Providing open access to (certain) research outputs may sometimes not be possible at all, or only after an embargo period (e.g. to seek patent protection first), and is facilitated by clarity and agreement on ownership of results among consortium members.
    • Open science in Part B - ‘Quality and efficiency of the implementation’

      Work plan and resources (3.1)


      As part of this section, the Horizon Europe application templates ask for a detailed work description, which should include a list of work packages (table 3.1a), a description of each work package (table 3.1.b), and a list of deliverables (table 3.1 c). In terms of open science, the associated instructions include some stipulations on data management. They state that:  

      • “You are advised to include a distinct work package on ‘project management’, and give due visibility in the work plan to ‘data management’, ‘dissemination and exploitation’ and ‘communication activities’, either with distinct tasks or distinct work packages.” 
      • “You will be required to update the ‘plan for the dissemination and exploitation of results including communication activities’, and a ‘data management plan’ (this does not apply to topics where a plan was not required). This should include a record of activities related to dissemination and exploitation that have been undertaken and those still planned.”

      What to include:

      • Make sure to include the full Data Management Plan (DMP) as a deliverable with an associated work package if your project generates and/or reuses research data:  
      • Horizon Europe beneficiaries are normally required to submit a first version of the DMP as a distinct deliverable by month 6 (as per the Grant Agreement)
      • The DMP must  also be regularly updated to account for significant changes, so include an up-to-date version as a deliverable mid-project (for projects longer than 12 months) and at the end of the project. This means that, for longer projects, three DMP deliverables may be more appropriate.  
      • Beneficiaries are encouraged to list DMPs as public deliverables, unless there are good reasons not to do so (e.g. beneficiary’s legitimate interests including commercial exploitation, or other constraints such as confidentiality, data protection or security obligations).  

      In addition to planning for data management, it may be appropriate to include other relevant RDM activities in your project’s work plan.  Check out the tools on our How to identify and assess Research Data Management (RDM) costs guide for inspiration on how to break down research data management into distinct activities. Note that identifying relevant RDM activities and associated costs is also useful because such costs are eligible under Horizon Europe and should be budgeted in your proposal.


      When designing the Gantt Chart consider a section related to the Open Science Practices Deliverable, for example: 

      • If the D1 is the DMP, add in the section of Open Science the publication of the DMP.
        On Argos, once you complete the DMP, you can easily publish it on Zenodo, and everytime you update, you can publish the updated version in the same entry. 
      • Publication of articles, datasets, posters, slide presentations, video and softwares can be considered in the sections of Open Science if published in open access repositories which can be institutional or you can use both Zenodo or an update of the DMP in Argos or both of them. This can be matched with the WP on dissemination and communication.
      • Consider the participation in hackathons, crowdsourcing, and pre-register your project when applicable.
      • New publishing venues, such as Open Research Europe (specific for Horizon Beneficiaries) allows the publication of research notes, protocols and methods, and softwares. Consider this venue for publishing no standard peer-reviewed articles that follow the open science standards by default. 

      Capacity of participants and consortium as a whole (3.2) [max. 3 pages]


      As part of this section, you must provide a description of the expertise and/or track record in open science practises that the consortium brings to the project, in line with the proposed plans. Of course, no such demonstration of the consortium’s open science track record and expertise is required if you have justified that open science is not applicable to the project.  

      The instructions in the Horizon Europe application templates include the following: 

      “Describe the consortium. How does it match the project’s objectives, and bring together the necessary disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge. Show how this includes expertise in social sciences and humanities, open science practices, and gender aspects of R&I, as appropriate. Include in the description affiliated entities and associated partners, if any.” 


      In the budget, you should consider the cost related to managing your research workflow in OS, meaning you should consider:



      Who can help you to define the costs

      How OpenAIRE can support you

      Open Access publication cost

      Some journals charge an Article Processing Charges (APC)

      • Check in the host institution the grant office and their financial support for cost
      • Ask the librarians support for assistance

      Data curation in Open Science

      The lifecycle of the data management is in this guide

      Ask data stewards and librarians for assistance and support and involve them in your RDM work

      • Training and OpenPlato
      • Zenodo, a catch-all repository
      • Argos, a Data Management tool which guide you to the Data Management Plan (DMP) and permits you to update databases and publish it
      • Amnesia, a tool for automatic anonymise sensitive data
      • Legal assistance on licence that you can ask to ourNOADs
  • View our webinars recordings

    Horizon Europe Open Science requirements in practice. June 14th, 2022

  • How can OpenAIRE help?

     The following additional support materials can help you with the Open Science requirements in Horizon Europe projects:

    OpenAIRE also offers tools for research data management:

    • Argos is a OpenAIRE service that simplifies the management, validation, monitoring and maintenance of Data Management Plans [tool]
    Links and further information 

    The following sources where used and containing more extensive information on how to address open science in Horizon Europe proposals:





Publication date: June 7, 2022

Horizon Europe related guides

Still have questions?

Contact us via our Helpdesk.
We try to respond within 48 hours.

Guides for Researchers

RDM in Horizon Europe Proposals

  • Introduction

    The active management and appraisal of data over the lifecycle of scholarly and scientific interest defines research data management (RDM) and should be an integral part of any best practice in research and their outputs. It forms the practical requisites to performing good research by defining rules that should be followed and touches upon open science and the FAIR principles in doing so. RDM includes many elements such as licences, repositories, metadata, and more, and together allow upholding research integrity and reproducibility.

    For Horizon Europe proposals, RDM is explicitly referenced and consequently needs to be addressed by authors to show that contingencies are in place to safeguard data produced by the research being proposed. It will require authors to show evidence of practical measures that are to be put in place, from computing and storage infrastructure to what licences will be used through to the long-term preservation of data. The figure below (adapted from DCC) shows a simplified research curation lifecycle that provides a visual guide to the most important aspects to be considered in RDM and will be a visual cue to the itemised descriptions contained in this guide.

    research curation lifecycle

  • What to include in your proposal?

    The following tables provides a visual guide showing mandatory and recommended actions to be taken when writing your proposal.

    • Mandatory




      Detailed and rich documentation is fundamental to any good research and to provide reproducibility and uphold research integrity. Lab notebooks, whether on paper or by the increasing use of e-lab notebooks will aid this. Documentation is typically an umbrella term for what is required to be recorded, whether it is the type of file to be created, the protocols used in an experiment, justifications and reasoning for actions taken, and many other factors. Rich and detailed descriptions will aid future interrogation of the research conducted and this becomes a valuable resource.

      A subset of documentation is metadata and which is described below.


      Machine and human readable information, both at a technical and descriptive level, are the foundations of good RDM. Metadata encompass, file formats, documentation, controlled vocabularies and ontologies, licences, and persistent identifiers.

      Much of this metadata will be automatically generated when, for example, a digital data object is captured, and these will be essential in providing provenance to the underlying data and form a technical metadata layer. Descriptive metadata, which are typically done by manual curation but which are also increasingly done through automated methods thanks to such advances as AI, allow annotation of digital data objects and provide a further layer of information that is crucial to comparative analyses.

      A useful resource for finding available metadata standards can be found here, but there are several others that can be found through web searches.

      File formats For long-term preservation, it is essential that a version of your data exists in open and lossless file formats which retain all their data and are accessible across platforms. This will ensure accessibility of the data through software that are both proprietary and non-proprietary while also containing the full complement of data prior to any manipulations. These data are typically those that are initially captured and form the basis for any downstream analyses. Examples of such file formats can be found here.
      Controlled vocabularies n/a (but highly recommended where possible)
      Ontologies  n/a (but highly recommended where possible)
      Licences The ability to reuse data can be hindered by a lack of clarity on the rights that the data owner has failed to mention. By providing a licence, data reusers are made aware of their rights and the most common form of licence in research are Creative Commons. Licences for digital objects are machine readable and can enhance searches for data where filters can be used for different reuse rights. When ultimately depositing your data in a repository (see below), you should consult the repository’s licence policy which will determine what licence will then be placed on your data.
      Persistent identifiers (PIDs)

      Provide a PID for the different outputs of your research. These will provide a permanent means by which your data can be retrieved and disambiguates them from other outputs. PIDs can also relate to non-research outputs such as the researchers themselves, or the institution in which the research will be carried out or the grant. PIDs will typically be automatically assigned by trustworthy repositories (see below) once your data are deposited there which provides a valuable service and is an incentive to use these repositories.

      Examples of PIDs include DOIs, ORCIDs, ISBN.

      Storage and backup Through the active phase of the research curation lifecycle, before final deposition in a repository (see below), data need to be stored on networked and back up storage spaces which will provide a means by which data can be recovered in the event of data loss. Storage on local storage spaces on hard drives, pen drives, etc is discouraged but if this is done then it should be ensured that there are copies on networked and back up storage.
      Repositories To ensure long-term sustainability and to take responsibility away from your own hands in being able to manage your data, third party repositories need to be used. This step is data preservation and publishing your data in a repository allows reusers to find and access your data. When considering sensitive data, special attention must be given to make sure that data is safeguarded properly - it might not be possible to make the data fully accessible but there is the possibility to make the metadata discoverable.
      Data Management Plans

      In Horizon Europe, DMPs have become mandatory and will provide documentary evidence of the steps that have been taken to ensure the long-term safety of your research outputs. DMPs follow a template, which now has a revised version for Horizon Europe. The list of points to be addressed crystallise the other points raised in this guidance document regarding RDM and will show that the authors have considered all the necessary measures to uphold best practises.

      Additional factors to be considered in a DMP are ethics, legal requirements and costs: IPR, GDPR compliance and to those of local legal requirements, and conflicts of interest need to be declared, while the cost of doing RDM activities need to be estimated as part of the full grant amount, whether these are for capital expenditure or the time required by individuals to perform curation duties. Other factors to be considered in a DMP will be data retention periods before they will be deleted or destroyed.

    • Recommended and acceptable



      File formats

      Use of some file formats that are not open or lossless can be acceptable if there is widespread consensus on the use of those particular formats. Some file formats have become the de facto standard due to their ubiquity, but may still be proprietary. In these cases, it is still recommended to produce a copy of these data in an open format and that both be stored together.

      Use standardised syntax for file naming to aid better searchability and the ability to perform batch processes. These can take the form of YYMMDD_filename, and it is recommended to use version suffixes wherever possible when creating versions of a file from a master copy. These could, for example, be generated after cleaning or analysis steps.

      Controlled vocabularies and/or ontologies

      Use standard domain specific controlled vocabularies and/or ontologies wherever possible to better align your outputs with similar data in your field of research. Using standardised vocabularies and ontologies will minimise free text which in turn has significant benefits for comparative analyses and searches and consequently increases the value of your data.

      A useful domain agnostic resource for finding ontologies can be found here which also links to other resources, but many can also be found through web searches.

      Licences Open licences are the preferred choice wherever possible such as CC0 or CC BY. However, this may not always be possible for such data as clinical or other sensitive data. For these latter types of data it is still possible to adhere to FAIR principles and open science by making the metadata freely available which will show potential data reusers of the existence of the underlying data without being able to actually see the data itself. Subsequently, these data can be managed through access control mechanisms and anonymisation and pseudanonymisation, and one such tool that can be used is Amnesia.
      PIDs Apply DOIs to your research outputs which can typically be generated through deposition in a trustworthy repository. It is also recommended to register yourself with ORCID to get a PID for you as an individual.
      Storage and backup Use in-house or institutionally approved spaces wherever possible, and those that are non-commercial spaces. This will better guarantee ownership of data than use of commercial third party spaces which may sometimes have physical storage in a geographical location beyond the jurisdiction of the data creator.

      The use of domain specific repositories is the most desirable and will give your data the most value. Such repositories will employ domain specific metadata standards and controlled vocabularies and/or ontologies which will enhance the ability to do analyses across similar datasets and perhaps even across domains.

      Institutional and domain agnostic repositories should only be considered if no domain specific repository can be found and should be used as a last resort. However, there may be occasions when there will be an institutional mandate to deposit in their own repository and this should be fulfilled. Deposition of data in multiple repositories, although technically possible, should be avoided where possible, but if this is done it should be done in such a way so as to maintain the same persistent identifier across those multiple copies.

      Finally, it is recommended to use a trustworthy repository which will provide extra peace of mind since these repositories have been evaluated for their robustness and long-term sustainability. Such repositories may carry a CoreTrustSeal (CTS) or ISO standards approval and can be identified in searches.

      DMPs Regularly updating your DMPs, after a grant has been awarded, is recommended and they should be considered as living documents. Any deviations from the original proposal can be documented here with justifications of why.
  • View our webinars recordings

    Horizon Europe Open Science requirements in practice. June 14th, 2022

  • How can OpenAIRE help?

    The following additional support materials can help you with the RDM requirements in Horizon Europe projects: 


    argos logo newOpenAIRE also offers tools for research data management: Argos is an OpenAIRE service that simplifies the management, validation, monitoring and maintenance of DMPs. [tool]


    Links and further information

    The following sources were used and contain more extensive information on how to address open science in Horizon Europe proposals:


Publication date: June 13, 2022

Horizon Europe related guides

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