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Jun 9, 2020
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EC pushes for Open COVID-19 research

Jun 9, 2020

In response to the global COVID-19 crisis, the European Commission has issued an update of the existing open science guidelines for Horizon 2020 grant recipients on 8th April 2020. Additionally, on April 20th the EC has launched a European COVID-19 Data Platform to enable the rapid collection and sharing of available research data.

Updated guidelines

In the guidelines, the EC strongly encourages beneficiaries to go beyond what is legally required from them in their Grant Agreement (GA) and to provide full and immediate open access to all COVID-19 related research output they might produce. The EC invites researchers to:

  • provide immediate open access (without embargo) via repositories to COVID-19 related research outputs;
  • make research findings available via preprint servers before journal publication, or via platforms that make publications openly accessible before peer-review;
  • include clear statements regarding the availability of underlying data;
  • use liberal open licenses such as CC BY 4.0, CC0 public domain dedication or equivalent;
  • apply FAIR practices in research data management and to register your DMP as a non-restricted, public deliverable that is openly accessible, unless there are reasons to restrict it.

Supporting tools and initiatives

The EC highlights initiatives that help researchers to make their COVID-19 research openly available by providing infrastructural support,by pointing to relevant data sources, to tools for research data management planning and to services and resources for support and information. OpenAIRE is involved in several of these initiatives:

    • Research Data Alliance Working Group on COVID-19: Best practice guidelines and recommendations for researchers and policymakers to help maximise data sharing in public health emergencies?
    • OpenAIRE’s Zenodo COVID-19 community and COVID-19 gateway: OpenAIRE, in collaboration with the European Commission, provides services to help in the sharing, discovery, navigation and collaboration of the global research community. Together with CERN, a Zenodo Community has been created to collect all research results relevant to COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2. OpenAIRE is currently developing a Scientific Gateway to serve as a single entry point for research results (publications, data, and software) for COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2. This service will be complementary to, and will link up with, other EU initiatives and global efforts.
    • ARGOS : an online tool to automate the creation, management, sharing and linking DMPs with the research artefacts to which they correspond. It is the joint effort of OpenAIRE and EUDAT CDI to deliver an open platform for Data Management Planning that addresses FAIR and Open best practices and assumes no barriers for its use and adoption.

New Data Portal

The new COVID-19 Data Portal will provide an open, trusted, and scalable European and global environment where researchers can store and share datasets, such as DNA sequences, protein structures, data from pre-clinical research and clinical trials, as well as epidemiological data. It is the result of a joint effort by the European Commission, the European Bioinformatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI), the Elixir infrastructure and the COMPARE project, as well as the EU Member States and other partners.


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