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Frequently Asked Questions

This is where you will find most answers. If there should still be any questions left, don't hesitate to contact us.

About OpenAIRE

What can OpenAIRE do for me?
If you are a researcher, we can help you:
  • find all the publications and data of your project
  • disseminate your research outputs
  • comply with EC and national funders’ Open Access policies for publications and data
If you are a project manager, we can help you:
  • collect all of your projects’ outputs in one place
  • comply with EC and national funders’ Open Access policies for publications and data
If you are a repository manager, we can help you:
  • streamline the interoperability between your repository and the EC’s reporting tool for publications
  • increase your visibility
If you are a funder we can help you:
  • keep track of all research output funded by your funding stream
  • keep track of the availability in Open Access research output stemming from your funding stream
  • gain greater insight into your funding impact through tailor made statistics
Need something else? Want to collaborate? Let us know.
What is the catch-all repository Zenodo?
Zenodo is an all-purpose open research repository. It was created by OpenAIRE and CERN to provide a place for researchers to deposit publications, datasets and other research artifacts such as code, posters, presentations.... Zenodo does not impose any requirements on format, size, access restrictions or licence and is not restricted to one funder, or one nation. It is free to use for all research outputs from across all fields.

It launched in 2013, allowing researchers in any subject area to upload files up to 50 GB.

Zenodo has integration with GitHub to make code hosted in GitHub citable.
What is the OpenAIRE network (NOADs)?
OpenAIRE is a partnership of (currently) more than 50 institutions, all working to shape and implement effective OA and Open Science policies. Our network of 34 National Open Access Desk (NOADs), present in every EU country and beyond, are there to reach out to researchers, research coordinators and policy-makers at the local level. Increased awareness at the national level is assured through a range of training and support activities such as holding workshops and webinars, disseminating training materials, and reaching out directly to researchers.
What is OpenAIRE and what are OpenAIRE services?

OpenAIRE is a European project supporting Open Science. On the one hand OpenAIRE is an network of dedicated Open Science experts promoting and providing training on Open Science.

On the other hand OpenAIRE is a technical infrastructure harvesting research output from connected data providers. OpenAIRE aims to establish an open and sustainable scholarly communication infrastructure responsible for the overall management, analysis, manipulation, provision, monitoring and cross-linking of all research outcomes.

This combination of knowledge and a pan-European Research Information platform enables us to provide services to researchers, research support organisations, funders and content providers such as:

  • Integrated scientific information: links publication, project information, datasets... per funder/project/content provider...and presents them in an in one place
  • Monitor and reporting on OS research outcomes for funders
  • Training sessions and support on all subjects related to OS and OS policy
  • Discovery of OS output per project, funder, data provider…
  • Exchange of metadata and content amongst data providers
  • A general purpose repository called Zenodo
  • An Open Science helpdesk
  • Monitoring and reporting mechanisms for research output per institution
  • Analyses massive collections of documents, related meta-data and relational information

And many more.

General on Open Access

What are author fees/publication fees?
Article Processing Charges (APCs)/Book processing charges (BPCs) are publication fees charged to authors - but often covered by their institution or funder - to make publications immediately open access, and should not be confused with other costs such as page charges or colour print fees. APCs can vary widely, however many Open Access journals do not charge these author fees. So you can avoid APCs and still make your work open access by publishing in such a journal, or by providing open access through self-archiving.

You can find an overview of trusted open access journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

What is a persistent identifier?

A persistent identifier (PID) is a long-lasting reference to a resource. That resource might be a publication, dataset or person. Equally it could be a scientific sample, funding body, set of geographical coordinates, unpublished report or piece of software. Whatever it is, the primary purpose of the PID is to provide the information required to reliably identify, verify and locate it. A PID may be connected to a set of metadata describing an item rather than to the item itself.

There are different PID types for different kinds of resources. In the current research environment we most commonly see two varieties: those for objects (publications, data, software, such as URNs, DOIs, ARKs, Handle) and those for people (researchers, authors, contributors, such as ORCIDs, ISNIs). Many repositories will assign a PID of the former type when an object is deposited.

For more information, please see the Knowledge Hub on the PID Forum



What about copyright and Open Access?

Open Access is not an infringement on copyright, in fact making your work open access is perfectly legal.

Authors (or their institutions) own the original copyright to their research, but when publishing the original rights holders are often asked to transfer these rights to the publisher, so that the publisher sets the terms for providing open access. OpenAIRE encourages researchers to choose publishers who let them retain their author rights, so that immediate access can be provided. Ideally, an open license is applied to the work, so that access and reuse rights are clearly defined for every end-user. Creative Commons (such as CC BY 4.0 for publications and CC0 for data) or GNU (for software and code) are very suitable for this purpose. If the publisher does not standardly allow you to retain your rights, please consider negotiating this using with an addendum to the publication agreement.

Some publishers of Open Access journals ask for a transfer of copyrights but still provide immediate open access via the journal home page. If you have transferred your rights to the publisher and the article is published in a closed access journal but you still want to provide open access, you can do this through self-archiving. Sherpa/RoMEO offers a journal-by-journal overview of publisher self-archiving policies.

What are the Open Access Policies and Mandates in FP7?

In FP7, the European Commission had two Open Access policies: the EC Open Access Pilot and the ERC Guidelines for Open Access. These initiatives required that researchers provide open access to publications resulting from EC-funded research within a specified time period. The Open Access Pilot for publications applied for approximately 20% of the budget and 7 dedicated research areas.

What are the Open Access Policies and Mandates in Horizon 2020?

In Horizon 2020, open access to scientific peer-reviewed publications has been anchored as an ‘underlying principle’, making it obligatory for all projects. In addition, as of 2017 H2020 projects are by default part of the Open Research Data Pilot, although it remains possible to opt-out.

How do I pay for Open Access?

Making your research open access does not have to cost anything. By depositing your articles in a repository or finding an open access journal that does not charge APCs, you can provide open access for free.

However, under H2020 APCs are eligible costs for reimbursement for the duration of the grant agreement. You should already include costs for open access publishing in the budget of your project proposal.

APCs for finalized FP7 projects might also be eligible for funding through the FP7 post-grant Open Access publishing funds pilot.

What is a Predatory Publisher and how do I avoid them?

Predatory publishers exploit the Open Access publishing model for their own profit. In some cases, predatory journals offer little or no peer review.

Always check if your chosen journal is reputable:
  • Don’t trust unsolicited e-mails;
  • View recent publications of the journal;
  • Ensure that the journal has a validated ISSN;
  • Check for societies affiliated with the journal;
  • Look at the journal’s leadership and its professional affiliations: Have you heard of the editorial board members? Is the journal listed in the DOAJ? Is the publisher a member of the OASPA or the COPE
Use the following resources:
How do I select an Open Access journal?

Generally, the same factors apply for selecting an Open Access journal as when choosing a traditional journal to publish your article.

There are a few resources specifically for Open Access journals that you may also consult:  
Note: To comply with the Horizon 2020 Open Access mandate you have to deposit your publications in an open access repository, even when choosing to publish in an open access journal.
How do I deposit my work in a Subject or Institutional Repository?
To comply with the EC’s policy you are required to:
  • Deposit the final peer-reviewed version in an online repository
  • Provide Open Access within 6 months (12 months for HSS research)
  • Ensure Open Access to the metadata, which must include:
    • terms ["European Union (EU)" & "Horizon 2020"]["Euratom" & Euratom research & training programme 2014-2018"]  
    • name of the action, acronym and grant number  
    • publication date, the length of the embargo period (if applicable), and a persistent identifier, e.g. DOI

It is not enough to add the publications to Dropbox, project websites, or academic social networks such as ResearchGate. It is recommended to choose an institutional or subject repository, as these have dedicated infrastructure allowing for long-term archiving and interoperability (for example, with OpenAIRE services).

If you have trouble locating a suitable repository, contact your institutional librarian or your National Open Access Desk. You can also use the Zenodo repository, hosted by CERN, to deposit your publications and datasets free of charge, or search in a global registry - re3data or FAIRsharing - for a fitting repository (they provide several filtering options).

Check SHERPA/RoMEO for publisher policies on self-archiving before you deposit your article.
How do I make my publications open access to comply with the EC’s Open Access policy?

To comply with the H2020 OA requirements, it is mandatory to ensure Open Access to all peer-reviewed publications resulting from H2020 funding. There are two ways you can provide Open Access:

  1. Depositing your peer-reviewed manuscript in a trusted Open Access repository.
  2. Selecting a reputable Open Access journal for publishing your research.
In either case you have to deposit your publications in an Open Access repository, even when publishing in an Open Access journal.
4 simple steps to Open Access

Step 1.

Submit a paper to a journal of your choice (you are not restricted to Open Access journals). Publishing costs (article processing charges) are eligible costs and can be reimbursed within the project period.

Step 2.

Deposit either the published manuscript or the final peer-reviewed version in an Open Access repository as soon as possible and at the latest upon publication. It is not enough to add the publications to Dropbox, project websites, or academic social networks such as ResearchGate. You could find a repository via registries: ROAR, OpenDOAR, FAIRsharing or via OpenAIRE. If you have trouble locating a suitable repository, contact your institutional librarian or your National Open Access Desk.

Step 3.

Acknowledge project funding in the metadata when uploading your article. This can be done by filling in the name of the action, project acronym, and/or grant number.

Step 4.

Ensure open access to the deposited publication — via the repository — at the latest: on publication if an electronic version is available for free via the publisher, or within six months of publication (twelve months for publications in the social sciences and humanities) in any other case. Check the publisher’s policy to determine which version you can upload and if an embargo period applies, see the Sherpa/Romeo database. An embargo period of 6 months (or 12 months for the social sciences and humanities) is acceptable. Ideally, as an author, you keep your author rights and apply a suitable open license. There are many options, such as Creative Commons. Please find more information about copyright and open access.
Note: Even when publishing Open Access, beneficiaries are still required to deposit their publications in a repository.

Research Data Management

How to openly license research data?

How to License Research Data” guide from the DCC can helps you understand data licensing. This guide outlines the pros and cons of each approach e.g. the limitations of some Creative Commons licenses options.

"The Guidelines to the Rules on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Open Access to Research Data in Horizon 2020" point to CC-0 or CC-BY as a straightforward and effective way to make it possible for others to mine, exploit and reproduce the data (see p. 10).

You could also use the EUDAT licensing tool, more information on how to use it is here.

There is also this new clause on for health actions targeting public health emergencies [p. 70 - 71]

What about costs related to research data management?

Under Horizon 2020, research data management costs are eligible for reimbursement for the duration of the grant agreement. To estimate RDM costs the University of Utrecht compiled a Data Management Cost Guide.

What are the FAIR principles?

Making data FAIR ensures it can be found, understood and reused – by the creator as well as others.

  • Persistent ID
  • Metadata online
  • Data online
  • Restrictions where needed
  • Use standards, controlled vocabs
  • Common (open) formats
  • Rich documentation
  • Clear usage licence
Take a look at the FAIR data checklist.  FAIR data does not have to be open. Data can be shared under restrictions and and still be FAIR!
What is metadata for research data?

Metadata is data providing information about data that makes findable, trackable and (re)usable.

It can include information such as contact information, geographic locations, details about units of measure, abbreviations or codes used in the dataset, instrument and protocol information, survey tool details, provenance and version information and much more.
Metadata formats and standards

Metadata can take many different forms, from free text to standardized, structured, machine-readable, extensible content. It is recommended to use a standard metadata format used in your field.  

Specific disciplines, repositories or data centers may guide or even dictate the content and format of metadata, possibly using a formal standard. Because creation of standardized metadata can be difficult and time consuming, another consideration when selecting a standard is the availability of tools that can help generate the metadata (e.g. Morpho allows for easy creation of EML, Nesstar for DDI data, etc.). The Digital Curation Center provides a catalog of common metadata standards, organized by discipline: Some specific examples of metadata standards, both general and domain specific are:
  • Dublin Core - domain agnostic, basic and widely used metadata standard
  • DDI (Data Documentation Initiative) - common standard for social, behavioral and economic sciences, including survey data
  • EML (Ecological Metadata Language) - specific for ecology disciplines
  • ISO 19115 and FGDC-CSDGM (Federal Geographic Data Committee's Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata) - for describing geospatial information
  • MINSEQE (MINimal information about high throughput SEQeuencing Experiments) - Genomics standard
  • FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) - Astronomy digital file standard that includes structured, embedded metadata
  • MIBBI - Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations
Where no appropriate, formal metadata standard exists, for internal use, writing “readme” style metadata is an appropriate strategy.
If you need more information, check the following resources:
What do I do when I have sensitive data or privacy issues?

The concept of the free use of research data within the Pilot may conflict with data protection rules if such data contain personal data. Data protection rules are always applicable when personal data is processed. The term ‘processed’ is all-encompassing and any operation with personal data not qualifying as processing is almost unthinkable.  Anonymisation of personal research data is the only effective solution to comply with both the data protection legislation and the requirements of the Open Research Data Pilot.  

Οbtaining the consent of the data subject to use and exchange their data may seem an alternative. However, the Pilot demands that data be made openly available to the broad public and for all forms of reuse, whereas Directive 95/46/EC demands that the purpose for processing must be defined as precise as possible.

Remember that opting out of the Pilot is possible, provided that you justify  in the Data Management Plan why the data or part of the data can’t be shared openly.

More information in this OpenAIRE briefing paper.

How do I make my research data open?

To make your research data open, you can deposit it in dedicated data repositories. Some repositories, such as Zenodo, accept both publications and datasets.

Data repositories allow you to provide persistent links to your datasets, so that they can be cited, linked and tracked. Just like other publications, you can license your data to define what level of reuse you allow.

OpenAIRE recommends to use the Creative Commons CC0 Waiver or CC BY licence for open access to data, as they allow maximum reusability and interoperability.

When do I have to create a Data Management Plan?

The first version of the DMP has to be delivered within the first 6 months of the project.

The DMP should be updated whenever significant changes occur, but as a minimum in time with the periodic evaluation/assessment and at the final review of the project. The project consortium can define a timetable for review in the DMP itself.

What is a Data Management Plan (DMP) and how do I create one?

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a formal document that specifies how research data will be handled both during and after a research project. It identifies key actions and strategies to ensure that research data are of a high quality, safe, sustainable and – where possible – accessible and reusable. More and more research funders require a DMP as part of the grant proposal process, or after funding has been approved. Creating a Data Management Plan for your project is always a good idea, even if it is not mandatory or if you will not be able to provide access to your data!

A DMP should be considered a ‘living’ document - it is ideally created before or at the start of a research project, but updated when necessary as the project progresses. Planning for data management is therefore not a one-off event, but a process.

DMP Templates

The DMP template for H2020 projects provided by the EC includes:

  • A summary of your data
  • How to make your data FAIR
  • Information about costs and resources
  • Information about data security
Argos is OpenAIRE’s open source service for writing and publishing DMPs, and is also available as an EOSC resource. Argos creates open, FAIR and machine actionable DMPs that are interconnected with publications, data, software and other outputs that they relate to. You can use the Horizon Europe Template of Argos to get started with writing and automatically completing some parts of your DMP which you can then publish in Zenodo with a click! 

DMPonline is another online tool that provides a number of templates representing the requirements of different funders and institutions, such as Horizon 2020. It also provides further guidance to understand and answer template-specific questions. Plans created with DMPonline can be easily shared with collaborators and exported in various formats.
Check out other DMPonline installations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, South Africa and Spain here.

If you have trouble getting started with a DMP, ask your NOAD or your librarian.

How do I comply with the Open Research Data Pilot?

There are three steps to comply with the Open Research Data Pilot:

Step 1:
Write a DMP

The first version of your DMP has to be submitted within six months. You should update your DMP whenever significant changes occur, but at a minimum for periodic evaluation and at the final review. See our faq on creating a DMP for more tips.
Step 2:
Find a research data repository
Find a data repository that matches your data needs and discipline. An overview of repositories can be found at re3data and FAIRsharing. If there is no subject-specific data repository available, catch-all repositories such as Zenodo, provide a good alternative. If you have trouble locating a suitable data repository, contact your local NOAD.
Step 3:
Deposit your data
Deposit the data and the information necessary to access and use it, i.e. metadata and tools/instruments, in the data repository. Attach an open licence, such as a creative commons license, to the datasets that can be made openly available.

(Partially) Opting-out

Each project proposal will need to consider taking part in the Pilot, but it remains possible to opt-out of at any stage: during the application phase or the grant agreement preparation (GAP) phase or after signing the grant agreement.

Moreover, projects individually define which data the Pilot covers for their specific context. A project can choose to only make a subset of the data available, or they can initially plan to make certain data available but then change their decision mid-project, for example if they discover there's a commercial application and plan to file for a patent.
The key principle to bear in mind is to be "as open as possible, as closed as necessary." If you plan to keep some datasets closed, you need to justify these decisions in your Data Management Plan.

For more information also check the EC's Guidelines on FAIR Data Management in Horizon 2020.
Is my project part of the Open Research Data Pilot?

As of 2017, participating in the pilot is the default option for all Horizon 2020 projects, though opting out remains possible. If your project started before that date, check Article 29.3 in your grant agreement.

Projects started in 2014-2016 From 2017
Limited ORD Pilot Extended ORD Pilot
Limited ORD pilot: some areas participate: Check Article 29.3 Participating is default option for all projects
Possibility to opt-out but also to opt-in on voluntary basis for other areas Possibility to opt-out

Reporting and Statistics

How do I link my results to a specific grant?

Use a repository that is compliant with OpenAIRE to deposit your research results (Find them here).
Linking your results to a project is very easy. Be sure that:

  • the funder name, funding stream, project acronym/title and grant number are inserted in the Acknowledgment of the Open Access version of the peer-reviewed article or document you are depositing;
  • the same information are provided in the metadata of the digital object you are depositing (see also FAQ - How do I deposit my work in a Subject or Institutional Repository?).

In case OpenAIRE found your research object but was not able to link it to your project, you can always claim the connection by clicking on the button “Link this Project to…” on the project page (See also the guide - How to link a publication to your funding).

OpenAIRE also performs Text and Data Mining Algorithms that are able to extract the information contained in the Acknowledgment session of your paper in order to link it to the correct funding grants.

Which results should I link to my project?

The Research Result (Peer-reviewed articles, Dataset, Software, or Other research products) should be only linked to the project that actually funded the research work behind the specific findings.

When linking a research object to a specific project (learn here how to do it!) you should be aware that the information about connection will be sent to the Participant Portal and will be seen by your Project Officer and Reviewers. One of the main aims of OpenAIRE is indeed to measure the impact of the research carried out by means of public fundings. You will therefore be asked to justify in the Review process both scientifically and financially the results that you have linked to your grant.

How can funders ensure that their information is picked up by OpenAIRE?

OpenAIRE uses a 'very limited' set of funder-related metadata, no personal details are needed, e.g. no personal names or budget details. The information will be picked up automatically when funders provide the following:

  • Project Identifier*
  • Project Title or Acronym*
  • Funder Name*, e.g. Wellcome Trust, EC
  • Start Date*
  • End Date*
  • Funding Stream(S) – Funding Categories for more detailed statistics
  • Organization(S) Involved
  • Recommended Achkowledgement Statements (Optional)
  • Start Year/Date Open Access Mandates (Optional) for datasets and publications
How can OpenAIRE help with project reporting?

OpenAIRE provides a publication reporting tool that is available on the project landing page in the portal. For each project, OpenAIRE compiles a list of scientific outputs (publications and data) that can be viewed and exported in csv or html format.

Using this aggregated project output – identifying title, author, year, access mode and permanent link – you can easily fill the corresponding information in the progress or final report of your project.

If you can’t find all your publications in the list, you can easily claim and link them to your projects manually.

Technical about OpenAIRE services

Can I harvest OpenAIRE content?

If you want to use OpenAIRE’s data, please find the OpenAIRE API Documentation: there you will find all necessary information on how to reuse our content.

Why do OpenAIRE need third-party data (like Funders')?
If you provide your data, like funded projects, to OpenAIRE, we will be able to offer you advanced services on usage statistics, research impact, text and data mining and content enrichment. Take a look at "Monitor OA policies. Analyse research." for more details, and if you are interested contact us!
Is there a way to update records once available on OpenAIRE?

OpenAIRE does not host content itself, but aggregates publications and data from third-party sources.

If you have deposited your publication or dataset in a repository, you should contact the administrator to update metadata.

If you haven't deposited the publication or dataset yourself, or if you don't know how the record ended up on the OpenAIRE portal, please contact the OpenAIRE helpdesk:

How does OpenAIRE collect information on publications and data?

OpenAIRE uses the OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative’s Protocol for Metadata Harvesting OAI-PMH) interoperability protocol, which consists of a set of rules and methods that standardize the access to content of repositories. OpenAIRE compliant repositories are harvested once a week.

How does OpenAIRE collect information about projects?
OpenAIRE is directly linked to the European Commission’s project database to enable cross-linking between OpenAIRE and CORDIS.

By depositing your work in a repository and providing your project information in the metadata, project information and related publications and data will automatically become visible in the OpenAIRE portal.

On OpenAIRE, each project has a dedicated page featuring:

  • Project information
  • App & Widget box
  • Publication list
  • Datasets
  • Author information
When the research output is available as open access, users can access them directly through the portal.
How do I validate my repository or journal and provide data to OpenAIRE?

In order to provide content to OpenAIRE, journals and repositories have to be registered as technically compliant with OpenAIRE.

To be registered as OpenAIRE compliant, you must ensure that:

  1. Your repository is registered in OpenDOAR prior to the validation process - this is the authority list OpenAIRE relies on for repositories;
  2. Your repository is set up according to OpenAIRE’s guidelines - simple metadata specifications that are required to make your repository or journal compliant. The guidelines outline the necessary steps to comply, to get registered and to be aggregated and indexed in OpenAIRE;
  3. You correctly set up your ListIdentifiers and GetRecord verbs for your ec_fundedresources records.

Repository systems like DSpace, EPrints and Open Journal Systems are OpenAIRE compliant.

If your repository is not compliant, the deposited publications will not be 'harvested' automatically through the OpenAIRE portal, limiting the visibility of your project and access to OpenAIRE’s services.  

The OpenAIRE portal is designed to measure compliance with the EC's and ERC's Open Science policies and pilots. When these conditions are applicable to your project, OpenAIRE is there to make reporting as easy as possible. While non-compliant repositories are still being indexed through OpenAIRE, the visibility and accuracy of project files and publication metadata can be lower.

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