Open Access

Open Access (OA) is the immediate, online, free availability of research outputs without restrictions on use commonly imposed by publisher copyright agreements. Thus, subject to proper attribution of authorship, OA grants free access to the work, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display it publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium.

Open Data

Because the organisation and use of data via data centres and data sharing is becoming more and more important for research, it is essential that not only publications but also research data be openly accessible. And since every publication in the field of empirical sciences is based on data, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access applies just as much to data as it does to publications. Since research data is becoming more and more extensive and complex, it is rarely completely presented in the publications themselves. Because of the added value it brings, Open Data is especially worthwhile and gives research completely new opportunities.  Research data can be integrated in publications, documented indirectly, for example via links in publications, or made available in the form of independent data sets.


A repository is a database or a virtual archive established to collect and preserve scientific output. Institutional repositories gather the output from the scientific institution they belong to, whereas subject repositories collect publications and data related to a scientific discipline. The action of depositing material in a repository is (self)archiving. Depending on personal preferences or publisher's policies, the author can make his work available in Open Access or (temporarily) restrict the access to it.


A harvester is a computer programme used by a service provider for the collection (harvesting) of metadata in one or several OAI repositories. OpenAIRE harvests relevant material from OpenAIRE-compliant repositories all around Europe.


Metadata are a means to describe (digital) objects. As information has become increasingly digital, metadata is also used to describe digital data using metadata standards specific to a particular discipline. By describing the contents and context of data files, the quality of the original data/files is greatly increased. 


The OAI (Open Access Initiative) architecture is the technical infrastructure of an information system that is compliant with the OAI-PMH protocol. The OAI-PMH protocol (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) is a low-barrier mechanism for repository interoperability based on metadata harvesting.


A postprint is the version of the scientific paper that has received full peer review but has not yet been put in the final published layout. In terms of content, post-prints are the article as published. However, in terms of appearance this might not be the same as the published article, as publishers often reserve for themselves their own arrangement of type-setting and formatting. A lot of publishers allow the postprint version to be put in Open Access (for publisher policies, see the Sherpa/Romeo website).


A document deposit is the act of publishing a text online in a repository. Synonyms are: upload, self-archiving, self-publishing.


OpenAIRE compliancy means that a repository is harvestable by OpenAIRE. To obtain this, the repository infrastructure needs to be adapted.


A mandate defines an institution's policy about self-archiving research output. Some funders and institutions ask the researchers they support to deposit their work in a repository (preferably in Open Access), to make sure that this work remains available for consultation.

National Open Access Desk

The first contact point when you have questions about Open Access. Thanks to the driver and openaire projects, there was an Open Access Desk installed in every participating member states. They disseminate information about OA, answer questions about OA and OA-related projects, manage the OpenAIRE helpdesk ...


The DRIVER and DRIVER-II projects' vision and primary objective was "to create a cohesive, robust and flexible, pan-European infrastructure for digital repositories, offering sophisticated services and functionalities for researchers, administrators and the general public". The DRIVER network forms the basis for the current OpenAIRE and OpenAIREplus projects.


SC39 or ‘Special Clause 39’ is an addendum added to project funding contracts. 

flag black white lowOpenAIRE-Advance receives
funding from the European 
Union's Horizon 2020 Research and
Innovation programme under Grant
Agreement No. 777541.


  Unless otherwise indicated, all materials created by OpenAIRE are licenced under CC ATTRIBUTION 4.0 INTERNATIONAL LICENSE.
OpenAIRE uses cookies in order to function properly. By using the OpenAIRE portal you accept our use of cookies.