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Guides for Researchers

How to comply with H2020 mandate

for publications

  • What is required?

    All peer-reviewed scientific publications arising from Horizon 2020 funding have to be made available in open access.

    There are two ways to provide 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?

    Ok, so how do I deposit my publication in a repository?
    1. As soon as possible and at the latest on publication, deposit your published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository for scientific publications. Moreover, you must aim to deposit at the same time the research data needed to validate the results presented in the deposited scientific publication.

    2. Ensure open access to the deposited publication — via the repository — at the latest: on publication (for articles published in open access journals), or within six months of publication (twelve months for publications in the social sciences and humanities) in any other case.

    3. When you deposit, you must also ensure open access to the descriptive metadata that identify the deposited publication. This metadata must be in a standard format and must include all of the following:
      • the words ["European Union (EU)" and "Horizon 2020"] ["Euratom" and Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018"];
      • the name of the project, acronym and grant number;
      • the publication date, and length of embargo period if applicable, and
      • a persistent identifier.
    Source:   29.2 Open access to scientific publications, Multi-beneficiary General Model Grant Agreement (Version 5.0, 18 October 2017)
    It is not enough to add the publications to Dropbox, project websites, or academic social networks such as or ResearchGate.
  • Which repository to use?

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

    • your institutional repository, OR
    • a subject-based/thematic repository (e.g., arXiv, Europe PMC), OR
    • Zenodo the OpenAIRE repository hosted by CERN.

    OpenAIRE can also helps 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!
  • When to provide access?

    • Immediately if you have published in an open access journal
    • Within six months of publication (12 months for publications in the social sciences and humanities) in any other case.

    Check your 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 six months (or 12 months for the social sciences and humanities) is acceptable.

    If the publisher’s policy differs from the Horizon 2020 requirements, contact the publisher. You are requested to inform the publisher of the open access requirements, and ask for an exception to the publisher’s policy to enable you to meet those requirements. It is important to obtain this permission in writing. Use a Template letter (.pdf) provided by the European Commission when writing to the publisher asking for an amendment to your publishing agreement.

     Did you know?
    You are also required to provide access to your accompanying research data. See our Guide to Open Access to Data in H2020.

  • 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. Hybrid journals are also fine, these offer the possibility of making individual articles openly available.

    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 open access journal that does not charge APCs, you can provide open access for free.

     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 website 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.

  • Start planning early on!

    During proposal writing:
    • Outline your dissemination and exploitation strategy, including open access >> impact section of the proposal (how will results be shared, data be managed and shared?)
    • Include resources for publication costs (what journals, how many publications, what does it cost on average?) Publishing all articles in APC based open access journals is probably not the right solution, as this can take a substantial amount of the overall project budget.
    • Combine publishing in open access journals with depositing in repositories strategies to achieve maximum of open access.
    During the project:
    • Include additional provisions in the Consortium Agreement - where to deposit, who is responsible.
    • Implement your dissemination strategy, report at reviews.
    • Keep track of the issues, ask for advice (publisher embargos, repositories for specific material, etc.). We are here to help!
    After the project ends:
    • Who takes care of depositing in repositories after the project ends?
  • 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.

    Helpdesk light

    The OpenAIRE helpdesk system provide several materials to support you. Please find it in our support page.
    If you have any questions on how we may furhter help you, please do not hesitate to contact us using the form below.

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  • COVID-19 guidelines

    Guidelines for publications

    • Make all research publications relevant to the outbreak immediately available, through deposition of a copy of the published, or final, peer-reviewed version, in a repository (through which open access to the deposited copy shall be ensured), at the latest at the time of publication, under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC BY 4.0) or a license with equivalent rights.
    • 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. Some reliable and currently very relevant preprint archives are bioRxiv (life sciences), medRxiv (medical), PsyArxiv (behavioural sciences), SocArXiv (social sciences), ArXiv (o.a. physics, mathematics, computer science) and Open Science Framework (OSF) preprints or Zenodo (the latter two are multidisciplinary archives).
    • Provide information via the repository about any research output or any other tools and instruments needed to re-use and/or validate the conclusions of the scientific publication. This includes for example software, workflows, models, materials etc. If possible, provide access to the tools or instruments themselves.
    • Include metadata of deposited publications under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC 0 1.0) 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;
      • Framework Programme and the action: the terms "European Union” (EU) and "Horizon Europe" or “Euratom”, respectively, the name of the action, acronym, grant number;
      • Licensing terms;
      • Persistent identifiers for the publication (e.g. DOI or Handle), the author(s) (e.g. ORCID, ResearcherID), and, if possible, for the institution(s) (e.g. ROR) and the grant (e.g. DOI) covered by this agreement;
      • Where applicable, persistent identifiers for any research output or any other tools and instruments needed to validate the conclusions of the publication.

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