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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

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