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FP7 post-grant Open Access publishing funds

The basics about the European Commission’s post-grant Open Access Pilot and how to apply for funding.

1 - How will the updated FP7 project eligibility time-window be applied?

The FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot policy guidelines state that eligible FP7 projects are those "finished no longer than two years ago at funding request submission time". As explained in a footnote to such guidelines, during the first months of the initiative this criteria has been applied in a flexible way in order to widen the eligibility time-window, making eligible any FP7 project whose end-date was after Jan 1st, 2013. The project eligibility time-window will however be updated as of Jan 1st, 2016: from the new year, only projects finished after Jan 1st, 2014 will be eligible, and all FP7 projects finished in 2013 will cease to be eligible for funding.

Once the first year of the initiative has been completed, i.e. as of June 1st, 2016, an updated and more strict project eligibility time-window will be applied. Finished FP7 projects will remain eligible for up to two months after the nominal 2-year window after its end-date. Once these two months are over, the project will be shown as non-eligible in the system and it will no longer be possible to submit any funding request.

Occasional exceptions may be made to this rule when a project was extended or had an early termination. Please get in contact with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in order to suggest a system update if this is the case for your project.

2 - What kind of document types will be eligible for funding?

The post-grant OA Pilot funding will cover research articles, contributions to conference proceedings, book chapters and monographs, and data and software publications. All these need to be peer-reviewed publications to be eligible for funding.

3 - Is there a limit to the number of publications that a given FP7 project can get funding for?

Yes. Only up to 3 publications per project will be funded.

4 - Is there a limit for the amount of funding that a project might request for a single publication?

Yes. The maximum amount of funding a project will get for a publication will be €6,000 for monographs and €2,000 for research articles and similar document types.

These funding caps set by the post-grant OA Pilot have been agreed with the European Commission and are in line with policies issued by other European funders.

5 - How to apply for funding?

The OpenAIRE central service for funding requests at http://goldoa-pilot.openaire.eu collects requests for funding from eligible FP7 projects. Researchers can request funds either directly or via their institution. Institutions will be provided extensive information about the Pilot to support FP7 project researchers on the eligibility of their funding requests.

6 - Are ERC grants and Marie Curie actions eligible for this funding?

Yes, as part of the FP7’s IDEAS resp. PEOPLE program they are eligible for reimbursement of post-grant OA publishing fees.

7 - What kind of information will be requested upon submission of a funding claim?

This central service will request information about the FP7 project and metadata about the publication. Further project data (such as coordinator, start and end dates, etc.) will automatically be retrieved from the OpenAIRE databases.

8 - Can I collect funding from the post-grant OA Pilot to publish in any journal I choose?

Researchers are free to publish where they want, but in order to be eligible for funding from this post-grant OA Pilot, the journal will need to be a fully Open Access one. Publications submitted to hybrid journals are not supported by the Pilot (hybrid journals are those which do not offer all their content Open Access, but only the articles where a specific fee has been paid for the purpose, while keeping the rest of them under a subscription model).

9 - Who decides whether a funding request is accepted?

Funding request eligibility will be subject to specific criteria, both administrative and technical. Verification of such criteria will be automatic wherever possible, eg provided that the FP7 project end-date makes it eligible and that the requested funding falls within the Pilot´s funding threshold. In case of doubt a manual validation will be carried out.

10 - Will the Pilot provide funding for already published papers from eligible FP7 projects?

No it won’t. The Pilot aims to collect the funding requests at publication acceptance time in order to be able to put together a live request database and negotiate the best possible deals for their funding with publishers.

11 - Can I pay the APC fee myself?

You shouldn’t pay for the APC yourself, as OpenAIRE will require the invoice to be issued to Athena Research Centre (see example below). This is to make sure that payments are made in a centrally accountable way.

apc payments openaire example

12 - Will there be a specific licence requirement for publications to be funded by the post-grant OA Pilot?

Yes, depending on the document type. An open content licence will always be required, ideally a  Creative Commons CC-BY licence. Research articles may also be published under a CC-BY-SA, whereas for monographs a less restrictive CC-BY-NC will be allowed during the first year of the initiative.

13 - Is there a list of the book publishers that the Pilot has funded so far?

Yes there is, please find it below. Book publishers need to meet a specific set of technical requirements we check with them the first time a funding request arrives for publishing a monograph, edited volume or conference proceedings with them. Publishers in the list below have already been checked for compliance with the technical requirements, so a funding request for publishing a book with them would be directly accepted if the standard eligibility criteria are met. There are of course many other eligible book publishers, but before agreeing to fund a specific book we would first need to check whether they meet these specific requirements.

  • Amsterdam University Press
  • EDP Sciences
  • Forum Editrice Universitaria Udinese
  • InTech
  • International Water Association (IWA)
  • IOS Press
  • Liverpool University Press
  • Multilingual Matters
  • Policy Press
  • River Publishers
  • Rumbo Sur
  • Silva Slovenica
  • Springer
  • Taylor & Francis/Routledge
  • Ubiquity Press
  • University of Manchester Press
  • Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU)

The list will be kept updated as new Open Access books get funded.

14 - How will OA publishing fee reimbursements be handled?

When an institution has already paid for a APC invoice despite the recommendation not to do so, a reimbursement to the institution will be arranged whenever the date of acceptance for the publication is after May 1st, 2015 (which is the official launch date for this FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot: as indicated in the policy guidelines, previously published outputs will not be eligible for funding). In order for such reimbursement to be possible, a 2-page reimbursement invoice must be issued to Athena Research Centre, the first page being an invoice from the institution to ARC and the second one the original invoice issued by the publisher (see example here). 

Regardless of whether the invoice has already been paid, a funding request should always be submitted through the central system for any payment to be made from the FP7 Post-Grant OA Pilot.

15 - Can I request funding for an article in a journal that has not been released yet?

Yes – although it’s not the ideal way to proceed. If an acceptance notice has been collected for a manuscript, the funding request will be taken provided that the to-be OA journal meets the Pilot’s technical requirements on peer-review, licensing and file versions among others. All these details will need to be checked with the journal editors before the request gets approved.

The recommended way to proceed is to wait until the journal is live before submitting a funding request. However, a notification of the manuscript acceptance via email is encouraged in such cases.

16 - How do I submit a funding request for a book if I only have an agreement with a publisher but not a date of acceptance yet?

The acceptance process for books is often different from the one that's followed for research articles, with a final date of acceptance not being available until the peer-review of the manuscript has been performed. If you have an early-stage agreement with a publisher, the FP7 Post-Grant OA Pilot will collect the data for the FP7 project and the publication and store it in its records (including the estimated final date of acceptance) and keep the funding available for the time when the monograph or edited volume is accepted for publication.

The design of the central system at https://postgrantoapilot.openaire.eu/ was specifically updated to be able to handle these early-stage requests from book authors, editors or publishers.

17 - What if the Article Processing Charges for a fully Open Access journal are higher than €2,000?

For some journals the OA publication fees may exceed the funding cap set by the Pilot. In this case, researchers may claim the maximum available funding from the Pilot and consider using other funds to cover the remainder. A specific invoicing procedure will need to be applied in this case, either by having the invoice split between the Pilot (€2,000) and the institution, or by paying for the full APC fee upfront from the institution and issuing a €2,000 reimbursement invoice to OpenAIRE (see an example reimbursement invoice here).

Invoices issued to Athena Research Centre should not bear any VAT charges, so it's very important to always include ARC's VAT number in them: EL999723442.

18 - How do I know if the journal I want to submit my paper to is a hybrid journal?

Hybrid journals – which are not eligible for funding from this Pilot – are those which do not offer all their content Open Access, but only the articles where a specific fee has been paid for the purpose, while keeping the rest of them under a subscription model. If you don’t know whether a journal is a hybrid or a fully Open Access one, please check with your Library or Research Office, or send a question to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

19 - What additional technical requirements will the post-grant OA Pilot issue?

Final versions of the publications will need to be deposited into an OpenAIRE-compliant repository or in Zenodo. Publishers should deal with this requirement whenever possible, but the institutions or the researchers themselves may also perform the deposit. More information on which version to deposit, together with a number of additional technical requirements, is available in the post-grant OA Pilot policy guidelines.

20 - What specific technical requirements must book publishers meet in order to be eligible for funding?

The first time a funding request arrives for publishing a monograph, edited volume or conference proceedings with a publisher that hasn't been funded before, a list of five questions is sent out to the book author/editor so that they're jointly answered by the author and the publisher. These technical requirements must be met in order for a funding request for a book to be accepted. Besides this, it's always useful to provide a link to any Open Access book that the publisher may have published previously in order to double-check the publishing standards that were applied to it.

  • Will a DOI be provided to the book upon publication?
  • Will the FP7 project be acknowledged in the book?
  • What CC licence will the book be published under?
  • The policy guidelines for this funding initiative mention the requirement to make available a text-minable version (ideally an XML version) besides the standard PDF one. For books, Epub could be an alternative to XML, but some text-minable version should be made available.
  • There is a requirement in the guidelines to have the final version of the funded output deposited in an OpenAIRE-compliant repository. Could we confirm if the publisher is able to do this on its own, and otherwise, if there would be any problem with our depositing it ourselves?

21 - How do I apply for a pre-paid APC fee funding under the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot?

OpenAIRE have now signed pre-payment agreements with BioMed Central, BMJ, Copernicus and Wiley on behalf of the EC FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot. These will allow APCs for eligible articles published in any of their fully Open Access journals to be charged to the pre-paid account upon manuscript acceptance. No invoice will then be required anymore in order to get these APCs funded. The 383 eligible journal titles are listed at the bottom of this post

In order to tell the publishers which manuscripts they should move under the pre-payment accounts, the post-grant pilot needs to collect two identification elements for the submitted manuscripts: the manuscript ID assigned by the publisher and the submission date. These are non-sensible elements that will preserve the confidentiality around the manuscript and its publication process.

Two additional requirements must be met upon submission of a pre-paid funding request: (i) that fewer than the maximum 3 eligible publications have been funded for the specific FP7 project and (ii) that the eligible FP7 project coordinator agrees with funding this specific manuscript on behalf of the project if/when it gets accepted. The first one can be checked by the post-grant pilot team upon submission of the request, and the second one should be verified by the submitter, either by CC-ing in the project PI in the funding request email or by directly checking with the PI before submitting the funding request.

Some publishers share information with us on submitted manuscripts which have acknowledged FP7 projects, but not all of them are able to do it. This is why it's advisable to send us a notification about any submitted manuscript to these journals whose corresponding author would wish to get pre-paid upon acceptance under this post-grant funding initiative.

22 - Is this post-grant funding initiative 'unfair' in terms of the projects it will offer support to?

Issues have been raised by a number of eligible researchers and project coordinators regarding the 'unfairness' of this 2-year post-grant funding initiative because of its randomness in terms of project coverage. This is only a pilot initiative though, and while its implementation could perhaps have been more effective should it have been disseminated and launched at the start of the FP7 framework programme, the 'competitive disadvantages' for certain FP7 projects would still have remained for those whose end-date didn't match the proposed timeschedule for the initiative. 

Any comment with regard to the way this pilot has been designed can be included in the recently launched survey for funded authors that will remain open until Dec 16th, 2016. If you are a funded author and you'd wish to contribute your views on the initiative to this survey, please contact the project coordination and we will send you the link.

23 - Is an 'accepted pending minor revisions' notification enough for submitting a funding request?

This FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot is typically asking for a funding request to be submitted upon manuscript acceptance. However, in cases where the final acceptance date may be very close to the limit of the project eligibility time-window it may be possible to submit a funding request a bit earlier so that we'll be able to take the invoice when it's made available upon final manuscript acceptance even if it's a bit beyond
the 2-year deadline for the project eligibility. This should always be checked with the coordination of the initiative at postgrantpilotinfo [at] openaire.eu, and we will always ask for the 'accepted pending minor revisions' notification to be shared with us before agreeing to take a funding request.