Open Access in Horizon 2020

Peer reviewed scientific publications are subject to an Open Access obligation according to Article 29.2 of the Grant Agreement (GA). This means that these publications must be made available to readers online at the latest after the embargo period. Open Access publication of non-peer-reviewed publications is encouraged but voluntary.

Researchers may choose within Horizon 2020 whether they wish to provide open access to their articles through “Green Open Access” (self-archiving) or “Gold Open Access” (“author pays” model).

“Green” Open Access means that an electronic copy of the published article or the final manuscript is uploaded to a repository (online archive for research publications) at the latest at the time of publication. An embargo period of up to 6 months (12 months for publications in the social sciences and humanities) may be specified. Please note: Check in good time whether the contractual provisions of publishers are compatible with the Horizon 2020 rules.

“Gold” Open Access means that the article is published in an Open Access journal or released in a hybrid journal and is immediately available free of charge. In most cases, the author must pay article processing charges (APC). Please note: In Horizon 2020 all publications provided through Gold Open Access must additionally be uploaded to a repository.

The following pages may be helpful in choosing an appropriate repository: OpenAIRE, Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR).

The costs of Open Access publications are eligible if they are incurred before the end of the action. Costs incurred after the end of the action cannot be financed from the budget.

In addition to the scientific article itself (including standardised metadata providing reference to the EU grant) the researchers should also “aim” to publish the data needed to validate the research results, ideally in a data repository. The publication of further research data is obligatory only for projects participating in the Open Research Data Pilot.

Open Access does not entail an obligation to publish. The obligation to publish via Open Access is therefore not in conflict with patenting regulations or the confidentiality of research results.

The Open Access rules are illustrated in the following graphic:

After creation of the project results there has to be made a decision about their eventual protection. Afterwards there are further steps on the one hand towards exploitation and on the other hand towards dissemination. Within dissemination there is on the one hand the possibility to publish not open access and on the other hand to publish open access. Within the open access possiblity there has to be chosen between the green and the golden open access way.

Open Research Europe

The European Commission offers its own Open Access publishing platform for research publications stemming from Horizon 2020 projects. It aims to facilitate the compliance with Open Access terms for beneficiaries and to offer a rapid and transparent publishing venue over all subject areas.

Detailed information as well as directions can be found under "Open Research Europe".


More information can be found ...

  • in the Annotated Grant Agreement (AGA), Article 29 and Article 31
  • in our link collection under "Downloads" (see below)
  • in the presentation of the European Commission "Open Access in an European policy context and its implementation in Horizon 2020"


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