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European Union introduces immediate deposit green open access mandate in Horizon 2020

This week the European Union stated that the the Horizon 2020 research funding programme that will start on January 1st 2014 will launch with €15 billion for the first two years. That is out of a total of almost 80 billion euro. We now also have the full details and documentation for participants. This also has details on the Open Access policy. The model grant agreements have a few sections dedicated to this, showing that the EU has chosen for a green open access mandate.The mandate for publications asks for immediate deposit of the published version or accepted final author version upon publication or earlier in repositories. It does leave room for embargo periods of up to 6 months (or 12 months in Social Science and Humanities).


By choosing green Open Access for its mandate the EU is not interfering with business models for publishing and leaves researchers full freedom of where to publish. Ideally this should be in full OA journals of course. This mandate will however be a major change for those researchers that were up to now reluctant to share final author versions. If they really do not want to do this they have the options of publishing in gold OA journals (whether requiring an article processing fee or not and whether hybrid or not) or publishing in subscription journals from publishers allowing them to share the publisher’s version, such as Cambridge University Press and a few others.

You can find the details of the Horizon 2020 open access policy in the model grants section 29.1 (general), 29,2 (publications) and 29.3 (data). I copy the entire section on OA requirements for publications here:

29.2 Open access to scientific publications
Each beneficiary must ensure open access (free of charge, online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results. In particular, it must:
(a) as soon as possible and at the latest on publication, deposit a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository for scientific publications; Moreover, the beneficiary must aim to deposit at the same time the research data needed to validate the results presented in the deposited scientific publications.
(b) ensure open access to the deposited publication — via the repository — at the latest: (i) on publication, if an electronic version is available for free via the publisher, or (ii) within six months of publication (twelve months for publications in the social
sciences and humanities) in any other case. (c) ensure open access — via the repository — to the bibliographic metadata that identify
the deposited publication.
The bibliographic metadata must be in a standard format and must include all of the
– the terms [“European Union (EU)” and “Horizon 2020”][“Euratom” and Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018″];
– the name of the action, acronym and grant number;
– the publication date, and length of embargo period if applicable, and
– a persistent identifier.
Grant Agreement number: [insert number] [insert acronym] [insert call identifier of the master call]”

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