Open Science

Open Science continues to be an important policy area for the European Commission in Horizon Europe and there are a number of changes to Open Science practices and requirements as compared to Horizon 2020.

What is Open Science?
Open Science is an approach based on open cooperative work and systematic sharing of knowledge and tools as early and widely as possible in the process. This includes active engagement of society.

How will Open Science practices be assessed in Horizon Europe proposals?
In Horizon Europe, the Work Programmes may incentivise or even oblige applicants to adhere to specific Open Science practices such as the involvement of citizens or the use of the European Open Science Cloud and these obligations will form part of the assessment criteria.

The quality of Open Science practices will be assessed as part of the scientific methodology under the Excellence criterion, which includes sharing and management of research outputs and engagement of citizens, civil society and end users (where appropriate). Any previous experience on Open Science practices will be evaluated positively under the Implementation criterion (quality of participants).

Open Science requirements in Horizon Europe
Open Access to scientific publications

Under Horizon Europe, beneficiaries must ensure immediate Open Access to their peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to their results, no later than the publication date and through trusted repositories. Beneficiaries must also retain sufficient IPRs to comply with Open Access requirements. What differs from Horizon 2020 is that in Horizon Europe, only the publication fees in full open access venues for peer-reviewed scientific publications will be eligible for funding. Publication fees from hybrid journals (journals which have both paywall and open access publishing options) are eligible for Horizon 2020 projects, but will no longer be eligible for Horizon Europe projects.

To assist with the Open Science requirements in Horizon Europe, the European Commission has recently launched a no-cost, full open-access, peer-reviewed publishing service, Open Research Europe.

Research data management

Under Horizon Europe, there will be more focus on research data management rather than open research data as was the case in Horizon 2020. Beneficiaries must include a Data Management Plan (DMP) for FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) research data. Data sharing must be as 'open as possible, as closed as necessary'. DMPs will need to be delivered within the first six months of the project start date. In comparison with Horizon 2020 - where applicants could opt out of the Open Research Data Pilot - in Horizon Europe, the DMP is mandatory for all parts of the programme (including the European Research Council).