Monitoring the open access policy of Horizon 2020

Ad Notten*, Ioanna Grypari, Natalia Manola, Haris Papageorgiou, Mantas Budraitis, Dovydas Caturianas

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study is framed within the context of the contract ‘Monitoring the open access policy of Horizon 2020 – RTD/2019/SC/021’, reporting an authoritative set of metrics for compliance with the European Commission open access mandate within the Framework Programme thus far, and providing advice on how to systematically monitor compliance in the future.
Open access requirements for publications under Horizon 2020 are set out in Article 29.2 of the Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement (MGA). Regarding open access to research data, the Commission is conducting the Horizon 2020 Open Research Data Pilot (ORDP). The ORDP aims to improve and maximise access to, and reuse of, research data generated by Horizon 2020 projects, balancing the need for openness with the protection of intellectual rights, privacy concerns and security, and commercialisation, as well as questions of data management and preservation.
The present study aims to examine, monitor and quantify compliance with the open access requirements of the MGA, for both publications and research data. The study concludes with specific recommendations to improve the monitoring of compliance with the policy under Horizon Europe, together with an assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Horizon 2020 open access policy.
The key findings of this study indicate that the European Commission’s leadership in the Open Science policy has paid off. Compliance has steadily increased over recent years, achieving a success rate that places the European Commission at the forefront globally (83% open access to scientific publications). What is also apparent from the study is that monitoring – particularly with regard to the specific terms of the policy – cannot be achieved by self-reporting alone, or without the European Commission collaborating closely with other funding agencies across Europe and beyond, to agree on common standards and the common elements of the underlying infrastructure. In particular, the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) should encompass all such components that are needed to foster a linked ecosystem, in which information is exchanged on demand and which eases the process for both researchers (who only need to deposit once) and funders (who need only record information once).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLuxembourg
PublisherEuropean Commission, Publications Office of the European Union
Commissioning bodyEuropean Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Directorate A — ERA and Innovation, Unit A.4 — Open Science
Number of pages122
ISBN (Print)978-92-76-40516-0
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2021

JEL classifications

  • o30 - "Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights: General"
  • o32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D


  • R&D output
  • Scientific output
  • Scientific impact
  • Open Access
  • R&D policy

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