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Legal and Financial Aspects of Horizon 2020

Open Access as basic principle for scientific publications

Open Access can be defined as the practice of providing on-line access to scientific information that is free of charge to the end-user. In the context of R&D, 'scientific information' can refer to peer-reviewed scientific research articles (published in academic journals) and also to scientific research data (data underlying publications, curated data and/or raw data).

Open Access is not a requirement to publish, as researchers are free to publish or not, nor does it interfere with the decision to exploit research results commercially. In case you decide to publish in Open Access during the runtime of your Horizon 2020 project, these costs are eligible.
Two main and non-mutually exclusive routes towards open access to publications exist:

  • Self-archiving (also called 'Green' open access) means that the published article or the final peer reviewed manuscript is archived by the researcher in an online repository before, after or alongside its publication. Access to the article is often – but not necessarily - delayed (‘embargo period’)as some scientific publishers may wish to recoup their investment.
  • Open access publishing (also called 'Gold' open access) means that an article is immediately provided in open access mode by the scientific publisher. The associated costs are shifted away from readers, and instead to (for example) the university or research institute to which the researcher is affiliated, or to the funding agency supporting the research.

More detailed information can be found on the Fact sheet Open Access and in the Guidelines Open Access.

Additional information regarding OpenAIRE, the Horizon2020 Open Access Infrastructure, can be obtained from Inge Van Nieuwerburgh at the Belgian OpenAIRE Helpdesk.
Additional information regarding Open Access in Belgium can be obtained from Eric Laureys, Belgian National Open Access Point of Reference.