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Lab Times





Careers in academia

ing institutions the right to use it for educa-

tional purposes.

Gold open access involves the publica-

tion of the article in an open access jour-

nal, upon which it becomes immediately ac-

cessible. In addition, there are also hybrid

journals that are subscription-based with a

paid open access option. In this case, your

institution will have to pay the subscription,

while the EC, your institution or you have to

take care of the fees for open access.

Nevertheless, in all three scenarios the

article has to be archived in a repository to

ensure long-term preservation. The costs of

publishing in open access journals, referred

to as article processing charges (APC) or a

publishing fee, are eligible for reimburse-

ment during the duration of a Horizon 2020

project, and should be estimated and re-

quested in your funding application as part

of the dissemination budget. A price cap

on fees for publication costs is current-

ly not imposed by the EC. Björk and Solo-

mon published a study last year on APC and

found that the average costs of publishing

are about €1,020 for established open ac-

cess journals and €1,980 for hybrid jour-

nals. However, the actual costs for a given

journal may be much higher. Since many

publications appear after the funding pe-

riod of a project, a mechanism for dealing

with golden access publication charges af-

ter grant expiration will be sought in the

frame of a pilot project as part of the Euro-

pean Research Infrastructures Work Pro-

gramme, under the topic e-Infrastructure

for open access.

Data are next: open access pilot

Making research data available and

ready for re-use is currently being tested

and implemented by

a limited two-year

Open Research Data

Pilot in Horizon 2020.

The pilot focusses on

the “underlying data”

needed to validate

the results of publica-

tions and their associ-

ated metadata as well

as additional data and

their associated meta-

data, which are speci-

fied by the scientist in

the data management plan (DMP) of the

EU-funded project. A template for the DMP

is provided, for example, in Annex 1 of the

Guidelines on Data Management in Hori-

zon 2020. Beneficiaries have to deposit the

digital data of their project in a research

data repository of their choice and take

measures that will allow the data to be ac-

cessed, exploited, mined, reproduced and

disseminated free of charge. Moreover, de-

tails on instruments and tools, which are

necessary for validating the results present-

ed in publications and, where possible, the

tools themselves, have to be placed at the

disposal of the beneficiary. Seven areas,

accounting for about a fifth of the whole

budget for Horizon 2020 in this period, are

participating in the pilot and include pro-

jects in the Industrial Leadership (ICT only)

programme and Future and Emerging Tech-

nologies, three subprogrammes of the soci-

ety challenges funding pillar and SWAFS ac-

tions. Additional areas are able to take part

on a voluntary basis.

Opting in – opting out

Projects in the seven areas of the pilot

may opt out in part or full at any stage of

the project. The justification for opting out

has to be included in the original or updat-

ed DMP. An initial indication of whether a

project plans to opt out or not has to be giv-

en in the proposal at the submission stage,

but has no impact on the evaluation of the

project. A project may opt out, for exam-

ple, if there are conflicts with obligations

regarding commercial exploitation or per-

sonal data protection, as well as if confiden-

tiality or security issues exist. Moreover, a

project may opt out if it does not collect or

generate any data or if its main aim is com-

promised by making specific data public-

ly available.

The DMP of a project is not part of the

funding proposal but has to be developed

during the first six months of a project and

updated if necessary. However, all project

proposals, both research and innovation ac-

tion and innovation action, have a section

on data management, which is subjected

to evaluation under the impact criterion. It

should provide details on the nature, scale

and origin of data to be collected or gen-

erated, on the data standards to be used

and the way metadata are produced, on the

type of data that will be either exploited or

made accessible and how this will be imple-

mented, on how the data are processed and

preserved for long-term usage, storage and

back-up, and how associated costs will be

covered after the expiry of the project. The

exploitation and dissemination of results,

including efforts to ensure open access, will

be monitored once the project is funded by

periodic and final reports. As outlined in

article 43 of the Model Grant Agreement,

failure to comply with Horizon 2020 poli-

cies (involving measures for dissemination

and exploitation of results) may result in

the reduction of the grant.

For funded projects taking part in the

pilot, any costs relating to the implementa-

tion of the pilot will be reimbursed and ad-

ditional technical and professional support

services will be provided. One would expect

the majority of projects to opt out but a pre-

liminary analysis of roughly 3,000 project

proposals fromHorizon 2020’s first calls re-

vealed that opt-out rates are below 30% in

the seven areas of the pilot with a range for

individual areas from nine to 29%. In other

areas, about 27% of projects opted in on a

voluntary basis with an area-specific range

of nine to 50%.

Any assistance needed?

The scientist dealing with open access

for the first time in the context of EU pro-

grammes may get help via a number of dif-

ferent channels. Support is provided ei-

ther by the European Commission itself, by

FP7- or Horizon 2020-funded projects ad-

dressing responsible research and innova-

tion, including open access, or by National

Contact Points, which

have been established

in almost all EU coun-

tries and may give ad-

vice to do with appli-

cations, legal and fi-

nancial matters and

science-society issues.

Various stakeholder

organisations, such as

UNESCO, the Global

Research Council, the

Research Data Alliance

and the League of Eu-

ropean Research Universities (LERU) have

established expert and working groups on

open access topics and published reports

and guidelines, which might provide in-

sights beyond the scope of Horizon 2020.

Finally, many of the major research funding

Krishnaraj Rajalingam

, Heisenberg Professor, Molecular

Signalling Unit, Research Center for Immunotherapy, Univer-

sity of Mainz, Germany: “Science has to be open and trans-

parent. For scientists in my field the main obstacle for not

publishing their best work in an open access journal is our

current evaluation system, which unfortunately still heavily

relies on numerical indexes like the journal impact factor.

Without any changes, scientists will be hesitant to publish

their scholarship in open access journals. Further, young in-

vestigators need additional support from the granting agen-

cies to cover the costs incurred for open access publishing.”