Open Science in research projects

Open Science in research projects

Open access to publications and research data is a guiding principle of the main funders. New and consolidated practices are reported here.
Immagine anteprima
Open Science in research projects
Immagine di testata
Open Science in research projects

Horizon 2020

Open access is required by both the European Commission and the European Council for H2020 research.

Open access to peer-reviewed publications is mandatory for all funded projects (Grant Agreement, section 29.2), except when choosing to enhance the research results by filing a patent application or when it is necessary to protect the confidentiality and protection of personal data.

Failure to pay attention to any obligation set out in the Grant Agreement can have economic consequences such as a reduction in the loan.
Open access publication in an OA archive must be guaranteed:

  • immediately, in the event that the article is published in an open access or hybrid Gold / Diamond magazine;
  • within 6 months of publication (12 months in the humanities and social sciences sector) in the event that the article has not been published in open access and the publisher applies an embargo period to the version allowed for filing.

In the event that the embargo established by the publisher does not coincide with the European constraint, the author can try to amend the contract, asking the publisher to reserve the right to deposit his work in an institutional or disciplinary archive with open access proposing an  addendum to the editorial contract.

If the proposal to maintain the right to deposit in an open access archive is not accepted by the publisher, it is necessary to publish in:

  • full open access journals (Gold or Diamond);
  • journals from traditional publishers that offer a payment option (APC) for open access (hybrid journals that include open articles and articles accessible only by subscription).

The cost of the Article Processing Charges (APC) is part of the reimbursable expenses but it must be provided for in the initial budget of the project.

Publication in hybrid journals is strongly discouraged because it involves a double payment by the Scuola Normale Superiore: the subscription to the journal and the cost of the APC for the individual article published with open access in the same journal.

The obligations related to research data fall only on the beneficiaries of "Data Pilot" projects (Grant Agreement, section 29.3):

  • to draw up a data management plan (DMP), by the end of the sixth month of the project. The DMP must be updated if the evolution of the project requires it;
  • to deposit data and metadata in a repository of your choice (e.g. Zenodo);
  • to indicate any embargo periods imposed for the exploitation of one or more portions of data;
  • to associate a license that is as open as possible (CC0 or CC BY).

The DMP must indicate:

  • the type of data that will be generated during the project;
  • how they will be collected and with what tools they will be processed;
  • how and with what costs they will be managed to ensure their conservation in the short and long term;
  • to what extent they will be made available in open format.

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the latest European Union framework programme for research and innovation and covers the period 2021-2027.

Horizon Europe's mandatory cornerstone on the dissemination front remains open access to publications and research data from approved projects.

In addition, recommended practices relating to scientific methodology, responsible management of FAIR data and dissemination capacity form part of the ex ante evaluation for project approval.

Project proposal 

Recommended Open Science Practices, on which the project is evaluated.

Standard Application Form - Part A

Researchers involved in the proposal

5 significant open access results (publications, datasets, software, etc.) are requested of the researchers participating in the project, with a unique persistent identifier (DOI, handle, etc.) and a "brief qualitative assessment of their impact" (NOT meant as the 'Impact Factor of the magazine).

As far as publications are concerned, they need not be published in Open Access journals; it is sufficient that the permitted version is deposited in an open archive (e.g. IRIS, Zenodo, ArXiv).

For Horizon Europe MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships projects, the research results may also have the supervisor or researchers of the Host Institution as author, as long as they are open access and on topics related to the proposed project.

Standard Application Form - Part B

1.2 Methodology

You are asked to describe which Open Science practices will be included in the methodology used for the project: collaborations, exchange of knowledge through pre-print, sharing of protocols, laboratory notes and software, reproducibility, use of open licenses on publications, data, etc. , open peer-review, citizen science). If they are not integrated into the project methodology, the choice must be justified.

Research data management and management of other research outputs

It is necessary to clarify the type, format and volume of the data, how they will be produced and managed, in which repository they will be deposited, how they will be made FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable), what costs will be incurred and any reasons for not opening data sets.
This is a summary of the Data Management Plan, which will be provided by the end of the sixth month, if the project is approved.
To find out more, see Shalini Kurapati, & Federica Cappelluti, Guidance on Open Science and Research Data Management in Horizon Europe proposals (2021), pp. 7-11.

2.2 Measures to maximise impact 

It is necessary to describe schematically the methods of dissemination, exploitation and communication, depending on the different target groups (e.g. for the scientific community: pre-print, journal article, conferences; for civil society: blog, Wikipedia entry, informative video).
The dissemination plan must be submitted by the end of the sixth month, if the project is approved. In the meantime, the ability to maximize impact through Open Science is evaluated, which is one of the Key Impact Pathway in Horizon Europe.
To find out more, see Shalini Kurapati, & Federica Cappelluti, Guidance on Open Science and Research Data Management in Horizon Europe proposals (2021), pp. 11-13.

3.2 Capacity of participants and consortium as a whole

The ability of individual project partners to do Open Science is also included in the assessment of the consortium's solidity (previous projects with Open Science practices, citizen science projects, etc.).

To find out more, see Shalini Kurapati, & Federica Cappelluti, Guidance on Open Science and Research Data Management in Horizon Europe proposals, (2021), p. 14.

Proposal approved 

Obligations deriving from the General Model Grant Agreement (Annex 5, Art. 17 Communication, Dissemination, Open Science And Visibility, pp. 108-110).

For Publications it is necessary to file with immediate open access with a CC BY license (CC BY-NC / CC BY-ND are allowed for monographs):

  • the final version of the publisher (published version or Version of Record) or
  • the post-print (accepted version or Author Accepted Manuscript), that is, the final, peer-reviewed version already accepted for publication.

Il deposito del solo pre-print NON assolve agli obblighi previsti per l’accesso aperto.

The deposit of the pre-print only does NOT fulfil the obligations for open access.
The deposit must be made at the time of publication, in a "trusted" open access archive (Annotated Grant Agreement, pp. 156-157), or permanently maintained and managed by an institution or other person:

  • institutional repository (eg IRIS);
  • Zenodo (multidisciplinary repository managed by CERN);
  • sector disciplinary repository.

The personal sites of the authors, the sites of the publishers, the cloud services (Dropbox, Google drive, etc.) as well as, ResearchGate and similar platforms, are NOT considered open access archives.

Unlike H2020, NO embargo period is ALLOWED in Horizon Europe and publication must, at the time of publication, be immediately open access in a “trusted” repository.

The author, therefore, can publish

  • in a paid or non-paid full open access journal (see the list of open access journals in DOAJ), 
  • on the Open Research Europe Platform or on platforms that practice sustainable publishing, such as SciPost,
  • in subscription journals that are making the transition to open access (so-called transformative contracts,
  • in traditional journals while maintaining the intellectual property rights necessary for the immediate deposit of the post-print (accepted version) or the editorial version (published version) with a CC BY license by adding a clause in the contract (Author's Right Retention).

Publishing in hybrid journals is NO LONGER funded. The author may decide to publish in a hybrid journal but must ensure that the publication of the open access article is immediate and will not be able to count on the financial support of Horizon Europe.

The cost of Article Processing Charges (APCs) for gold open access journals is part of the reimbursable expenses but must be included in the initial budget of the project.
The publication must necessarily be assigned a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) or a license with equivalent rights.

The beneficiaries must manage the data generated in the research in line with the FAIR principles - Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable.

FAIR does not mean Open, but that the data must be accessible in an archive with different possible access conditions (open, reserved, closed, embargoed).
The principle to be followed is «as open as possible, as closed as necessary». 

The obligation to deposit and publish data in open access lapses when:

– it is against the legitimate interests of the beneficiary, in particular commercial exploitation;
– it is contrary to other constraints of the beneficiary or to the interests of the EU.

Any reasons for keeping the data closed should be detailed in the DMP.

It is therefore necessary:

  • to develop a data management plan (DMP) by the end of  the sixth month of signing the Grant Agreement;
  • to keep the DMP updated;
  • to deposit the data in a reliable open access repository (which offers unique identifiers and guarantees long-term retention, data integrity and security) as soon as possible and in any case within the terms established in the DMP;
  • to publish the data deposited with open access as soon as possible and in any case within the terms established in the DMP. The data must be given the latest available version of the Creative Commons
  • Attribution (CC BY) or Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC 0) license or a license with equivalent rights;
  • to provide information on any tools needed to reuse or validate the data.

Ministry of University and Research

PRIN - Progetti di ricerca di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale

Call 2017, art. 7 

Call 2020 and Call 2022, art. 13

Call 2022 PNRR, art. 14

"Each unit manager guarantees free and online access (at least in green access mode) to the results obtained and the contents of research studies that are the object of peer-reviewed scientific publications within the project, in accordance with the provisions of art . 4, paragraphs 2 and 2 bis, of Decree No. 91 of 8 August 2013, converted with amendments by Law No. 112 of 7 October 2013".

Both calls refer to art. 4, paragraph 2, of Law No. 112 of 7 October 2013, which provides for an embargo of 18 or 24 months, for the scientific disciplines and for the humanities respectively.

Private lenders

Some lenders also impose restrictions related to open access for literature and research data supported in whole or in part:

- Fondazione Telethon 
Fondazione Cariplo

Standard Application Form HE MSCA-PF [1.0 June 2021]
Standard Application Form HE CSA [3.0 May 2021], Proposal template Part B, pp. 7-9
Programme Guide [1.1 October 2021], pp. 30-37, 38-54
Annotated Model Grant Agreement - AMGA [Pre-draft July 2021], pp. 152-162
General Model Grant Agreement [1.0 June 2021], pp. 108-110


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