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Open Access and Data Management

Open access is the practice of providing online access to scientific information that is free of charge to the end-user and reusable. Open access can be divided in two main categories; the peer-reviewed scientific research articles (published in scholarly journals) and scientific research data (data underlying publications, curated data and/or raw data).


Open Access to peer reviewed scientific research data

Open Access is mandatory in Horizon 2020, as stated in Article 29.2 of the Model Grant Agreement:

Each beneficiary must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results.

To meet this requirement, beneficiaries must, at the very least, ensure that any scientific peer-reviewed publications can be read online, downloaded and printed. Note: Open access is only an obligation if publication is chosen as a means of dissemination.

There are mainly two recomended routes to Open Access:

  • GOLD: Publish in journals where all articles are available for free.
  • GREEN: Also called Parallell Publishing. The article is archived in Open Access before, after or alongside its original publication. You must publish open access within 6 months of the original publication, or within 12 months if you are within social sciences or humanities. Some publishers request that you wait until the end of the embargo period to publish open access since they wish to sell subscriptions and fees for as long as possible.

Hybrid Open Access, where only some articles are available without a subscription, is not recommended since it also often more expensive than gold.

As a researcher at LiU, you can get the publication fee paid when publishing in pure Open Access journals (gold). Read more here. They also offers a reduced publication fee in some Open Access journals. Check out the full list here. Need help finding a suitable open access journal? Contact forskarstod@bibl.liu.se or use LiU Journal Check-up.


Open access to research data

Open Access to research data refers to the right to access and reuse digital research data. It usually implies that others can access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate openly accessible research data free of charge when the article is published. Research data includes information, in particular facts or numbers, collected to be examined and considered as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation.

Today, there is no obligation within Horizon 2020 to make research data public, but all funded projects will automatically be included in an Open Research Data Pilot, ORD. Participating in the ORD Pilot does not necessarily mean opening up all your research data. Rather, the ORD pilot follows the principle "as open as possible, as closed as necessary" and focuses on encouraging sound data management as an essential part of research best practice. But, if you have a legitimate reason not to take part in the pilot, you have the opportunity to opt-out. This can be done at proposal stage, or later on during the project by an amendment. Participation is not part of the proposal evaluation.

If opting-out the proposal is not expected to contain a fully developed Data Management Plan (se below). But good data management is necessary regardless. The application should address the following issues which will be evaluated under the Impact criterion:

  • What standards will be applied?
  • How will data be exploited and/or shared/made accessible for verification & reuse?
    If data cannot be made available, why not?
  • How will data be curated & preserved?
  • Reflect the current state of consortium agreements on data management
  • Be consistent with exploitation and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) requirements
  • You should also ensure resource and budgetary planning for data management and include a deliverable for an initial DMP at month 6 at the latest into your proposal.

A Data Management Plan (DMP) describes the data management life cycle for the data to be collected, processed and/or generated by a project. A DMP should include information on:

  • The handling of research data during & after the end of the project
  • What data will be collected, processed and/or generated
  • Which methodology & standards will be applied
  • Whether data will be shared/made open access and
  • How data will be curated & preserved (including after the end of the project)

DMP Templates and guides:


Further reading on open access and data management

Page manager: marie.helsing.vastfjall@liu.se
Last updated: 2020-10-19