Open Access in HORIZON 2020

Forschungsförderung & Transfer (FFT): HORIZON 2020

The following guidelines aim to help EC-funded projects at Bielefeld University in implementing the HORIZON 2020 Open Access and Open Data requirements. For this purpose, support and services, which fulfil the EC's requirements on Open Access, are summarized. They are offered during both application phase and the course of the project.

Guidelines on how to comply with the HORIZON 2020 Open Access and Open Data requirements


The European Union aims at optimal circulation, access to and transfer of scientific knowledge within the European Research Area. For this purpose, the European Commission (EC) has established Open Access to scientific publications as general principle for all beneficiaries of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - HORIZON 2020. According to the EC, Open Access means "providing on-line access to scientific information that is free of charge to the end-user and that is re-usable". For research data, a flexible approach, which includes the Open Research Data Pilot, has been developed.

Bielefeld University shares the vision of Open Access to scientific information. The university supports its researchers in applying successfully for third-party funded projects and to participate effectively in them. Therefore, the central service units of Bielefeld University provide comprehensive support and services that implement both the EC's Open Access mandate to publications and the Open Research Data Pilot.

Support and services to fulfil the EC's requirements on Open Access to scientific information are provided in the application phase for funding, during the course of the project and after it has ended.

Please note that these guidelines are recommendations. The procedures in relation to Open Access need to be discussed within the consortium and outlined within the proposal.

Application Phase

Complying with the HORIZON 2020 Open Access mandate requires careful planning. In particular, applicants need to make sure to:

Plan publication fees, which may apply for publishing in Open Access journals, as project expenses!

Under HORIZON 2020, costs for publishing research results in refereed Open Access journals are reimbursable. Since Bielefeld University has only limited resources to cover publication fees through its Open Access Publication Fund, it is essential that applicants consider their expected publication output and add the expected costs to the project budget in the preparation phase.

In general, we calculate as average fee 1.500 EUR for each article in Open Access journals. Fees for publishing in hybrid journals with an Open Access option for individual articles only (known as "Springer Open Choice", or "Elsevier Journals that support Open Access") can exceed 3.000 EUR and more. In order to support the transformation of toll-access journals towards Open Access, we recommend to consider Open Access journals only.

If your HORIZON 2020 proposal continues efforts funded in the Seventh Framework Programme, Bielefeld University Library offers EC post grant funding for publishing in Open Access journals.

Think about data management!

The Open Research Data Pilot covers seven Work Programmes of HORIZON 2020, which are:

  • Future and Emerging Technologies
  • Research infrastructures – part e-Infrastructures
  • Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - Information and Communication technologies
  • Societal Challenge: Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy - part Smart cities and communities
  • Societal Challenge: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw materials - except raw materials
  • Societal Challenge: Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies
  • Science with and for Society

However, voluntary participation in the Pilot is possible and receives the same support by the European Commission.

HORIZON 2020 proposals that participate in the pilot must include a section on data management under the criterion "Impact".

Preparing a data management plan before submitting the proposal is not required. However, such an outline helps to delineate how data will be handled throughout the project. Careful planning also enables applicants to opt out of the Pilot at an early stage, if certain requirements are met. Reasons include expected industrial or commercial exploitation, protection of personal data, or if the project does not generate data at all.

Bielefeld University provides comprehensive support for data management planning. The website collects useful information on data management including a data management planning tool.

Add costs relating to data management!

To provide incentives for data sharing and re-use, the European Commission covers the implementation costs for successful research data management. Eligible costs may include personnel for data management, computing (virtual servers) or storage.

During the Project

If you have successfully applied for funding in HORIZON 2020, you are obliged to make all your refereed publications openly accessible during the project as laid out in article 29.2 of the Model Grant Agreement. For this purpose, the Open Access Services at Bielefeld University Library will assist you. In order to acknowledge HORIZON 2020 funding, the following steps apply:

Register your publications!

Beneficiaries must register grant-supported publications in a repository, at the latest upon publication. Registration include bibliographic metadata, funding acknowledgement and the deposition of the final peer-reviewed manuscript.

PUB - Publikationen an der Universität Bielefeld is the official repository at Bielefeld University. The repository is compatible with the Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe (OpenAIRE), which supports and monitors the Open Access mandate in HORIZON 2020. Please note that under the terms of HORIZON 2020 neither social networking sites for researchers such as or nor personal webpages are considered as eligible repositories for scientific publications.

Make your publications Open Access!

In HORZION 2020, two complementary options for making research publications Open Access are possible. Bielefeld University Library supports both.

1. Self-Archiving: Green Road to Open Access

Within a maximum of 6 months after publication, or 12 months in the social sciences and humanities, Open Access to the final peer-reviewed manuscript must be ensured. At Bielefeld University, PUB allows Open Access through self-archiving and supports embargo periods that beneficiaries can set. Of course, you are encouraged to make publications Open Access as early as possible. Grant-supported publications in subject-specific repositories such as arXiv or PubMed Central can be interlinked in PUB.

2. Open access publishing: Gold Road to Open Access

In a growing number of disciplines, renowned Open Access journals exist. Many publishers also offer options to publish a single article in toll access journals in Open Access (e.g. "Springer Open Choice", or "Elsevier Journals that support Open Access").

In HORIZON 2020, publishing fees are eligible for reimbursement! It is therefore essential that these costs are calculated and added as project expenses in the application phase.

Under this option, access to the refereed publication via PUB including the deposition of the full text must be ensured as well!

Transfer management of publication fees to the library!

If beneficiaries have claimed publication fees as project expenses, they have the opportunity to transfer the management of these charges to Bielefeld University Library. The Open Access Publishing Fund offers special agreements with renowned publishers. They aim at streamlining submission and payment processes, which, in turn, reduce the administrate efforts of researchers significantly.

Beneficiaries can transfer the management of publication fees at any time, but a short notice with the start of the project is appreciated. A yearly financial report, which the library prepares, documents the reimbursable fees in accordance with the Grant Agreement.

Open Research Data Pilot

Beyond Open Access to refereed publications, beneficiaries that participate in the Open Research Data Pilot must provide detailed data management planning. They are obliged to make the data needed for validating research results available for others to re-use under an open licence.

Please note that you can claim costs relating to data management in the application phase!

Deliver a data management plan within six months!

After six months latest, beneficiaries must provide the data management plan as deliverable to the EC. Based on the first considerations in the grant proposal, it provides a comprehensive outline of, among others, how data is collected and handled during the project, which methods will be applied and how re-use will be ensured after the project has ended. Bielefeld University provides detailed guidelines and tools for data management planning.

Release your data under an open licence!

Beneficiaries must deposit research data in an eligible data repository. The DFG-supported registry re3data lists those repositories. Where possible, the data has to be released under an open licence allowing third parties unrestricted re-use. Open licences include Creative Commons Licences(CC-BY or CC0), Open Data Commons or, in the case of software, various open source licenses.

Bielefeld University recommends to choose subject-specific repositories for data deposition. If none is available, the PUB repository also allows data deposition and publication in accordance with the HORIZON 2020 Open Research Data Pilot.

In any case, please register your Open Data release with PUB and tag your EC-funded project.

After the Project has ended

Bielefeld University Library preserves your efforts!

All publications registered and self-archived in PUB are preserved for a minimum of 10 years. This also includes data that have been made Open Access through PUB. Bielefeld University Library and Computing Centre both ensure that all PUB content is available in this term. Furthermore, Bielefeld University participates in SAFE-PLN, which is an international distributed preservation activity of university libraries. The Bielefeld University Computing Centre offers long-term storage plans to preserve your digital research artefacts after the project has ended.

Bielefeld University Library supports post-H2020 Open Access publishing!

The European Commission does not support fee-based Open Access publishing after the end of the project. However, researchers can apply for reimbursing publication fees via Bielefeld University Open Access Publication Fund. Please note that under this option only articles in genuine open access journals are supported.

Further Information

General Contact

Erika Sahrhage (FFT), Jochen Schirrwagen (UB)

Managing publication fees:
Dr Silvia Herb, Bielefeld University Library, Tel. +49 521 106-4012,

Registering Open Access publications:
Susanne Riedel, Bielefeld University Library, Tel. +49 521 106-4058,

Research Data Management:
Kompetenzzentrum Forschungsdaten

Jochen Schirrwagen, Bielefeld University Library, Tel. +49 521 106-4047,

Bielefeld IT-Service Center (BITS) Service Desk:
, Tel. +49 521 106-6000

Legal Services:
Ines Meyer, Tel. +49 521 106-5229,

Researchers affiliated with the CITEC or the CeBiTec, please contact Cord Wiljes (CITEC, ) or apl. Prof. Dr Jörn Kalinowski (CeBiTec, ).