Guidelines in Horizon Europe
The pilot project follows the principle of 'as open as possible, as closed as necessary.'
Horizon Europe moves beyond open access to open science for which it features a comprehensive policy implemented from the proposal stage to project reporting. The Horizon Europe Regulation sets the legal basis for the open science obligations and incentives that apply to Horizon Europe beneficiaries. The Annotated Grant Agreement provides guidance on how to comply with the open science obligations required in the Model Grant Agreement.
In Horizon Europe, open science practices are considered in the evaluation of proposals, under ‘excellence’ and under the ‘quality and efficiency of implementation’ (ERC proposals excluded). There are mandatory open science practices, which are required for all projects through the Model Grant Agreement and/or through the work programme or call conditions, and recommended practices. Recommended open science practices are incentivised through their the evaluation at the proposal stage. Proposers should be aware of both mandatory and recommended practices and integrate them into their proposals.
Some open science practices are mandatory for all beneficiaries per the grant agreement. They concern:
- open access to scientific publications under the conditions required by the grant agreement;
- responsible management of research data in line with the FAIR principles of ‘Findability’, ‘Accessibility’, ‘Interoperability’ and ‘Reusability’, notably through the generalised use of data management plans, and open access to research data under the principle ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’, under the conditions required by the grant agreement;
- information about the research outputs/tools/instruments needed to validate the conclusions of scientific publications or to validate/re-use research data;
- digital or physical access to the results needed to validate the conclusions of scientific publications, unless exceptions apply;
- in cases of public emergency, if requested by the granting authority, immediate open access to all research outputs under open licenses or, if exceptions apply, access under fair and reasonable conditions to legal entities that need the research outputs to address the public emergency.
These obligations are described in the Model Grant Agreement (Article 17) and detailed guidelines on complying with them are provided in the Annotated Grant Agreement (Article 17).
These are open science practices beyond the mandatory ones, such as involving all relevant knowledge actors, including citizens, early and open sharing of research, output management beyond research data, open peer-review. This is a non-exhaustive list of practices that proposers are expected to adopt when possible and appropriate for their projects. Finally, certain work programme topics or call conditions may encourage specific additional open science practices.
- Open science practices are evaluated under the ‘Excellence’ criterion (in particular under methodology) and under the ‘Quality and efficiency of implementation’ award criterion. Proposers should address open science practices in the relevant section on open science under methodology.
- Proposers will have to provide concrete information on how they plan to comply with the mandatory open science practices. Failure to sufficiently address this, will result in a lower evaluation score. A clear explanation of how they will adopt recommended practices, as appropriate for their projects, will result in a higher evaluation score. If proposers believe that none of the open science practices (mandatory or recommended) apply to their project, then they have to provide a justification.
- Under ‘capacity of participants and consortium as a whole’, proposers should describe how the consortium brings together the necessary disciplinary and inter-disciplinary knowledge. Proposers should show how this includes expertise and/or track record in open science practices, relevant to what is planned for the project. If justification has been provided that open science practices are not relevant for their projects, it is not necessary to demonstrate track record and expertise.
- Finally, in part A of their proposals, proposers are asked to list up to five relevant publications, widely used datasets or other achievements of consortium members that they consider significant for the action proposed. Open access is expected for publications, in particular journal articles, while datasets are expected to be FAIR and ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’. If publications are not open access, proposers are strongly encouraged to deposit them retroactively in repositories and provide open access to them when possible. The significance of publications will not be evaluated on the basis of the Journal Impact Factor of the venue they are published in, but on the basis of a qualitative assessment provided by the proposers for each publication.
- Early and open sharing: Provide specific information on whether and how you will implement early and open sharing and for which part of your expected output. For example, you may mention what type of early and open sharing is appropriate for your discipline and project, such as preprints or preregistration/registration reports, and which platforms you plan to use.
- Research data management (RDM): RDM is mandatory in Horizon Europe for projects generating or reusing data. If you expect to generate or reuse data and/or other research outputs (except for publications), you are required to outline in a maximum of one page how these will be managed.
- Reproducibility of research outputs: you should outline the measures planned in the project that tend to increase reproducibility. Such measures may already be interweaved in other parts of the methodology of a proposal (such as transparent research design, the robustness of statistical analyses, addressing negative results, etc) or in mandatory/non-mandatory open science practices (e.g. the DMP, early sharing through preregistration and preprints, open access to software, workflows, tools, etc) to be implemented.
- Horizon Europe requires information via the repository where publications and data have been deposited on any research output or any other tools and instruments - data, software, algorithms, protocols, models, workflows, electronic notebooks and others - needed for the re-use or validation of the conclusions of scientific publications and the validation and reuse of research data.
- Open access: Offer specific information on how you will meet the open access requirements, that is deposition and immediate open access to publications and open access to data (the latter with some exceptions and within the deadlines set in the DMP) through a trusted repository, and under open licenses. You may elaborate on the (subscription-based or open access) publishing venues that you will use.
- Open peer review: Anytime it is possible, you are invited to prefer open peer review for your publications over traditional (‘blind’ or ‘closed’) peer review. When the case, you should provide specific information regarding the publishing venues you envisage to make use of, and highlight the venues that would qualify as providing open peer review.
- Citizen, civil society and end-user engagement: Provide clear and succinct information on how citizen, civil society and end-user engagement will be implemented in your project, where/if appropriate. The kinds of engagement activities will depend on the type of R&I activity envisaged and on the disciplines and sectors implicated.
Funding bodies compensate the costs associated with data management. See the respective funding applications for information regarding eligibility for cost compensation., opens an external URL in a new window
The current Programme Guide includes a Horizon Europe DMP template (as of May 5, 2021). The use of this template is recommended but not mandatory. More info and download see: DMP - Horizon Europe.