The European Research Council
Dr Dagmar Meyer*
ERC Executive Agency, Unit A1
Open Access to Excellent Science - the
European Research Council's approach
Open Access Week at EPFL
24 October 2013
*…with contributions by Daniel Spichtinger, European Commission, DG RTD
Established by the European Commission
 What do we mean by Open Access? Why Open Access?
 Different roles of Commission and ERC
 Open Access in FP7 (Open Access pilot)
ERC approach to Open Access in FP7
 ERC Statements / Open Access Guidelines
 FP7 Special Clause 39 ERC
 Practical implementation
ERC Open Access support initiatives
 Europe PMC and arXiv
 Open Access in the SH domain
Open Access in Horizon 2020
 What changes?
 Pilot on Open Access to Research Data
 Open Access under Horizon 2020 in the ERC programme
What do we mean by Open Access?
Established by the European Commission
Open Access (OA) to scientific information
OA = online access at no charge to the user
 to peer-reviewed scientific publications
 to research data
For publications:
 OA comes after a decision to publish
 does not interfere with the decision to exploit research results
commercially e.g. patenting
 publications not of lower quality: in general same peer review process as
for other publications
Two main OA publishing business models
 Gold OA: costs covered (by authors/funders)  immediate OA
 Green OA: deposit of manuscripts  immediate/delayed OA
Why Open Access?
Established by the European Commission
EU Policy objective:
 to optimise the impact of publicly-funded scientific
research, both
 at European level (Framework Programmes), and
 at Member State level (encouragement of national
initiatives; policy coordination)
Expected impacts:
 Economic growth (accelerated innovation)
 Better science (build on previous results)
 More efficient science (avoid duplication)
 Improved transparency (involving citizens & society)
Specifically for the ERC:
Established by the European Commission
 The mission of the ERC is to support excellent
fundamental research in sciences and the humanities.
 The main outputs of this research are new knowledge,
ideas and understanding, which the ERC expects its
researchers to publish in peer-reviewed articles and
 The ERC considers that providing free online access
to these materials is the most effective way of ensuring
that the fruits of the research it funds can be accessed,
read and used as the basis for further research.
EC and ERC – working together in
different roles
The European Commission is a...
Established by the European Commission
The European Research Council is …
Policy maker
 Proposes EU legislation
 Legislates with other EU
 Invites Member States to act
Funding agency
 Sets access and dissemination
rules for EC-funded research
 Research Framework
Programmes (next: Horizon2020)
Capacity builder
 Funds infrastructure projects
relevant for open access and
Digital Science
 Funds projects that support EC
Primarily a research funder
 No policy remit as such
 Primary objective: to fund the
best researchers conducting
the best research
 Scientific Council to develop
scientific strategy aimed at
achieving this objective
 Open Access promoted as a
means to further scientific
Open Access in FP7
Established by the European Commission
• OA pilot in FP7
7 areas of the Framework Programme (>1300 projects to date)
20% of total FP7 budget (2007-2013)
• OA publishing costs are eligible in FP7
Since the beginning of FP7, for all projects
Limited to duration of project
• European Research Council
Joined the OA pilot in 2012 (Special Clause 39 ERC)
Maximum embargo period accepted according to SC 39 ERC:
6 months for all disciplines (instead of 6/12 months for rest of pilot)
• OpenAIRE / OpenAIRE plus
EU-funded portal giving access to repositories across Europe
(implements FP7 Pilot); linking publications and underlying data
FP7 Open Access pilot
Established by the European Commission
• Seven areas
Information & Comm. Technologies [only cognitive systems, interaction & robotics]
Research Infrastructures [only e-Infrastructures]
Science in Society
Socioeconomic Sciences & Humanities
• Embargo (COM: 6/12 months / ERC: 6 months)
• allows publishers to ensure a profit on investment (by e.g. charging for subscription),
• while then providing OA to research articles once embargo period has lapsed.
• Special Clause 39: FP7 grant recipients are expected to
1. deposit peer-reviewed research articles or final manuscripts resulting from their FP7
projects into an online repository;
2. make best effort to ensure open access within 6 months after publication (COM: 12
months for Science in Society and for Socioeconomic Sciences & Humanities).
ERC Statements on Open Access
Established by the European Commission
 ERC Scientific Council Statement on Open Access –
December 2006
 ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access –
17 December 2007
 Open Access Guidelines for researchers funded by the
ERC – June 2012
 New: Revised Guidelines adopted on 22 October 2013
ERC Open Access Guidelines –
Revision of October 2013
Established by the European Commission
 Open access required for research papers and monographs
that are supported in whole, or in part, by ERC funding
 Maximum embargo period 6 months (12 months for Social
Sciences and Humanities)
 Use of discipline-specific repositories strongly encouraged
(Europe PubMed Central for LS domain, arXiv for PE domain;
no recommendation for SH domain)
 Alternatively institutional repositories or centralised ones
such as Zenodo)
 Research data should be retained and researchers should be
prepared to share their data where possible
 Host institutions are encouraged to cover open access
related costs after the end of the project for up to 24 months
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Special Clause 39 ERC – applicable to
FP7 ERC projects from 2012-13 calls
Established by the European Commission
 In addition to Article II.30.3, the beneficiary shall deposit
an electronic copy of the published version or the final
manuscript accepted for publication of a scientific
publication, related to foreground published before or
after the final report, in an institutional or subject-based
repository at the moment of publication.
 The beneficiary is required to make its best efforts to
ensure that this electronic copy becomes freely and
electronically available to anyone through this repository:
 immediately, if the scientific publication is published
"open access", i.e. if an electronic version is also
available free of charge via the publisher, or
 within 6 months of publication.
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ERC Open Access Guidelines vs.
Special Clause 39 ERC
Established by the European Commission
 ERC Open Access Guidelines:
 aspirational (not legally binding)
 should be followed by all ERC funded researchers on
a voluntary basis
 Special Clause 39 ERC:
 legally binding
 addressing beneficiary
 no reference to research data
 systematically included in Grants resulting from 2012
calls onwards (i.e. ERC grants from calls in 2007 –
2011 not affected by the Special Clause)
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What does "best effort" in Special
Clause 39 ERC mean? (1)
Established by the European Commission
 ‘Best effort’ formulation strongly encourages researchers
and publishers to comply while guaranteeing scientific and
academic freedom.
 Detailed instructions on how to fulfil the ‘best effort’
requirement provided in the Guide to Intellectual Property
Rules for FP7 projects.
 Authors should seek information on publishing models and
copyright/licensing policies of the journal(s) to which they
plan to submit, and check compatibility with the maximum
embargo of six months (see the SHERPA/RoMEO website
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What does "best effort" in Special
Clause 39 ERC mean? (2)
Established by the European Commission
 If publishers' policies do not allow compliance with
Grant Agreement, authors should negotiate an
amendment or request an authorisation to selfarchive within the specific embargo period (model
letters available on CORDIS).
 If negotiations are unsuccessful, researchers should
consider submitting to another journal (no obligation).
 In case of non-compliance, beneficiaries must be able
to demonstrate that they have made their "best effort",
e.g. through a letter from the publisher stating refusal to
allow compliance with the reasons for refusal).
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Open Access support initiatives:
ERC and Europe PubMed Central
Established by the European Commission
Europe PMC - repository for LS domain with added services:
 Linked to PubMed Central in USA (huge number of
publications & users)
 Large number of journals automatically upload author
manuscripts or published version
 Funded by group of 24 European funders including ERC
 ERC grantees can request set-up of PI account and use
manuscript deposition service to satisfy open access
 High degree of take-up (about 740 accounts set up , i.e.
more than 50% of LS grantees, also some grantees from
relevant panels in the PE and SH domain)
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Open Access support initiatives:
ERC and arXiv
Established by the European Commission
arXiv – e-print server for PE domain:
 Hosted at Cornell University
 Long history as pre-print server for physics and
 but: some development work needed to become fully
suitable as OA repository – currently no possibility to
encode embargo periods
 Funded through Cornell University, Simons Foundation
and group of about 170 institutions, mostly from US and
Europe ("crowd funding")
 ERC has recently joined the initiative and will propose
enhancements to add value for ERC and ERC grantees
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Social Sciences & Humanities
Established by the European Commission
 Great diversity and fragmentation across the Social
Sciences and Humanities domain
 No specific subject-based repository recommended so far
 Monographs important means of publication (SSH
specificity) – presenting particular challenges
 ERC Open Access WG is following the debate; specific
actions to support OA in the SH domain may be
developed in the future
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Open access – what is proposed for
Horizon 2020 ?
Established by the European Commission
'Best effort' to provide OA,
during and after the project
7 areas
Scientific publications
relating to foreground (ERC:
including monographs)
Allowed embargos: 6/12
months (ERC: 6 months for
all areas)
OA publishing costs
Eligible while project runs
OA mandate in Horizon 2020
Green OA
OA pilot in FP7
Gold OA
Obligation to provide OA (during the
All areas of Horizon 2020
Peer-reviewed publications
Allowed embargos: 6/12 months
In addition: pilot for research data
(taking into account commercial
interests, privacy, security)
OA publishing costs
Eligible while project runs
Other options currently under
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Pilot on Open Access to Research Data
Established by the European Commission
 Will take into account privacy, security issues, commercial
• Issues to consider:
What data? (underlying data, raw data, metadata)
Where should data go?
Use and re-use / ownership
Not just Open Access: data-sharing and management
Need to create incentives for researchers
 Public consultation 2 July 2013 – high level of interest (more
than 100 participants) – Report and individual presentations
available on EC website (
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Open access in Horizon 2020 –
implementation in ERC programme
Established by the European Commission
 ERC Open Access mandate in H2020
• Peer-reviewed publications
• Practical application of mandate to monographs yet
to be decided
• Allowed embargos: 6/12 months also for ERC projects
• 6 months for projects in LS and PE domain,
• 12 months in SH domain
 ERC will NOT take part in the data pilot in 2014
• May join at a later stage
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Established by the European Commission
Thank you for your attention!
Questions? Comments?
[email protected]
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