Open Science

Openness is a key principle of science. It increases the repeatability of research and improves the critical appraisal of research results. The chain, whereby new discoveries based on research are built on previously established results, can only work optimally if all research results are made openly available to the scientific community and enterprises.

Broader access to scientific publications and data helps to:

  • build on previous research results (improved quality of results)
  • encourage collaboration and avoid duplication of effort (greater efficiency)
  • speed up innovation (faster progress to market and thus faster growth)
  • involve citizens and society (improved transparency of the scientific process).

The Open Science requirements have been implemented in the EU framework programme’s (FP) rules since Horizon 2020 and they are required also in Horizon Europe.

Within the EU applications, the principles of open science must be pursued with due attention to good scientific practice and law, considering the EU FP’s open access requirements depicted in the guidelines.

The applicants’ research/project plan should include:

  • A publication plan, and
  • A preliminary data management plan. After funding decision, the newly starting projects are requested to submit a full Data Management Plan.

Open Access Publishing

So far, publication paywalls have been withholding a substantial amount of research results from a large fraction of the society. To make full and immediate Open Access a reality, an initiative called the Plan S was launched by cOAlition S (a group that comprises of national research funding organisations and charitable foundations) to implement the 10 identified principles in a coordinated way.

Furthermore, European Commission launched in March 2021 Open Research Europe platform to aid fast publication and open peer review of EU funded research publications across all subject areas, stemming from Horizon 2020. This is supporting the requirement that the scholarly articles should be openly available immediately upon publication.

There are three routes to follow the Plan S for publication:

  • In Open Access journals or Open Access platform.
  • In Open Access repositories: authors publish in a subscription journal and make either the final published version, Version of Record (VoR), or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) openly available in a repository.
  • Open Access in a subscription journal under a transformative arrangement.

The scholarly articles should be openly available immediately upon publication.

Open Data – Data Management Plan (DMP)

Research data and research publications are among the most important outputs of publicly funded research. The planning of data management enables the opening of research data, reduces the risk of the loss of research data and is an essential part of good scientific practice. 

Example structure for a DMP:

  • General description of data
  • Ethical and legal compliance
  • Documentation and metadata
  • Storage and backup during the research project
  • Opening, publishing and archiving the data after the research project
  • Data management responsibilities and resources

European Commission is providing its’ DMP template for H2020 projects.

Open Data – FAIR principles  

FAIR is a set of guiding principles to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.

The FAIR Data Principles apply to metadata, data, and supporting infrastructure (e.g.,search engines). These helps to quantify levels of FAIRness.

Metadata is essential for the FAIRification process.

European Commission has provided (2016) European Charter for Access to Research Infrastructures

EU Open Data Portal include datasets by subject or groups