The key findings of this study indicate that the European Commission’s leadership in the Open Science policy has paid off. Uptake has steadily increased over the past four years, achieving an average success rate of 83% in Horizon 2020 for open access to scientific publications, which places the European Commission at the forefront globally. What is also apparent from the study is that monitoring – particularly with regard to the specific terms and requirements of the policy – cannot be achieved by the reporting alone, or without the European Commission collaborating closely with other funding agencies across Europe and beyond, to agree on and promote common standards and common elements of the underlying infrastructure. In particular, the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) should encompass all such components that are needed to foster a linked ecosystem in which information is exchanged on demand and eases the process for both researchers (who only need to deposit once) and funders (who only need to record information once).
- Horizon 2020 is at the top of funders in terms of the level of open access achieved. On average, the open access rate among Horizon 2020 publications has increased steadily over the duration of the programme, from just over 65% of peer-reviewed publications being open-access in 2014, to 86% in 2019.
- The estimated average article processing charge (APC) of a ‘gold’ open access article is around EUR 2,200. ‘Hybrid’ open access articles, a category that will no longer be reimbursed under Horizon Europe, has a higher average cost of EUR 2,600.
- 49% of Horizon 2020 publications were published using Creative Commons (CC) licences, which permit reuse (with various levels of restrictions) while 33% use publisher-specific licences that place restrictions on text and data mining (TDM).
- Institutional repositories have responded in a satisfactory manner to the challenge of providing FAIR access, amending internal processes and metadata to incorporate necessary changes.
- H2020 OA policy led to learning effects: fulfilling their open access obligations under Horizon 2020 led to increased awareness and knowledge among beneficiaries with regard to the concepts and principles that underpin Open Science, and improved their related skills
- At organisational and system level, the Horizon 2020 open access policy has produced spill-over effects by encouraging other European research funders and institutions to adopt similar open access policies and measures.
Direct to Full Text Report: Monitoring the Open Access Policy of Horizon 2020
122 pages; PDF.