Horizon 2020 Open Access requirements

What are the Open Access expectations for Horizon 2020?

Horizon 2020 regards making work Open Access as a two step process.

1. Deposit an electronic copy of either the published version or the final accepted version (after peer-review) into a repository (such as Sussex Research Online).

2. Ensure that the output is Open Access within a maximum of six months (twelve months for publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities)

What types of output does the Horizon 2020 Open Access mandate cover?

Horizon 2020 mandates Open Access to all peer-reviewed output relating to the grant. They recognise that the dominant type of peer-reviewed publication is the journal article. In addition they are also encouraging beneficiaries to provide Open Access to other types of output (some of which might not be peer-reviewed) such as monographs, books, conference proceedings and grey literature.

How can I make my work Open Access?

Horizon 2020 does not specify a route for making your work Open Access. There are two main routes to be compliant.

1. Green Open Access (or self-archiving). Authors can deposit the final, peer-reviewed version of their publication in a repository of their choice, ensuring that the embargo period permitted by the journal is no longer than 6 months (or twelve months for the Social Sciences and Humanities).

2. Gold Open Access. Researchers can publish in a journal that gives the option for the work to be immediately Open Access. This could be a purely OA journal or a hybrid one that makes articles OA on an individual basis. There is usually a cost for Gold OA (an author processing charge, or APC).

How can I check whether a journal has a compliant embargo period?

If you want to go the Green (self-archiving) route to Open Access you will need to check whether your chosen journal offers a compliant embargo period (six months maximum, or twelve months for Social Sciences and Humanitites). You can make an initial check at SHERPA/RoMEO, but you may also wish to check on the journal homepage or directly with the publisher as embargo periods can vary depending on the situation. The Library Research Support team can assist with this.

How do I pay for Gold Open Access?

The author publishing charges (APCs) incurred by beneficiaries are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project. You will need to indicate in your proposal your expected costs for publishing Gold OA. The average cost of an APC is £1800 but this can vary greatly between journals and disciplines. For up to date information visit the journal homepage and check for Open Access costs.

Horizon 2020 will also pilot a mechanism for dealing with OA publication charges incurred after the end of the grant agreement. More information will be available in 2014/15.

Which repository should I choose?

You can choose to deposit in an institutional, subject-based or centralised repository. Sussex Research Online (SRO) is an appropriate choice and deposit in SRO will ensure that the publication appears on your research profile.

What do I need to deposit?

You are required to deposit a machine-readable, electronic copy of the published version or final submitted version (post peer-review) into your chosen repository. This must be done as soon as possible, and by the date of publication at the very latest. If you are making your work Open Access through the Green route then the repository should place the appropriate embargo on your publication. SRO staff will always do this on your behalf.

You should also aim to deposit at the same time the research data needed to validate the results presented in the publication. This does not need to be Open Access (beneficiaries are invited to grant open access to the data but are not obliged to do so unless they are part of the Open Research Data Pilot)Data can be deposited into the same respository as the publication, or into a data repository. For more informationon this see our research data management guide for Horizon 2020.

What information needs to be included with the deposited publication?

In order to ensure the acknowledgment of EU funding and maximise the discoverability of publications, you need to include bibliographic metadata as part of the publication record. It must include:

the terms ["European Union (EU)" and "Horizon 2020"]["Euratom" and "Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018"]

the name of the action, acronym and grant number

the publication date, and length of embargo period if applicable and a persistent identifier (eg a DOI)


What are the Open Access requirements for research data?

Horizon 2020 specifies that the research data needed to validate the results presented in the deposited publication should also be deposited at the same time, ideally into a data repository. There is no obligation to make this data Open Access (although it is welcomed) unless it is part of the Open Research Data Pilot. For more information on this see our Research Data Management guide for Horizon 2020.


Further information

Keep up to date with Horizon 2020 on the Research and knowledge exchange website

Read the Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020

Contact the Library Research Support team for support with Open Access questions and Sussex Research Online on 01273 877941 or

Find out more about Open Access