Open access in ERC and EU Horizon 2020: how to comply

The European Commission (EC) requires open access to all peer-reviewed research articles resulting from Horizon 2020 project funding.

See guidance from the H2020 participant portal and further guides from OpenAIRE on how to comply with the H2020 mandate.

Principal Investigators (“beneficiaries”) must deposit a suitable version of their peer-reviewed author accepted manuscript into an appropriate repository, and ensure open access within 6 months of publication (12 months for social sciences and humanities).  Grants may be reduced if beneficiaries breach their obligations. A summary of steps is shown below, and factsheets are also available from OpenAIRE.

The European Research Council (ERC) has additional guidelines for open access, requiring all peer-reviewed publications supported in whole or in part by ERC funding to be deposited in a repository. For ERC grants, the open access mandate includes monographs, chapters, edited volumes etc as well as articles. See the ERC Open Access Guidelines, and follow the steps below to comply.


Horizon 2020 steps to open access

  1. Submit papers to a journal of choice, there is no restriction provided you can comply with the policy.  If a researcher chooses to publish in an open access journal, APC costs should be claimed within the project period and budget. Remember to include APC costs in grant applications.
  2. Deposit the peer-reviewed author accepted manuscript or publisher’s PDF in a repository, either institutional (via Pure) or disciplinary.  An embargo period might apply, so you need to check this is less than 6 months (12 months for HSS).
  3. Acknowledge project funding both in the publication and in the metadata in the format: This project has received funding from the [European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme] under grant agreement No [Number].
  4. Make sure you add the publication to your final report to the EC.

APC costs in grant applications

The University recommends including provisions for open access in H2020 grant applications.

If you plan to publish via a paid open access route, the average cost of an Article Processing Charge (APC) is approximately £1,500 for a journal article. It is recommended you consider how many articles will be published as outputs of the project, and multiply by £1,500.

Open access routes for monographs are not yet widespread, but some publishers offer this option for an APC in the region of £6,000 to £10,000 for a book.