Open Access funding in EU projects

[Translate to Englisch:]  © Council of Europe

The European Union (EU) is one of the world's largest research funders with the completed funding program Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) and the current Horizon Europe (2021-2027).

To ensure free access to project results, the EU requires its project partners to publish scientific publications with peer review in Open Access. Details on the two programs are briefly summarized below.

Horizon Europe (2021-2027)

The following conditions apply:

  • For scientific publications with peer review, providing Open Access in a repository is mandatory if publications arise from the project. This also applies if publications are already freely available (e.g. in OA journals).
  • Only "trusted repositories"1,2 for scientific publications are permitted (such as the TU Graz Repository).
  • Machine-readable publisher versions or final accepted manuscript versions must be made available immediately (at the latest at the time of publication).
  • A license is required for all contributions. CC BY licenses or licenses with equivalent rights3 (also for accepted manuscript versions!) are possible. For monographs and long text formats, CC BY-NC or CC BY-ND are also allowed.
  • OA publication costs are eligible for reimbursement for articles in gold journals and other "full open access venues". The costs of 'gold' open access publications incurred once a project is completed cannot be refunded from that project's budget-
  • There is also an obligation for the research data underlying a publication to be published in Open Access and to create a data management plan. Data must be published in a "trusted repository" under a CC BY or CC 0 license according to the principle "as open as possible as closed as necessary". Exceptions must be justified in the data management plan.

1 see also homepage of OpenAIRE
2 see also hompeage of FFG
3 reading, sharing, copying, editing and commercial use must be allowed.


Further information:


Horizon 2020 (2014-2020)

(completed, projects are still being implemented)

The following conditions apply:

  • Obligation to Open Access (OA) in case publications with peer review arise from the EU project (but: no obligation to publish). Applies to all disciplines. Also after the project has ended.
  • Free choice: Green OA (self-archiving in repositories) or Gold OA (publishing in open access journals) or also Hybrid OA ("buying off" articles in subscription journals).
  • For Green OA: the final peer-reviewed manuscript must be made accessible at the latest upon publication. (In all other cases, the manuscript must be made freely accessible six months after publication, or in the humanities and social sciences at the latest 12 months after initial publication). Possible are subject-specific repositories (e.g. PubMed Central) and/or institutional repositories (e.g. TU Graz Open Library).
  • For Gold OA and Hybrid OA: the OA publication costs are eligible for reimbursement, and the refund must be requested during the project runtime.
  • There is also an obligation for the research data underlying a publication to be published in Open Access and to create a data management plan. A justified opt-out from the Open Research Data Pilot is possible at any time.


Further information:

•    H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement (PDF)(as of June 26, 2019, Art. 29, p. 249)


Supporting institutions for applicants and/or project participants: