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Q: What does the term 'best effort' in Special Clause 39 ERC on Open Access mean?
A:

This is explained in detail in section 7.3 of the Guide to Intellectual Property Rules for FP7 projects (e.g. obtaining information about the journal policy on open access, informing the publisher about EU Commission policy on open access; requesting an amending clause to contracts to include open access, consider submitting to another journal, etc.). If it is not possible to deposit the publication in a repository and give it open access within six months, due to longer embargo periods imposed by the publisher, but it is possible to provide immediate open access by paying an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher, grantees are strongly encouraged to choose this second option.

Q: For ERC projects, is it necessary to provide open access to publications even for the non-main/corresponding author?
A:

If the Grant Agreement contains Special Clause 39 ERC, its provisions apply to all scientific publications related to foreground of the project, regardless whether the ERC funded author (PI or team member) is the main/corresponding author or not. If the Grant Agreement does not contain Special Clause 39 ERC, grantees should nevertheless consider providing open access to all publications resulting from the project on a voluntary basis, regardless whether the ERC funded author (PI or team member) is the main/corresponding author or not, as recommended in the ERC Open Access Guidelines.

Q: For FP7 ERC projects, is it necessary to provide open access to publications that appear after the end of the project?
A:

If the Grant Agreement contains a Special Clause 39 ERC, then its provisions apply also to publications published after the end of the project (without time limitation). If the Grant Agreement does not contain a Special Clause 39 ERC, then grantees should nevertheless consider providing open access to the publications resulting from the project (even after the end of the project) on a voluntary basis, as recommended in the ERC Open Access Guidelines.

Q: Is open access to publications mandatory for all ERC grants in FP7?
A:

For FP7 grants resulting from calls in the Work Programmes 2007-2011, there is no formal obligation to provide open access to publications. However, all grantees are strongly encouraged to comply with the ERC Open Access Guidelines. ERC grants resulting from calls in the 2012 and 2013 Work Programmes will normally contain a Special Clause 39 ERC which requires the immediate deposit of all publications related to foreground from the project in a repository for scientific publications. Best efforts must be made to ensure open access to the publication through this repository within six months from publication (and immediately if the publication has been published "open access", i.e. if it is also available free of charge via the publisher.

Q: If a researcher working for a third party to an ERC project publishes an article based on results of the project, do the open access provisions of Special Clause 39 ERC also apply in this case?
A:

For ERC projects, the Special Clause 39 ERC refers to scientific publications related to foreground from the project (where 'scientific' includes publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities). Whether the researcher who has published the article works directly for the beneficiary or for a third party is irrelevant.