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Since its creation, the ERC has been a strong supporter of the idea that the results stemming from publically funded research – including publications and primary data – should be made freely accessible on the Internet.

In December 2006, long before any grant was awarded, the ERC Scientific Council issued its first  statement on Open Access. This statement was followed a year later by specific guidelines stating that all peer-reviewed publications from ERC funded projects should be made openly accessible shortly after their publication. All ERC grants awarded under a call from the 2012 or 2013 Work Programme normally contain a "Special Clause 39 ERC" that translates these guidelines into a formal obligation. For ERC grants awarded under Horizon 2020 Work Programmes (2014 and onwards), open access to peer-reviewed publications is now mandatory. This includes monographs.

Specific information on how to comply with the obligations applicable to ERC Grants that contain "Special Clause 39 ERC" can be found in the FP7 IPR Guidelines (in particular section 7.3).

In its plenary session of 16 February 2016, the ERC Scientific Council adopted a revised version of its Open Access Guidelines, following previous updates in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The guidelines strongly encourage the use of discipline-specific repositories and in particular recommend the use of Europe PMC and arXiv, for the LS and PE domain respectively.  In February 2013 the Open Access Working Group organised a Workshop on Open Access infrastructures in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The Council may recommend specific repositories for the SH domain in the future. For long-text publications (such as monographs or book chapters) in any discipline, the guidelines recommend the use of the OAPEN library as a repository.

The EU funded OpenAIRE project provides ample background information on open access related topics. Together with CERN, OpenAIRE operates the repository Zenodo which can be used in case no suitable subject-based or institutional repository is available.

The ERC Scientific Council strongly encourages all ERC funded researchers to seek to establish and practice good research data management in accordance with the current best practices in their respective fields, and to share their data with other researchers in a responsible way. In September 2014 the Open Access Working Group organised a Workshop on Research Data Management and Sharing, which attracted more than 140 participants.

In order to support ERC grantees in their efforts to adopt good research data management practices the ERC Scientific Council, building on work by the Open Access Working group, has issued the following document: "Open Research Data and Data Management Plans - Information for ERC grantees by the ERC Scientific Council".

Several publishers have established specific procedures to make it easier for ERC grantees to comply with the open access requirements of their Grant Agreement and/or the Open Access Guidelines of the ERC Scientific Council. In some cases the ERCEA has been working with publishers to ensure that the information provided on publishers' webpages or in their email communication with ERC funded authors adequately reflects the ERC's open access requirements. It should be noted, however, that this does not automatically imply an endorsement of the open access polices of these publishers by the ERC.   


ERC Executive Agency secretariat: Dagmar Meyer, Unit Support to the Scientific Council.

Contact the ERC Open Access Team at