EU-Funded Horizon Projects Must Make Their Findings Open from 2017

By Gary Cutlack on at

The European Commission's enormous €80 billion Horizon 2020 fund now has one really quite huge new condition attached to its handouts, asking that all findings be made open from 2017 -- unless the teams using the money can come up with a good reason why their research should remain secretive.

The announcement was made by Carlos Moedas, the EC's research, science and innovation boss, who said: "...the current Open Research Data Pilot will be extended to cover all thematic areas of Horizon 2020, making open research data the default setting. This move will boost competitiveness by accelerating innovation and collaboration, improving transparency, and avoiding duplication of efforts."

So as of January 2017, any teams using the EU's development money to film monkeys eating beetles in South America or sending empty milk cartons into space to see what happens, must make their results known to everyone.

There is one caveat, mind. If any team can convince the paymasters that there's a need to opt-out of full publication they can, but there must be a clear and public statement made explaining exactly why. Privacy concerns, IP protection matters and jeopardising the research itself are the three big rule exception cases. [Figshare]

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