81% of Horizon 2020 papers were published in open access journals

© SCIENCE | BUSINESS //Florin Zubașcu

European Commission boasts of high level of open access publishing in Horizon 2020. But researchers complain getting processing fees approved is long winded and could result in them losing out on intellectual property rights.

More than 80% of scientific papers stemming from Horizon 2020 funded projects were published in open access journals, according to the European Commission in a new report.

It shows 86% of publications based on projects funded through the excellent science pillar in Horizon 2020 were published in open access journals. The highest rates of open access publication were in projects funded through the European Research Council (ERC) and the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme, where rates were over 88%.

A large majority of Horizon 2020 researchers complied with the requirement to deposit open access publications in repositories. However, only 39% of Horizon 2020 deposited datasets are findable, with the remainder not including reliable metadata needed to track them down. Only 32% of deposited datasets can be quickly accessed via a link in the metadata.

Under Horizon 2020 researchers were required for the first time to publish the results of EU-funded projects in open access publications. To promote this, in 2018, a consortium of national research agencies and funders from 12 European countries launched Plan S, an international effort to make research papers funded with public money openly available.

Since then, the EU has also mandated that all papers coming from projects funded through Horizon Europe, its €95.5 billion research programme, should be published in open access journals.

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