KC Frequently Asked Questions



Horizon 2020

In Horizon 2020 Open Access to Scientific Peer Reviewed Publications has been anchored as an ‘underlying principle’, which means that it has become obligatory for all projects.


In FP7, there was an Open Access Pilot for publications, applicable for approximately 20 % of the budget and in 7 dedicated research areas. During the run of FP7, the European Commission had two policies on open access in practice, the EC Open Access Pilot and the ERC guidelines for Open Access. These initiatives require that the researcher provides open access to articles resulting from EC funded research, within a specified time period.

Open Access is the immediateonlinefree availability of research outputs without restrictions on use commonly imposed by publisher copyright agreements. Open Access includes the outputs that scholars normally give away for free for publication; it includes peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers and datasets of various kinds.

Access to knowledge, information, and data is essential in higher education and research; and more generally, for sustained progress in society. Improved access is the basis for the transfer of knowledge (teaching), knowledge generation (research), and knowledge valorization (civil society).

Providing Open Access to research, both research papers and (the underlying) datasets, is not only beneficial for the public, but also for the researchers: several studies indicate that openness increases citations. Openness also improves reproducibility of your research results – and it might introduce new and perhaps unexpected audiences to your work.


More information: 

Open Access Overview

There are two main, non-exclusive ways of making publications and data Open : through self-archiving in repositories  or through publishing in  Open Access journals .

Publishing in an Open Access Journal : you can find a list of reliable Open Access journals in the DOAJ. If the publisher asks for an author fee (also: ‘article processing charge’ or APC), you can declare this an eligible cost in your project budget. Some Open Access Journals offer you the option of archiving the underlying data of an article you submit as well, and there are even journals who only publish datasets and their metadata. 

By self-archiving their work in digital archives or repositories (‘depositing’), researchers can make their publication or data Open Access, even if the final published version of their work is not.  This is possible even if you have assigned the copyright to your publisher (although the assignment of your rights is often negotiable when you ask your publisher about it). Some repositories only accept publications, but in other repositories you can also deposit datasets, whether they're connected with a publication or not.  

Open Access is compatible with copyright, peer review, preservation, prestige, quality, career-advancement, indexing, and other features and supportive services associated with conventional scholarly literature.

In its Open Access policy for Horizon 2020, the European Commission explicitly asks to deposit the work in a repository and make it Open Access (after an embargo if necessary) – regardless of whether it has been published in an Open Access Journal or not.

A novelty in Horizon 2020 is the Open Research Data Pilot which aims to improve and maximize access to and re-use of research data generated by projects. It will be monitored with a view to developing the European Commission policy on open research data in future Framework Programmes.

One way of providing Open Access is to publish in an Open Access Journal. These journals make their articles available for free by funding their publication services in other ways than through end-user subscriptions. A lot of journals fund their workings by charging Article Processing Charges (APCs), although not all publishers do and there exist huge variations in the actual amount of the APC.

A lot of traditional journals also offer the possibility of making individual articles Open Access upon payment of an APC (in this case they are called hybrid journals). Unfortunately, while the individual article thus becomes freely available, the journal as a whole remains closed access.

APCs can be included in the costs of research funding, so the money for access comes through the research funder, rather than through the library budget. Of course, the initial source of the money is often the same (from government funding).

There is a growing number of Open Access Journals; most disciplines are now represented. A comprehensive overview is provided by the Directory of Open Access Journals, DOAJ.

Some Open Access Journals offer you the option of archiving the underlying data of an article you submit as well, and there are even journals who only publish datasets and their metadata.

An Open Access repository is a database or a virtual archive established to collect, disseminate and preserve scientific output like scientific articles and datasets and make them freely available. The action of depositing material in a repository is (self)archiving. Depending on personal preferences or publisher's policies, the author can make his work available in Open Access or (temporarily) restrict the access to it.

Repositories can be either linked to an institution or department or linked to a research field or subject, i.e. Institutional or Subject Repositories.

When using the OpenAIRE deposit service you will be guided through the steps of deposition and also if possible guided to a relevant repository (check out the list of compatible repositories). OpenAIRE uses data from the Directory of Open Access Repositories, OpenDOAR, and from the Registry of Research Data Repositories, Re3data

  • Subject based repositories are repositories oriented for research output from one or more well defined research domains. Classic examples are ArXiv and Europe PubMed Central. All researchers working in certain subject areas can make use of subject repositories – regardless of their affiliation or geographic location.
  • Institutional Repositories are repositories that are maintained and curated by institutions - very often the library. Repositories collect, curate and make the research output of an institutions available on the Internet. As a rule, depositing is only possible for researchers affiliated with the institution.
  • A data repository is a digital archive collecting and displaying datasets and their metadata. A lot of data repositories also accept publications, and allow linking these publications to the underlying data. Some examples are Zenodo, DRYAD, Figshare.

Overview of repositories can be found on ROAR, OpenDOAR, Re3data.

Please visit the OpenAIRE helpdesk if you are having trouble finding the best suited repository for you. If you do not have a repository to deposit your article in then you can use the Zenodo repository, hosted by CERN.

Open Access is not an infringement on copyright and making your work Open Access is perfectly legal.

Authors own the original copyright to papers they write, and publishers need their permission to publish the paper. In author-publisher contracts, publishers often ask for transfer of the copyright, sometimes even when the paper is first submitted to the journal. However, authors can always choose to retain their copyright and provide the publisher with a license to publish.

Even when the author has signed away author’s rights, it is still possible to provide open access through self-archiving the work in a repository. The Sherpa/RoMEO site offers an overview of official publishers’ policies about self-archiving.

If you want to know more about copyright in relation to open access:

If you have other questions related to Intellectual Property Rights

The European IPR Helpdesk is the official IP service initiative of the European Commission providing free-of-charge, first-line advice and information on Intellectual Property (IP) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).The service is targeted at researchers and European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) participating in EU-funded collaborative research projects. In addition it addresses SMEs involved in international technology transfer processes.

If you need assistance on a specific IPR issue, or would like to be informed about the latest developments in the world of IP and R&D in Europe, or if you are interested in training on IPR – the European IPR Helpdesk is the right partner to contact.

Research data can be extremely diverse: from spreadsheets, audio-visual materials, databases, to 3D-models and result lists from large experiments. Sizes may vary from a couple of small files related to a specific publication (‘long tail of research data’) to vast collections of experimental results (‘big data’), that can only be processed using specialized programmes.

The need for adequate documentation and description is obvious, as reproducibility is the key factor when it comes to scientific research. Specialized repositories, such as Zenodo, have been established to collect and preserve datasets of all kinds, and possibly linking them to publications and projects related to the creation of the set. Collecting, describing, licensing and preserving data proves to be a big challenge, and experience with Research Data Management quickly becoming a sought-after asset for researchers and supporting staff.

Open Knowledge Foundation has defined Open Data in ‘The Open Definition’, as "machine-readable, available in bulk, and provided in an open format (i.e., a format with a freely available published specification which places no restrictions, monetary or otherwise, upon its use) or, at the very least, can be processed with at least one free/libre/open-source software tool."

See also: OpenAIRE Open Research Data Pilot Factsheet.

You can deposit your data in dedicated data repositories. Some repositories, such as Zenodo, accept both publications and datasets. Data repositories allow you to provide persistent links to your datasets, so that they can be cited, linked and tracked. This also allows for version control. Just like publications, you can license your data to make clear what level of reuse you will allow for your dataset. OpenAIRE recommends to use the Creative Commons CC0 Waiver or CC-BY licence for open access to data.

Overviews of data repositories can be found on re3data.org. It is recommended to select a certified so-called Trustworthy Data Repository, when this is available in your discipline.

More information about Research Data Management (RDM) and making your data open:

More information on licences:

Training Materials about RDM:

The central idea behind Open Access is that the results of publicly financed research should be available to the public – citizens, SMEs, researchers at other institutions, medicine staff, journalists, teachers, …

Access to knowledge, information, and data is essential in higher education and research; and more generally, for sustained progress in society. Improved access is the basis for the transfer of knowledge (teaching), knowledge generation (research), and knowledge valorization (civil society).

Providing Open Access to research, both research papers and (the underlying) datasets, is not only beneficial for the public, but also for the researchers: several studies indicate that openness increases citations. Openness also improves reproducibility of your research results – and it might introduce new and perhaps unexpected audiences to your work.

For more information on Open Access, visit our dedicated page.

Useful information: The Open Access Citation Advantage

The FP7 project OpenAIRE aimed to support the implementation of Open Access in Europe. It provides the means to promote and realize the widespread adoption of the Open Access Policy, as set out by the ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access and the Open Access pilot launched by the European Commission.

Its successors OpenAIREplus was aimed at linking the aggregated research publications to the accompanying research and project information, datasets and author information. The goal is to make through the portal www.openaire.eu, as much European funded research output as possible available to all.

This research output, whether it is publications, datasets or project information is not only accessible through the OpenAIRE portal, extra functionalities are also offered, such as statistics, reporting tools and widgets – making OpenAIRE a useful support service for researchers, coordinators and project managers.

OpenAIRE relies heavily on a decentralized structure where there is a representation in all member states (the so-called NOADs or National Open Access Desks) who can give specialized advice. If you have a question about a country-specific situation, you can contact them.

Researchers working for European funded projects can participate by depositing their research output in their own repository, publish with participating journals or deposit directly in the OpenAIRE repository ZENODO– and indicating the project it belongs to in the metadata.

Dedicated pages per project are visible on the OpenAIRE portal.

OpenAIRE’s three main objectives are to

       i. build support structures for researchers in depositing FP7 research publications through the establishment of the European Helpdesk and the outreach to all European member states through the operation and collaboration of 27 National Open Access Desks;

     ii. establish and operate an electronic infrastructure for handling peer-reviewed articles as well as other important forms of publications (pre-prints or conference publications). This is achieved through a portal that is the gateway to all user-level services offered by the e-Infrastructure established, including access (search and browse) to scientific publications and other value-added functionality (post authoring tools, monitoring tools through analysis of document and usage statistics);

    iii. work with several subject communities to explore the requirements, practices, incentives, workflows, data models, and technologies to deposit, access, and combine research datasets of various forms in combination with research publications.

50 partners, from all EU countries, and beyond, work on OpenAIRE2020 project that aims to promote open scholarship and substantially improve the discoverability and reusability of research publications and data. The initiative brings together professionals from research libraries, open scholarship organisations, national e-Infrastructure and data experts, IT and legal researchers, showcasing the truly collaborative nature of this pan-European endeavor. A network of people, represented by the National Open Access Desks (NOADs), will organise activities to collect H2020 project outputs, and support research data management. Backing this vast outreach, is the OpenAIRE platform, the technical infrastructure that is vital for pulling together and interconnecting the large-scale collections of research outputs across Europe. The project will create workflows and services on top of this valuable repository content, which will enable an interoperable network of repositories (via the adoption of common guidelines), and easy upload into an all-purpose repository (via Zenodo).

OpenAIRE2020 will assist in monitoring H2020 research outputs and will be a key infrastructure for reporting H2020’s scientific publications as it will be loosely coupled to the EC’s IT backend systems. The EC’s Research Data Pilot will be supported through European-wide outreachfor best research data management practices and Zenodo, which will provide long-tail data storage. Other activities include: collaboration with national funders to reinforce the infrastructure’s research analytic services; an APC Gold OA pilot for FP7 publications with collaboration from LIBER; novel methods of review and scientific publishing withthe involvement of hypotheses.org; a study and a pilot on scientific indicators related to open access with CWTS’s assistance; legal studies to investigate data privacy issues relevant to the Open Data Pilot; international alignment with related networks elsewhere with the involvement of COAR.

A License to Publish is a publishing agreement between author and publisher. Unlike many publishing agreements, it does not transfer the author's copyright to the publisher. Instead, the author retains his copyright and grants the publisher a "sole license to reproduce and communicate the scholarly work and certain other rights needed for publishing". It leaves the author the right to archive his article in an Open Access repository. The JISC/SURF Copyright Toolbox provides a model license.

If, furthermore, you would like to ensure that others can be granted further rights for the use and reuse your work, you may ask the publisher to:

  • immediately release your work under a Creative Commons license, or
  • limit the term of exclusive rights and to release your work under a Creative Commons license afterwards.

These options can be included in your License to Publish.
Several publishers already combine a License to Publish with Creative Commons licencing. Some require article processing fees to release your work under such terms. These fees can be paid out of the project budget and are fully eligible for reimbursement within the project period.

If you have no access to an OpenAIRE compliant repository, an institutional repository or a subject repository, Zenodo, hosted by CERN, will enable you to deposit your article and/or research data. Zenodo exposes its data to OpenAIRE, helping researchers to comply with the Open Access demands from the EC and the ERCs

AFINET KC (and Zenodo also) have a simple model of data units. A registered user can upload a set of one or more files that become a data 'deposition'. The file is tagged with some simple metadata and is then published to KC (and Zenodo) which assigns it a permanent DOI.

Each user has control over each of their 'depositions' during the upload process. Each deposition also has a public 'record' page showing the metadata. The access to the files themselves is controlled by the owner's choice of one of four access rights options:

Access model



All files are immediately downloadable from the public record for the upload.


All files are downloadable from the public record after an embargo date set by the owner.


Other users may request access to the files from the original owner through Zenodo.


Other users can only see the metadata for the record.

The combination of these options means that users can easily control access to their data at the level of individual depositions. Unlike Dropbox (or other cloud file service), there is also no problem with the archive getting full.


All research outputs from all fields of science are welcome. In the upload form you can choose between types of files: publications (book, book section, conference paper, journal article, patent, preprint, report, thesis, technical note, working paper, etc.), posters, presentations, datasets, images (figures, plots, drawings, diagrams, photos), software, videos/audio and interactive materials such as lessons. Please see further information in Zenodo's Terms of Use and Policies.

We currently accept up to XX MB per dataset. However, we don't want to turn away larger use cases. If you would like to upload larger files, please contact us, and we will do our best to help you.

Yes, your data is stored in our Knowledge Cloud and CERN Data Center. Both data files and metadata are kept in multiple online and independent replicas. CERN has considerable knowledge and experience in building and operating large scale digital repositories and a commitment to maintain this data centre to collect and store 100s of PBs of LHC data as it grows over the next 20 years. In the highly unlikely event that Zenodo will have to close operations, we guarantee that we will migrate all content to other suitable repositories, and since all uploads have DOIs, all citations and links to Zenodo resources (such as your data) will not be affected.


First, you must select the Category of the searched content. These category are the followings:

  1. All (this is the default value)
  2. Publications
  3. Research data
  4. Projects
  5. People
  6. Organizations
  7. Data providers

Whit the selection of sub-category, you have a possibility to reduce the number of relevant hits. If you don't select anything relevant information (Region, Species, Product, Livestock), the hits' list will be complete at the end of the searching process.

Then type your keywords, which can be found in the content, title of publications, data sets etc., that you search.

Finally, you push the Search button, and you get the relevant hits in the OpenAIRE website, where you can filter (eg. according to date) the set of hits.

The uploaded contents (records) are indexed immediately in OpenAIRE and therefore in the Knowledge Cloud (i.e. you should be able to see the record within a few minutes).

The following content is indexed in OpenAIRE:

  • Publications:
    • All Open Access publications.
    • Embargoed, restricted or closed access publications if they link to a grant.
  • Datasets:
    • All. Note that OpenAIRE only exposes datasets if the dataset is either a) linked to a publication in OpenAIRE or b) linked to a grant.

For more information see the OpenAIRE Content Acquisition Policy.

If your publication (journal article, conference paper etc.) is a white paper, you can upload it into a thematic or your institute's repository.

For making upload file(s), there are two specific ways in the Knowledge Cloud Upload section:

  1. If you are NOT adept in informatics...
  2. If you are adept in informatics...

 That's all!

You should write an e-mail (with document attachment) to a delegated person, who connects to a project country or EURAF.

You must add required (and recommended or optional) parameters, which describe the document.

The delegated person checks the attached document and the parameters, then…

  • If the document and the parameters are correct, it will be uploaded by the contact person;
  • Else: the contact person will send an error report / list (via e-mail) to you;

This function is available for everyone (without registration / login).

You must register and login into the Knowledge Cloud for uploading documents, here.

During the uploading process, you must type several important parameters about the document, eg. authors, title, published date etc.

The selected contact person reviews your document and parameters, then...

  • If the document is correct, it will be uploaded to the repository by the contact person
  • Else: the contact person will send an error report / list (message) to you