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Open data and the EU

The EU works to support the development of open science. The EU has a strong influence on how the conditions for research develops, both when it comes to being an important research funding body and when it comes to research policy.

The EU, through the European Commission, is actively promoting openly accessible research (open science), and consequently open access to research data (open data). Hence, strategies regarding the accessibility of research data has become increasingly important in research projects with EU-funding, which also has an effect in other contexts. For instance, this phenomenon is repeated by other research funding bodies and political decision-makers. Coordination and interoperability between local systems, infrastructures, policies and EU equivalents are important when it comes to the development of research data processes on all levels.

After Horizon 2020

The European Commission is one of the main stakeholders in the work for increased open access to research findings. In conjunction with the research initiative, Horizon 2020, the Commission designed a pilot model for research data management, in which the FAIR principles were an important influence for the research data management guidelines. 

More on: FAIR data

Horizon Europe

After Horizon 2020, several of the efforts made to promote open research data will be made permanent in the follow-up funding program Horizon Europe. Horizon Europe will continue to develop the open access policy used in Horizon 2020.

Horizon Europe will promote the FAIR principles. Beside this, open science will be seen as the norm for all scientific communications. This means that funded research, including research data, is expected to be published with open access. It will remain possible to choose not to publish research data with open access, but it will be regarded as an active choice that the researcher will have to make.

Activities that increase researchers’ knowledge of open science will be carried out. Horizon Europe will also support evaluation and award systems promoting open science. The objective is that research and innovation within the European Union should be applied to a greater extent and used more widely.

FAIR principles

European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)

The objective of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is to provide an infrastructure to support open science within the EU, and hence innovation on an international scale – also beyond the EU. EOSC is one of the most practical results of the EU work to enable FAIR data and open science.

EOSC is both a technical solution, and supports the communication between people and helps to synchronise policies. Through EOSC, already existing academic infrastructures for research data are synchronised, at the same time as new infrastructures are developed for interoperability in relation to EOSC. 

Portal: European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)

About EOSC (run by the European Commission) Background, policy information, upcoming events and EOSC-related publications.

EOSC Secretariat A coordination and support function for EOSC where researchers can actively participate in forums.

EOSC Nordic A collaboration between the Nordic and Baltic countries in the work with EOSC.

EOSC-hub Within the scope of the EOSC-hub, a system will be created with the aim to integrate software and services from large European e-infrastructures and research infrastructures.

An overview of EOSC (EGI Foundation) EGI and the EU jointly fund EOSC-hub.

European Cloud Initiative - Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe Documents describing the essential features of the vision for the EOSC.


One of the results of the European Commission’s work towards open access to research data is the organisation Open AIRE, which, for instance, supplies information and services with the objective of facilitating open and transparent communication of scientific resources. Open AIRE also works as a pan-European support organisation in the work to increase the spread of open science.

Open AIRE also contains a number of development projects focusing on interoperability and open science services that can be included in the researcher’s work. Example of services:

  • Zenodo (in collaboration with CERN) – a repository for all types of research data. Also contains tools and digital library services developed by CERN for the management of big data.
  • Open science helpdesk, a service for contact and skills enhancement regarding open science in practise.
  • AMNESIA, a data anonymisation tool that allows to remove identifying information from data (compatible with Zenodo).
  • Platforms and dashboards for subject-specific contents, for instance Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage and Neuroinformatics.

Several of these services are still in beta testing. More services from Open AIRE are available:
Open AIRE services

Phases of research project

Initiation of research project

To get informed, make strategic considerations and set up a data management plan.

During research project

To maintain a sound, ordered and consistent management of research data during the research project.

Conclusion of research project

To conclude a research project with well-founded decisions regarding research data.

This information is factual only and not to be considered legal advice. Contact the university legal advisors at the Vice-Chancellor's office if legal advice is needed.

Vice-Chancellor's Office