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Update to Open Research Data Pilot: mandatory requirements from 2017

Publication date: 
14 March 2016 (UK time)

Under current call, research projects in nine defined Horizon 2020 areas are automatically part of the Open Research Data Pilot. On 4 February 2016, Robert-Jan Smits, Director General for EC Research and Innovation, announced that from 2017 Open Research Data will be the default option for all projects and that all parts of Horizon 2020 will be required to create a Data Management Plan (DMP).

For Horizon 2020 projects that are part of the Open Research Data Pilot, the Principal Investigator must:

·         Develop a data management plan in the first 6 months of the project and keep it up-to-date throughout their project;

·         Deposit their research data in a suitable research data repository;

·         Make sure third parties can freely access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate their data;

·         Make clear what tools will be needed to use the raw data to validate research results, or provide the tools themselves.

The focus of the pilot is on encouraging good data management as an essential research tool: “as open as possible and as closed as necessary”.  So although opting out of the pilot is possible, a data management plan still needs to be produced including an explanation of the reason. These include, but are not limited to:

·         Issues around commercial or industrial exploitation

·         Confidentiality connected to security

·         Incompatibility with rules protecting personal data

Projects that will not generate or collect research data are also exempted, as are those for which sharing data would jeopardise the outcome of the project.  It is also accepted that where regenerating the data at a later date would be cheaper than archiving it then it is not worth the effort to deposit it in a repository.

The data in the pilot applies to:

·         All research data, including metadata, needed to validate the results in a peer-reviewed publication;

·         Other curated or raw data, and its associated metadata, specified in the DMP even if it did not result in a publication;

·         The documentation, software, hardware or tools required to enable reuse of the data.

Data may be numerical, descriptive, visual or tactile, though digital data is the main focus; it can be raw, cleaned or processed and in any format and on any storage media. The definition of data management for the purposes of the pilot is broad, and should be seen as good research practice, aiming to enable replication of a study, as a minimum requirement, but to aspire to sharing and reuse of data for other purposes.

Further information and guidance can be found on the OpenAIRE webpages specific to the Open Research Data Pilot and data management planning.


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