In the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), 'gold' Open Access fees (i.e. 'Open Access publishing' and 'author pays' fees) are eligible for reimbursement. Details can be found in the FP7 model Grant Agreement:
Reimbursement of publication costs ( 191KB) ('paid' Open Access), article II.16.4 'other activities'.
In August 2008, the European Commission launched the Open Access Pilot in FP7 that will run until the end of the Framework Programme. It aims to ensure that research results funded by the EU citizen are made available to the population at large for free. In this way, Open Access is considered a way to improve the EU's return on research and development (R&D) investment.
Under the Open Access pilot, FP7 grant recipients in seven areas (energy, environment, health, information and communication technologies [only cognitive systems, interaction, and robotics], research infrastructures [only e-infrastructures], science in society, and socioeconomic sciences and humanities) are expected to:
The foreseen embargo period of 6 or 12 months allows scientific publishers to ensure a profit on their investment (by charging for journal subscription), while then providing open access to research articles once the embargo period has lapsed.
The difference in embargo periods in Open Access (6 months or 12 months) is explained by the fact that research findings are considered 'new', and therefore have an economic value for different periods of time depending on the scientific discipline. The length of time after which the research results of rapidly changing disciplines (e.g. ICT) become out of date is relatively shorter than in the case of, for example, research results in the social sciences, which remain valid for a longer period. This model is in keeping with approaches developed by other funding bodies (the Commission's pilot is only one of many initiatives underway in Europe and beyond).
This pilot is supported and monitored through the OpenAIRE project. During and after FP7, the Commission will analyse the impact of the pilot and its benefits to EU-funded research with the European Parliament, Member States and stakeholders. The Open Access pilot could potentially be used as a model for the next Framework Programme, and in the Member States.
Please note that the model cover letter and model amendment to publishing agreement are provided for the sole purpose of offering support to beneficiaries of projects participating in the Open Access Pilot in FP7. Beneficiaries are free to modify the model documents or to replace them with alternative versions where appropriate and should seek legal advice where necessary, in particular in cases of pre-existing agreements. Whatever the publishing agreement put in place, beneficiaries should take care to ensure compliance with the conditions of the Open Access Pilot in FP7 as specified in Special Clause 39 of the Grant Agreement. The Commission cannot be held responsible for the use made of these models.