For a period of almost 3 years, between May 2015 and February 2018, the OpenAIRE2020 project has run – on behalf of the European Commission – a pilot to fund post-grant Open Access publication of research outputs arising from projects financed under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7).

In total, the pilot has funded the publication of around 1.000 articles and 60 monographs in Open Access.You can check out the numbers of the pilot in this OpenAIRE infographic:

OpenAIRE infographic presenting the results of the Open Access pilot

The pilot has contributed to promoting Open Access for publicly funded research outputs for FP7, where Open Access (OA) was only mandated for a specific part of the programme covering around 20% of its total budget. A study carried out in the context of the pilot estimated that in FP7 some 20% of almost 200,000 research outputs were published after the end of the project. While OA publication fees were eligible as a project cost during the period of the grant, the pilot offered financial support to cover the costs for the OA publishing fees after the end of the grant agreement. In a survey among the participants of the pilot, 44% of respondents acknowledged the fact that they would not have published their work in OA if it was not for this action.

Today in Horizon 2020, the OA mandate covers the full programme. While an action similar to the pilot is not available, researchers participating in H2020 projects will be able to use the future Open Research Publishing Platform  proposed by the European Commission to publish in OA free of charge also after the end of the grant. Moreover, as part of the pilot, OpenAIRE also launched an Alternative Funding Mechanism (AFM) to support technical improvements in publishing processes and outcomes. The AFM provided support to Article Processing Charge-free journals and other OA publishing initiatives that do not charge Article Processing Charges to their users. You can consult the outcome of the AFM here.