Because good research needs good data

European Commission (EC)

General Info

Name of policy

Guidelines on FAIR Data Management in Horizon 2020 (V. 3.0, July 2016)


There are numerous enquiry routes, depending on the nature and context of the question. Grant holders may wish to contact their Project Officer in the first instance.

Policy Specifics

Data Plan

“A DMP is required for all projects participating in the extended ORD [Open Research Data] pilot, unless they opt out of the ORD pilot. However, projects that opt out are still encouraged to submit a DMP on a voluntary basis.”

“Once a project has had its funding approved and  has started, you must submit a first version of your DMP (as a deliverable) within the first 6 months of the project. The DMP needs to be updated over the course of the project whenever significant changes arise, such as (but not limited to): new data; changes in consortium policies(e.g. new innovation potential, decision to file for a patent); changes in consortium composition and external factors (e.g. new consortium members joining or old members leaving). The DMP should be updated as a minimum in time with the periodic evaluation/assessment of the project. If there are no other periodic reviews foreseen within the grant agreement, then such an update needs to be made in time for the final review at the latest. Furthermore, the consortium can define a timetable for review in the DMP itself.”

A Data Management Plan template is included in Annex 1 of the FAIR Guidelines document. Use of the template is recommended but not mandatory

Data Sharing / Access

The ECC approach is often glossed as “as open as possible, as closed as necessary.” They emphasise that data should be FAIR, i.e. Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. The policy is not prescriptive, but rather it suggests ways in which FAIR status might be attained, e.g. by depositing data in a repository, attaching a persistent identifier, etc.

Time Limits for Deposit and Retention

Research data “should be made available as soon as possible.” Embargoes are permissible, and if an embargo is sought (e.g. to allow time to publish or seek patents) the rationale should be recorded in the DMP.

Data Centre / Data Archive

The EC funded EUDAT project offers data storage services, and the EC policy also notes Zenodo’s  facility for depositing data and publications in the same place. Ultimately the choice remains with the researcher, and the policy points to to help identify a suitable long-term storage location.


“Costs related to open access to research data in Horizon 2020 are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project under the conditions defined in the H2020 Grant Agreement, in particular Article 6 and Article 6.2.D.3, but also other articles relevant for the cost category chosen.”


As the EC policy is still at a pilot stage, compliance and monitoring are not addressed. The emphasis, rather, is on selling the benefits of data management and sharing, and encouraging uptake among researchers.

Additional Guidance            

Guideline on Open Access to Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020 -

Related Policies

The Open Data Pilot is related to other large-scale initiatives within Europe, notably the Open Science agenda -