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Study on open access to publications and research data management and sharing within ERC projects

The study aimed to better understand the current attitudes and practices among European Research Council (ERC) funded researchers to the provision of open access to publications, research data management, sharing and reuse and broader open science practices. This study identified common challenges encountered by ERC funded researchers, and also incentives and support available to them, in particular, but not only, at the level of ERC host institutions. The study was implemented by a consortium of the Public Policy and Management Institute (PPMI), the University of Göttingen and the University of Edinburgh. Subcontracted experts from Science-Metrix (Canada), the Know-Center (Austria) and Athena Research Centre (Greece) as well as a number of country experts contributed to specific parts of the study.

The study employed several different research methods, including desk research, a survey of ERC beneficiaries, interviews and bibliometric analysis. It also produced case studies, which showcase exemplary open science-related activities implemented in ERC projects. In addition, country profiles of EU-28 states and Switzerland, Norway and Israel were prepared presenting information related to legal provisions, policies and guidelines on open access, research data management and open science.

The research team organised the following thematic workshops that contributed to the study findings:

• Workshop with ERC PIs and HI representatives on the topic ‘Open science beyond open access and research data’ (particularly focusing on pre-prints, researcher identifiers and alternative metrics);
• Workshop with ERC PIs and HI representatives on the topic ‘Research data management: from planning to sharing and reuse of research data’;
• Validation workshop of the study with invited ERC programme stakeholders as well as experts in the areas of the study, which aimed to collect feedback on the methodology and preliminary results of the study and to identify areas that merit further investigation.

At the end of the project, study provided scenarios for the future development of the ERC’s approach towards open access to publications, research data management and sharing, and reuse, and open science more generally.