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European Union (EU)

The great importance of open science and, in particular, open access at European level is made clear by the fact that the European Council 2023 has once again expressed its views on the topic with the paper "Council conclusions on high-quality, transparent, open, trustworthy and equitable scholarly publishing". It not only reiterates its commitment to the goals of open science, but also explicitly advocates scholarly owned publication infrastructures based at scientific institutions. In addition, the European member states are called upon to provide funding for long-term reusable and openly accessible infrastructures.

Funding for scientific projects under the EU's Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe funding programs is mandatory linked to the open access publication of results.The EU is going one step further than the DFG and the BMBF by making open access to the research it funds not optional, but mandatory in its own funding guidelines. For projects funded by Horizon 2020, this sufficiently fulfilled by self archiving after a maximum of six months, or twelve months in the humanities and social sciences. However, since the funding from the successor project Horizon Europe, publication via the green route is no longer sufficient. Since then, research results must be published directly and without delay in a freely accessible and reusable form. Publication under free licenses is therefore mandatory: the Creative Commons CC BY license must be selected as standard, with exceptions for monographs and certain other more comprehensive text types.

As part of cOAlition S, various research funders have also joined forces at European level to develop a common guideline for the dissemination and establishment of Open Access. The result of these joint efforts is the so called Plan S, which promotes the mandatory publication of all publicly funded research results in Open Access from 2021 on.The EU has already implemented it in its research framework programs. Although German research funding bodies support Plan S, they have not yet implemented its requirements in a binding manner. Another difference to many open access strategies and guidelines is the explicit inclusion of scientific books in Plan S. Although it is acknowledged that the book transformation may take longer than its counterpart for scientific journals, it is still very welcome that research results and their publication are taken into account across the entire spectrum.

For publication projects resulting from the EU funding programs Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe or Euratom, there is also the possibility to publish the research results on the Open Research Europe (ORE) platform. Scientific texts can be uploaded here, regardless of their scientific content, and suggestions for reviewers can be made. After submission, a post-publication peer review takes place for each publication, which is carried out by the ORE editorial team. All versions of the article and the reviews can then be found and cited online.