The new Guidelines on FAIR Data Management in Horizon 2020, released by the European Commission in July 2016, include several key changes, both related to the Open Research Data Pilot and to Data Management Plans (DMPs).
In order for researchers and the general public to have wider access to scientific knowledge, Horizon 2020 already mandates open access.
The Commission will make open research data the default option, while ensuring opt-outs, for all new projects of the Horizon 2020 programme.
Although open research data will apply by default to all H2020 projects from 2017, there is still the possibility to opt out. Furthermore, projects will be able to choose which datasets should be made available and when, and eventually change their decision along the way. However, when choosing to opt out, the reason for keeping the datasets closed must be justified in the DMP.
Unlike before, the DMP will be one per project rather than one per dataset, but it will still be a “living document” to be updated during the project lifetime. The new EC guidelines also emphasise the importance of keeping data F.A.I.R. (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable): metadata, documentation and standards are therefore fundamental.
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