Deposit a machine-readable electronic copy of the published or accepted version in Spiral (the College’s institutional repository) or a suitable subject-based or centralised repository with an embargo of 6 months or less (12 months for publications in the social sciences and humanities).

Horizon 2020 open access policy

Routes to meeting open access requirements

GOLD Publish in a fully open access journal, or gold open access in a hybrid journal (make sure you know whether your funding can cover the fee before selecting the gold option in a hybrid journal). Deposit the final published version in a repository such as Spiral to be made available on publication.


GREEN Publish in a subscription or hybrid journal and take responsibility for making the author’s accepted manuscript freely available via a repository such as Spiral within 6 months of publication (12 months for social sciences and humanities).

Scope of policy


Projects funded or co-funded under Horizon 2020.

Article types

Peer-reviewed journal articles.

Grant beneficiaries are also strongly encouraged to provide open access to other types of scientific publications including:

  • monographs
  • books
  • conference proceedings
  • grey literature (informally published written material not controlled by scientific publishers, e.g. reports)

Paying for GOLD open access

Open access fees are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project (as other costs defined in Article 6.2.D.3 of the Model Grant Agreement).

Publisher agreements Imperial has signed up to may allow you to publish GOLD open access in hybrid journals without making a payment. To have your paper included, follow the instructions for the relevant agreement. The corresponding author needs to have an Imperial College London affiliation, and other conditions may apply.

Once a Horizon 2020 award is closed, publications in fully open access journals listed in DOAJ may be eligible to have open access fees paid from the Imperial Open Access Fund. Apply for funding via Symplectic.

No cost is associated with open access via the self-archiving or GREEN route.

Meeting the requirements via GREEN open access

To provide support concerning compliance with Horizon 2020 embargo periods the Commission offers a model amendment to publishing agreements, which are often signed between authors and publishers. This model is not mandatory but reflects the obligations for the beneficiary under the H2020 grant agreements. It can be supplemented by further provisions agreed between the parties, provided they are compatible with the Grant Agreement. The Commission/Agency takes no responsibility for the use of this model.

Note that Elsevier's article sharing policy allows preprints posted on arXiv to be updated with the author’s accepted manuscript with a zero embargo, thus meeting the requirements via the GREEN route.

Required licence

CC BY license preferred on GOLD open access route, but other CC licenses are acceptable.

See Creative Commons licenses, or The anatomy of a Creative Commons License (SWAY).

Other requirements

The Horizon 2020 policy on open access to research data applies to projects enrolled in the Open Research Data Pilot. It is possible to fully or partly opt out of the pilot, or projects in other areas to opt in, see What does my funder require?.