Open Access

National Open Science policies in Europe

If you are not an Open Science (OS) policy specialist and looking for quick information on foreign countries, it can be challenging to find what you need in the mass of information. This applies particularly to this “young” field, which is developing rapidly.

As far as Europe is concerned, many open science networks and information platforms can give a quick overview on national policies. The following sources are not limited to strictly governmental policies but also mention national funder policies.

Rules and legislations influencing and affecting Open Science

EU rules and legislations influence and affect open science at EU and national levels.

Research and internal market are “shared competences” of the European Union. Within these two fields, the European Union is able to determine a common Open Science framework, and to influence national policies as well.


The European Commission launched OpenAIRE in 2010 as both an online portal (infrastructure) and a network of helpdesks and experts  (34 National Open Access Desk (NOADs). Its original objective was to support the implementation of the European open access policies: the ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access (2007) and the Open Access (OA) pilot in FP7.


Research data should “flow” unhindered and loss-free along the life cycle of research projects. “FAIR Data Principles” formulate principles that must be fulfilled when dealing with sustainably reusable research data:

According to the FAIR principles guiding the Open Data sharing in H2020 projects since 2016, data should be “Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable”.

The question therefore arises: How “FAIR” is research data in Europe today?


The FOSTER and FOSTER+ projects focused on promoting the practical implementation of Open Science, with activities targeting academic staff, young scientists and policy-makers in particular. Partners from disciplines in the life sciences, social sciences and humanities tailored training content to the practices of each domain. Outcome-oriented workshops were organized, providing participants with tangible skills, such as selecting relevant repositories, understanding how to license research data, and negotiating EU data protection laws.


Zenodo was launched within the frame of the OpenAIRE project, which was commissioned by the European Commission to provide open access to research outputs financed by public funding in Europe. Not all researchers necessarily have access to an institutional repository. Zenodo was designed to help them to comply with the open access requirement.