Report on European research funder Open Policies and practices

By Victoria Ficarra, 30/09/19

Research Consulting was commissioned by SPARC Europe to undertake research on European research funder Open policies and practices. The report is now publicly available on the SPARC Europe website and on the Reports page of our website.

We supported SPARC Europe in the development and analysis of a survey conducted in spring this year, with responses from 62 research funders from 29 European countries. The cohort includes important national funding agencies (almost 50%), pan-European funders, national and regional academies, foundations and philanthropic organisations and research charities.

The survey aimed to understand how key international funding bodies are incentivising openness to the work they fund with the purpose of growing support for Open research and advancing Open Access to research results in Europe.

Some key findings/recommendations from the report

  • The majority of respondents (37) had an OA policy. 24 respondents had no OA policy, however, half of these were in the process of developing one;
  • When considering research data policies, over two thirds of respondents (42) had no research data policy, but 13 of these were in the process of developing one;
  • Funders which reported having OA and Research data policies were most commonly in Northern and Western Europe;
  • Just under a third of funders (23) monitor for OA policy compliance but only 15% do the same for their Research Data policies, in most cases, policy non-compliance bears no practical consequences for beneficiaries.

Therefore, the following recommendations are suggested to advance Open Access and Open Science;

  • Encourage more funders to adopt Open Access and Open Data policies
  • Seek to ensure consistency of Open Access and Open Data policies across all of Europe, not just Northern and Western Europe
  • Monitor policy compliance more closely and establish enforcement strategies

The full report can be accessed here. The supporting dataset and survey question set are also available online.