Report Open Access
Matt, Ina; Reckling, Falk; Rieck, Katharina
Open access to research data is a precondition for the reproducibility, verification, refutation and further use of data in research and practice. In line with international initiatives (e.g., Horizon 2020 Open Research Data Pilot) and trends (e.g. Funder policies on data sharing), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) has initiated the Open Research Data Pilot Programme (ORD Pilot) with the support of the Austrian National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development in order to promote the development of new models for open research data in the digital age.
The FWF began promoting open access to publications and research data in the early 2000s. In response to international activities such as the Berlin Declaration on Open Access in 2003, the FWF – as one of the first signatories to that declaration – introduced its Open Access Policy in 2004. Since 2008, the FWF has required its grant recipients to make their research output as openly accessible as possible (the FWF’s Open Access Compliance Monitoring) and has assisted them in doing so.
Whereas open access to publications has been a requirement for years, the FWF still treats open access to research data as a recommendation rather than a mandate. Accordingly, the FWF’s Open Access Policy states, “Whenever legally and ethically possible, all research data and similar materials which are collected and/or analysed using FWF funds have to be made openly accessible. Data underlying the published research results should either be openly accessible immediately or – if not used in publications – two years after the project is finished.”
Although the FWF does not yet require grant recipients to make their research data openly accessible, they are explicitly asked to budget funds over each project’s duration to ensure the preparation, archiving, open access and re-use of research data (see Application Guidelines for Stand-Alone projects). Furthermore, in the Stand-Alone Publications programme, applicants can request up to €50,000 in funding for innovative publication formats (e.g., apps, wikis, software, databases, audio, video and animation).