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Luxembourg National Research Fund

Open Science


Why open science?

New research and applications of research build on established results from previous research. The chain, whereby new scientific discoveries and innovation built on previously established research results, can only work optimally if results are made openly available to the scientific community. This is the Open Science paradigm. 

At FNR, Open Science is a high priority, as we believe that research can most efficiently contribute to solving the World’s most pressing problems when research outputs are openly shared. The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic has been a stunning triumph for Open Science. Never before have so many research outputs been openly shared – with spectacular results: The SARS-CoV-2 genome was sequenced and shared just 10 days after the first cases were reported. The company Moderna got its vaccine into Phase 1 clinical trials just 66 days after the new virus’s genome was first uploaded. 

In times of fake news and alternative theories, it is also important to restate that only results that can be discussed, challenged, and, where appropriate, tested and reproduced by others qualify as “scientific”. Science as an institution can therefore only function properly if research results are made openly available to the community so that they can be submitted to the test and scrutiny of other researchers. 

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 41st session in November 2021 as the first international framework for Open Science policy and practice. It provides a comprehensive overview of the scope, definition, and benefits of Open Science. 

Together with Open Access publishing, providing access to research data contributes to the goal of Open Science.  

This page provided an introduction to these policies and why they are in place.  

Open Access

The FNR attaches great importance to the impact of research outputs on science, industry, policy making and society in general. We consider that publications which report the outcomes of publicly funded research constitute a common good that must not be locked behind paywalls. Based on the  National Policy on Open Access and in close alignment with the European Commission’s policy implemented in the framework programme Horizon Europe, FNR has developed an Open Access Policy that applies to all publications reporting FNR-funded research.
View the FNR Open Access Policy & National Policy for Open Access

In Summary: 

  • Publications must either be published in Open Access Journals, or on Open Access Platforms, or made available through Open Access Repositories. 
  • Publications must be published under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license. Authors must ensure that they retain sufficient copyright allowing them to deposit their Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAM) into an open access repository under a CC BY 4.0 license. 
  • Open Access must be immediate upon publication (i.e. without embargo periods) 
  • Data underpinning research papers must be made available to other researchers at the time of publication, as openly and as freely as possible. 
  • Where applicable, Open Access publication costs are covered by the FNR Open Access Fund

What is Open Access?

We define Open Access as in the Berlin Declaration meaning that research publications can be accessed, read and re-used for free by any person with access to the internet, the only restriction being that the work is properly attributed to its author. 

Why Open Access?

Open Access to research publications improves the pace, efficiency and efficacy of the dissemination of new scientific outcomes, and heightens the authors’ visibility, and thus the potential impact of their work. It removes structural and geographical barriers that hinder the free circulation of knowledge and therefore contributes to increased collaboration, ultimately strengthening scientific excellence and capacity building. 

Open Access in the context of national and European research strategies

In the framework of the National Policy on Open Access adopted in 2015, the FNR has made it a requirement that publications resulting from FNR-funded research are made Open Access. In addition, the FNR has set up the Open Access Fund to provide funding for Open Access publication fees.  

In 2018, FNR joined cOAlition S, a global initiative including prestigious organizations such as the European Commission, UKRI, the Wellcome Trust, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, Howard Hugues Medical Institute, and many national research funders that have agreed to implement the principles of Plan S in a coordinated way. These principles are also implemented by the European Commission, including the European Research Council, in the framework programme Horizon Europe. Thus, FNR’s Open Access policy is maximally aligned with the European Commission’s Open Access policy. 

By promoting full and immediate Open Access, FNR is fulfilling the ambitions of the Luxembourg government, the 2016 Conclusions and 2022 Conclusions of the Council of the European Union, and the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

In 2022, FNR has joined CoARA, a coalition of hundreds of research institutions, universities, and funders that are committed to revise the incentive and reward system in science. The FNR has also signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and is implementing the principle that research (and researchers) should be assessed on its own merits, and that the value and impact of all research outputs should be considered for research assessment.

Applicants and reviewers in FNR programmes are asked to refrain from referring to, or stating citation metrics, h-indices (or similar), journal impact factors, journal rankings, institutional rankings or any other surrogate measures of scientific quality. 

Open Data & Research Data Management

As a public institution, FNR wishes to ensure that the outcomes of the research we fund are applied for the public good. We therefore expect researchers to maximise the availability of research data with as few restrictions as possible. We understand that there may be legitimate concerns about the protection of sensitive data (such as privacy, security or commercial interests). The key principle that applies is “as open as possible, as closed as necessary.” 

Researchers and research institutions are expected to ensure appropriate stewardship and curation  of research data.  To  this  end, FNR requires a Data  Management Plan (DMP) to be drafted for all projects accepted for funding. At the start of the project, a template is made available on FNR’s Grant Management Platform. This document can be accessed and should be continuously updated during the entire projectperiod. 

Since research data are an integral output of FNR-funded projects, we expect researchers and institutions to ensure the preservation of these data by deposition in a trusted repository in such a  way that the data are as findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) as possible. A persistent identifier (such as a Digital Object Identifier –DOI) should be applied to each data set, so that data can be reliably and efficiently located and referred to. 

FNR’s Policy on Research Data Management applies to all projects funded by the FNR since 1 January 2021. 

  • FNR Policy on Research Data Management  
  • Data Management Plan Template 

This FNR policy is aligned with the Core Requirements for Data Management Plans as defined in the Science Europe practical guide to the international alignment of Research Data Management. Similar policies have or are currently being implemented by many European funders, including the European Commission. FNR’s policy therefore allows for maximum international alignment, thus facilitating cross-border collaboration. 

What is considered research data?

“Research Data” refers to recorded factual material that has been collected, observed or generated to validate or reproduce research findings (including inconclusive or negative results), or to gain a richer understanding of them. 

Research Data Management: What is it and why do it?

Research Data Management (RDM) is a general term covering how you organise, structure, store, and care for the data used or generated during the lifetime and after the completion of a research project. It is good research practice to ensure that your data are managed properly throughout the life of the project. This means planning how you will collect, store, and care for your data before you start the research process, through to how you will ensure it is maintained in the longer-term and shared with your research community and beyond. 

Research data should be deposited in a trusted repository in such a way that the data are as findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) as possible. A persistent identifier (such as a Digital Object Identifier – DOI) should be applied to each data set, so that data can be reliably and efficiently located and referred to. 

The outcomes of good RDM are that the rights of data subjects/owners are protected, and that data is archived so that it remains available for validation of results, and potentially for future re-use. This leads to a more robust scholarly record and helps to discourage and identify academic fraud. 

Benefits of good data management

Accessibility: third parties can (where appropriate) access and build upon research outputs with minimal barriers to access.

Sustainability: important datasets will not be lost or become unusable if they are properly managed.

Impact: on average, data linked to publications are more frequently accessed, downloaded, re- used or cited.

Speed: The research process becomes faster, which can be vital in tackling global challenges

Efficiency: Data collection can be funded once, and the data re-used many times

It is worthwhile thinking through the data related aspects of your research before you get underway. Data management planning, ethical approval, and data protection considerations are often essential prerequisites for a research project. 

Data Management Plan (DMP)

A data management plan is a document that describes your plans for creating, organising, documenting, storing, and sharing data. It considers issues such as data protection and confidentiality, data preservation and curation, and provides a framework that supports researchers throughout the course of their research project and beyond. 

Writing a DMP provides the opportunity to consider how to approach the management and sharing of data before the project work begins. This helps to identify resources needed to support the research data and provides an opportunity for cost-efficiency during project work. 

DMPs are dynamic, living documents. They must be continuously maintained and kept up to date throughout the course of a project. The DMP should be completed in consultation with research data management support staff at the host institution. 

It is not required to submit a DMP as part of an application for funding in FNR’s Calls. It is however strongly advised to start preparations for a Data Management Plan already during the proposal writing. 

The DMP must be available at the start of the project and must be up to date at the programme- specific reporting deadlines. FNR will evaluate the DMP as part of the reporting process. 

The provided template in this document should serve as a guide. In addition, public DMPs can be consulted on DMPOnline. 

International engagement in the area of open science

FNR is strongly engaged in European and international fora and associations that shape Open Access policies. 

Related contacts

Linda Wampach PhD

Programme Manager & Scientific Mediator

Tom Jakobs

Head of Data Management and Digital Transformation