OpenAIRE — an e-infrastructure for Open Access publishing of research outputs

Natalia Manola

OpenAIRE – an e-infrastructure for Open Access publishing of research outputs


Natalia Manola – project manager at OpenAIRE

(interviewer: Marta Hoffman-Sommer)


OpenAIRE started in 2009 as a tool for the European Commission to facilitate the monitoring of ERC- and FP7-funded research, in particular to monitor compliance with the Open Access Pilot in FP7 and the ERC Guidelines. The follow-up project OpenAIREplus had much broader goals. How would you define them?

OpenAIREplus expanded the scope in both the technical and human infrastructure aspects beyond the restricted realm of publications from projects funded by the EC (Special Clause 39), effectively offering an Open Access infrastructure to the entire scientific production of the European Research Area. In addition to dealing with publications, it  opened up to scientific datasets through a range of services for the automatic, semi-automatic, or manual identification of links between publications and related datasets, projects, or other publications.

OpenAIRE runs a web portal and several associated services for its users. What services are offered now, what will be added in the future? What groups of users are expected to benefit from these services?

OpenAIRE has placed Europe in a leading position for open scholarship, acting as a trusted partner with similar initiatives in the international arena. OpenAIRE, currently entering into the EC’s Horizon2020 (H2020), provides trusted, value added services to a wide range of stakeholders:

  • researchers to find how to comply with the H2020 and other national or institutional policies, where to deposit their research results, and how to interlink them or present them in the right research context;
  • project coordinators and project officers on how to monitor and report a project’s scientific outcome progress and its OA policy compliance;
  • institutions and research communities on mechanisms to aggregate their research outcome and impact;
  • data providers and OA publishers to interoperate with emerging e-Infrastructures beyond national boundaries;
  • finally research administrators and the funders themselves to perform research analytics for evidence-based policy making.

Do you know who the actual users of the OpenAIRE services are and which functionalities are used most?

It is primarily used by researchers, project coordinators and research administrators to find out how to comply to the EC's Open Access mandates, to monitor and report the project's or institution's outcomes. Secondly it is used by data providers to participate in the infrastructure.

OpenAIRE also includes a network of NOADs - National Open Access Desks - based in 33 European countries. What are their responsibilities? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this kind of dispersed, national structure?

Key to OpenAIRE is understanding and supporting the users, providers and consumers of the scholarly communication ecosystem at their research places. For this reason it operates a unique network of people in all EU member states (and five associate countries), namely the National Open Access Desks (NOADs). NOADs have representatives on the ground who understand the local issues and are able to reach out with relevant messages in the local language. They engage and support ministries, institutions, publishers and curators of data and researchers alike, breaking down geographical and thematic boundaries by transferring best practices from one country to the other. They have a multiplication effect on the awareness and implementation of the EC and national OA policies and, equally importantly, promote the OpenAIRE services. Their involvement in OpenAIRE has resulted in a growth and enforcement of local open access policies, both at institutional and funder levels. In parallel they have established a strong position within the national scenes, allowing them to influence decisions makers, to emphasize emerging data management issues, and to enforce the role of  institution libraries within the national infrastructures.

Additional information