The Spanish legal framework that supports the open access publications and that regulates at national level the practice of depositing in open access the scientific publications is given by the Ley 14/2011, de 1 de junio de la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación, which supports the researchers to deposit the final digital version of regular or serial publications in an open access repository.

Ley 14/2011, de 1 de junio, de la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación (BOE 02/06/2011)

Article 37. Document sharing in open access

  1. The public servant of the Spanish system of Science, Technology and Innovation must promote the development of repositories, owned or shared, of open access to the publications of their personal research, and will establish systems that will enable to connect them with similar projects at national and international level.
  2. The investigators whose research is mainly funded with public funds must make publicly available the final version of the contents accepted for publication in regular or serial publications as soon as it becomes possible, but not later than twelve months after the publication date.
  3. The electronic version would be public in open access repositories recognized in the field of the subject the investigation was developed in, or in open access institutional repositories.
  4. The public electronic version could be used by the public administrations in their evaluation processes.
  5. The Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion will enable the centralised access to the repositories, and their connection with similar projects at national and international level.
  6. The above mentioned shall be understood to be without prejudice to the agreements according to which third parties could have been entitled or transferred to with regards to the publication, and will not be applied when these would be subject to protection.

The national legislation is in consonance with the European Commission mandate (Horizon 2020) and with other regional governments mandates, such as the Comunidad de Madrid, Principado de Asturias and Cataluña, and with a wide range of universities and research centres that are working towards open access.


The European Commission has promoted politics and actions related with the open access since 2006 and supports the open access as the adequate way of spreading the research publically funded by the European Union, and includes the open share of knowledge as one of the five main priorities in the European Space Research, recommending in 2012 to the EU member states to develop national measures that will promote the open access to the publically funded research, and to the commissioning agencies, universities and research centres also their politics, coordinated at national and European level.

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), requires to deposit in open access all the peer-reviewed publications generated from projects developed under this programme.

The legal text can be found in the clause 29.2 of the Grant Agreement, which all the partners’ who are beneficiaries of the projects are subscribed to.

H2020 Model Grant Agreements: H2020 General MGA — Multi: v3.0 – 20.07.2016

29.2 Open access to scientific publications

Each beneficiary must ensure open access (free of charge, online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results.

In particular, it must:

  • as soon as possible and at the latest on publication, deposit a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository for scientific publications;

    Moreover, the beneficiary must aim to deposit at the same time the research data needed to validate the results presented in the deposited scientific publications.

  • ensure open access to the deposited publication — via the repository — at the latest:
    • on publication, if an electronic version is available for free via the publisher, or
    • within six months of publication (twelve months for publications in the social sciences and humanities) in any other case.

  • ensure open access — via the repository — to the bibliographic metadata that identify the deposited publication.

The bibliographic metadata must be in a standard format and must include all of the following:

  • the terms ["European Union (EU)" and "Horizon 2020"]["Euratom" and Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018"];
  • the name of the action, acronym and grant number;
  • the publication date, and length of embargo period if applicable, and
  • a persistent identifier.