Requirements of funders and publishers

In Europe and the USA, researchers are increasingly required to publish both a scientific journal article openly and the data on which the research results are based.

Requirements of funders

The current situation in Sweden and around the world is briefly described below for a selection of Karolinska Institutet's research funders, but if you want to know more, you should go directly to the funder's instructions for both application and feedback on open access to data for your research project.

Many financiers also require that you write a data management plan for your project, including the Swedish Research Council from the 2019 calls. It can also be a good idea to contact the KI Grants Office directly if you have questions about financiers' requirements and recommendations.

For questions about open access, there is more information on the page Publish your article open access.

Sweden - The Swedish Research Council and others

In Sweden, several research funders so far only require open access to scientific publications, not research data. However, the aim is to set a goal that from 2026 it will be required that research data is also published at the same time as the article describing the research results.

Higher education institutions and research funders have a joint responsibility for ensuring that the national direction for open access to research data and scientific publications is followed and achieved. As from 2021, the Swedish Research Council and the Royal Library of Sweden has received clarified coordination assignments for open science. Universities and colleges also receive an assignment regarding open science.

As of the 2019 calls, the Swedish Research Council also requires that you write a data management plan for your research project. 

Read more

Clarified Government assignment to promote open science to research funders and universities (in Swedish only).

Open access to research data: The Swedish Research Council coordinates Sweden's work to introduce open access to research data. The goal is for a change to be completed by 2026.

Proposal for national guidelines for open access to scientific information, Swedish Research Council 

Research, freedom, future - knowledge and innovation for Sweden, Prop. 2020/21: 60 (in Swedish only).

EU, Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020

New for 2021 are the stricter rules for publishing and sharing research data within the Framework Program for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe. What used to be a voluntary trial pilot during Horizon 2020 has become mandatory from 2021 for all approved projects in the new framework program.

You can read more about the details of approved project funds and data in the Horizon Europe Data Guidelines Includes sensitive data - t. ex. with personal data - in your research it still applies that you should not share them openly, but need to be motivated and described (see below).

From 2017, all approved H2020 projects are covered by “the Open Research Data pilot” (ORD). Participating in the ORD pilot does not necessarily mean that you publish and deposit all your research data openly, but rather follow the principle "As open as possible, as closed as necessary". To provide open access to data, it is instructed that data should be deposited in an open data repository

Sensitive data - “Opt Out”: Research projects within H2020 can opt out of open access to research data. This is called "opt out" and then applies to data that for various reasons are sensitive or, for example, covered with secrecy. "Opt out" can be motivated and requested during all stages of a research project. The quote

Costs: Costs in connection with making research data publicly available provide a basis for applying for financial support for all H2020 grants.


If you have specific questions about the Swedish Research Council, EU funding and more, contact KI Pre-Contract Office.

Publishers' requirements

As research funders have increased their requirements for openly published and shared data, publishers have also increased requirements for publishing associated data to scientific journal articles. If you want to be sure of what applies, you should, in good time, before submitting your manuscript, go to each journal's own Data Policy, which usually is stated at the journal's website.

A few examples:

PloS journals

The following applies to all PloS journals, unless otherwise stated:

  • PLOS journals require authors to make available all the data that provides the basis for the results in the manuscript, without reservation when it is time to publish. When, and if, specific legal and ethical conditions exist that prevent open access to the data, the author must point out how to access the data. 
  • When submitting a manuscript, the author needs to provide it with a “Data Availability Statement” describing compliance with the PLOS´ policy. If the article is approved for publication, this document will accompany the published article.

Springer Nature

Springer Nature supports and encourages researchers to publish their articles with associated data.

Data papers

You can also publish a data article where you describe your research material in a special data journal (data journal or data paper). It is often referred to that the research material is available in a Data repository with a unique ID, e.g. . a DOI.

Concrete examples of data journals are Nature Research’s Scientific Data or BMC Research Notes.

Do you have questions about which scientific journal you should choose for the best publication? Read more on the page Strategic publishing.

A person is working in front of a computer.

Data Access Unit

The Data Access Unit at the University Library helps you making research data available and open access where applicable. We're part of Research Data Office (RDO) at KI.