What we do

”la Caixa” Foundation works to promote excellence in research and innovation with a high transformative impact. The Foundation strives to disseminate the results of projects it funds and make them available as soon as possible to other researchers and the wider society. To this end it has adopted an open science policy towards the publications and data produced by the research.

Open science is a movement which aims to make scientific research, results and data accessible to everyone. In terms of scientific publications, it means seeking to open access as soon as possible; for other results, such as data, it means they must be preserved in a way that makes them findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR Guiding Principles).

There are many reasons for sharing research publications and results: efficiency, the reuse of data for new purposes, reproducibility, the verification of results, economic efficiency, avoiding the duplication of work and data, and increased impact, visibility and transparency.

With this aim in mind, all beneficiaries of Foundation grants and scholarships are urged to share the results they obtain in the most open way and as quickly as possible, while preserving beneficiaries’ interest under the principle of “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”.

This means that

As regards scientific publications, beneficiaries should:

  • File any peer-reviewed publication resulting from a funded project with an important institutional or digital repository for the discipline immediately after publishing it. The repository must state the identification code1 for the funded project.

  • Ensure that the published version of the scientific publication is accessible to the public within a period of no longer than six months counting from the date of publication.

  • Verify that the version available to the public is the same as the published version. If this is not possible due to conditions imposed by the corresponding journal or platform, the author’s version will be accepted when it has passed through the peer-review process and before the final typesetting of the publication.

As regards the research data:

Beneficiaries of a ”la Caixa” Foundation grant must draw up a data management plan for all research projects it funds that have a budget of €100,000 or more. Other projects are exempt from this requirement, though they are recommended to do so as good practice.


  • The first version of the plan should be submitted within a period not exceeding six months from initiation of the project. An updated version of the plan is required when the project undergoes intermediate review, and the definitive version, together with the final report, must be presented on conclusion of the project.

  • Among other aspects, the plan should refer to the data that will be generated or used, how and when they will be shared, where they will be available, how they will be preserved and, in the case of sensitive data, the nature of any processing that will be undertaken to meet applicable current legislation.

  • Beneficiaries should make public, at least, the data which supports the published results together, if necessary, with any material required (software, setups, etc.) for their understanding or analysis. Such publication of data may be done in any reliable repository or archive.

  • In the event of there being other project results that could be disseminated (software, setups, etc.), the beneficiaries must also make them public in an appropriate repository within a period not exceeding six months from conclusion of the project.

The content of the previous points must be carried out providing there is no impediment for reasons of privacy, personal data protection, confidentiality or in relation to protection for the purposes of commercial exploitation of the project, or in general, due to matters of intellectual or industrial property rights or other legal issues.

The full or partial application of this policy may be waived in any phase if publication or dissemination of the research data and associated material (software, setups, etc.) could harm the duly justified legitimate interests of the beneficiary (for example, for reasons of copyright, data protection and confidentiality, security, etc.).

”la Caixa” Foundation will individually study adequately justified cases that require specific treatment with respect to the application of this policy and may approve the corresponding exceptions, where applicable.

Where data cannot be made public, this must be reflected in the data management plan.2

Any possible costs associated with open access publishing of the results and data can be included in the grant awarded. Similarly, the option to pay for publication in a subscription-based journal that allows individual open access by article must always be discussed with ”la Caixa” Foundation.

This policy will come into force as from 1 June 2019.

  1. See the FAQs for information on the definition of the project identification code.
  2. See Ethics and data protection by the European Commission.

Where can I publish scientific articles?

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In order to comply with this policy, researchers need to publish in one of the following options:

  • Full open access journals.

  • Subscription-based journals that allow for the published version or the revised version to be shared in a public access repository.

  • Open access publishing platforms that have an open review process.

  • Journals that allow individual open access by article.

In the case of publication in a journal or on a platform in which the commitment to open access cannot be fully met for reasons of embargo, such publication must be previously approved by ”la Caixa” Foundation. Approval will only be granted on an exceptional basis when there are no reasonable alternatives that will enable compliance with the policy.

Which repository should I deposit the copy of my publication with?

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Any institutional or themtic repository that follows the OpenAIRE guidelines is acceptable.

When should the publication be deposited with the repository?

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It is recommended that the paper be deposited immediately after publication, even if access to the complete text must be restricted during a certain period of time (embargo), and unless the corresponding journal or platform follows a more restrictive regulation. However, it must be deposited no more than six months following the date of publication.

What is the ID code that should be included in the repository?

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Following the OpenAIRE guidelines, the “dc.relation. projectID” metadata should be used with the following values:


The project ID is generated by entering the project in the ”la Caixa” Foundation software application; consequently, each beneficiary must contact their administrator to obtain it.

What version should I deposit with the repository?

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Access to the latest revised version must be available in the repository, whether this is the final version as it will appear in the publication or the revised version without the final layout (also known as postprint or the author’s final version), but with the same contents as the published version.

What data should be published, according to this policy?

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Any dataset that supports the results disseminated in a scientific publication must be made public at the same time as the publication. If the beneficiaries wish to make public other data obtained during the funded activity they can do so in accordance with the existing data management plan. In the case of negative results data, it is recommended that these should also be published in open access repositories or specialised journals1 to avoid their reproduction.

  1. BMC Research Notes (https://bmcresnotes.biomedcentral.com), Journal of Unsolved Questions (http://junq.info), Research Ideas and Outcomes (http://riojournal.com).

Where can research data be published?

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The data can be published in any repository prepared to preserve and disseminate this type of objects. The repository may belong to an institution or a scientific community, with priority given to it assigning a persistent identifier (DOI, handle or similar) which facilitates its localisation. To find the most suitable repository for your data, see the registry of discipline-specific data repositories re3data (www.re3data.org).

When should research data be published?

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The data supporting results obtained during research funded by the Foundation and which have been disseminated in scientific publications must be made public at the same time in a data repository which allows public access to them and which assigns a permanent identifier to each dataset.

What format should be used to publish the research data?

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The data must follow FAIR principles, in other words, must be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable, as far as possible. Standard, open formats should be prioritised, bearing in mind the different characteristics of each scientific discipline.

Does this policy affect the protection and exploitation of the research results?

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It is assumed that beneficiaries must have protected the research results prior to requesting publication.

With regard to the research data that supports published results, the policy provides for the possibility of seeking an exception from its application in cases that are sufficiently justified.

Notwithstanding the above, beneficiaries are responsible for taking measures to enable compliance with this policy without negatively affecting the protection and/or exploitation of the results. Where necessary, they should raise any exceptions that may apply, submitting the corresponding justification, with the ”la Caixa” Foundation.

How does this policy affect me if I have received a grant before 2019?

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The policy comes into force from 2019 for all beneficiaries. ”la Caixa” Foundation has been implementing an open access policy since 1 January 2018 which, as from the date indicated in a previous paragraph, is now extended to encompass all research results.

This page is intended as support to researchers when creating their data management plans. Given that practices vary depending on the discipline and type of project, each beneficiary is responsible for adopting the model that best suits the characteristics and needs if their project. Nonetheless, beneficiaries are hereby informed that they must create the data management plan in accordance with this policy, which requires them to include the following information in the management application of grants to research, scholarships and innovation, in line with this template.

Data summary

Briefly and concisely describe:

  • The data that will be generated or collected.

  • The formats and standards that will be used.

  • The value the data may have for other researchers.

  • What data cannot be shared and why.


Indicate which people will be responsible for:

  • Monitoring the plan.

  • Managing the data.

  • Preservation and conservation.

Specify who will decide about access to the data and, in the case of intellectual property, who will own the rights.

Fair data

Describe what action will be taken to make the data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

Findable data

  • Indicate which metadata will be used.

  • Specify which identifier will be used for the data.

  • Indicate what version control will be undertaken.


  • Indicate who can access the data and when.

  • Specify the availability of the data.

  • Specify which methods or software are necessary to access the data.

  • Indicate whether documentation on the necessary software is included and, if possible, include it.

  • Specify where the data, metadata, documentation and code are deposited. 

  • Specify how access is granted in those cases where restrictions are necessary.


  • describe how interoperability of the data through the use of controlled vocabularies will be facilitated.


  • Specify the degree of reuse permitted when the data are made available to other researchers and the wider public.

  • Specify when the data will be accessible for reuse. Given the case, specify why and how long the data will be embargoed.

  • Specify whether the data generated and/or collected in the project are reusable by third parties, above all on conclusion of the project. If data reuse is restricted, explain the reason.

  • Specify the periods during which the data may be reused.

Data security

  • Data recovery processing, secure storage and transfer of sensitive data: Describe the measures adopted to safeguard data security. This includes storage and security copies, long-term storage and how security and protection of the data will be maintained.

  • Coverage of the ethics review procedure context: A description must be made of any possible ethical issues in the gathering, retaining, processing or storing of the data, as well as in the ethical approval procedures related to the project.

If the research activities include children, patients, members of a vulnerable population, the use of embryonic stem cells, issues related to privacy or data protection or research on animals and primates, the ethical principles and relevant national, EU and international legislation must be complied with. This is the point in the data management plan where these matters should be addressed.

Other matters

Indicate any other aspect of interest.

Documents of interest

Management Policy and Open Access

Frequently asked questions

Template data management