Trinity College Dublin to act as liaison for Ireland on pan-European Open Access project

TCD is the Irish liaison institution for a three year project to make research outputs generated under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission, Open Access via the national institutional repository infrastructure. The project involves 38 partners from 27 European countries including stakeholders from academic publishing, SPARC Europe and LIBER

OpenAIRE will support the Open Access pilot established by the European Commission under FP7 requiring researchers in 7 thematic areas (Health, Energy, Environment, Information & Communication Technology, Research Infrastructures, Socio-economic sciences & Humanities and Science in Society) to deposit their research publications in an institutional or disciplinary Open Access repository. 


Major upgrade to Trinity’s Access to Research Archive

Trinity College Dublin’s institutional repository TARA has undergone a major upgrade to its DSpace platform. The architecture underpinning the digital collections in TARA has been transformed allowing new opportunities to enhance existing service interoperability, collection management and resource dissemination and discovery.
The collections hosted by TARA currently comprise of four strands:

  •  Research Publications
  •   E-Theses
  • Electronic Journals
  • Digital Images
The upgrade incorporated full data migration of over 10,000 items as well as replicating the separate submission workflows and metadata associated with the collection strands.

Unlike most institutional repositories TARA is fully integrated with Trinity’s Current Research Information System (CRIS) known locally as the Research Support System. Research outputs and associated metadata get passed directly into the repository from the RSS which acts as the primary point of ingest into TARA. Any edits to publication data in the RSS have to allow these changes to propagate across to any associated record in TARA. The links to open access copy hosted by TARA pass back to the RSS populating the research web pages of individual researchers and faculties and schools in the University.

The upgrade affords a number of key enhancements to TARA’s service domain which we will roll out over the coming months. These will include:

·         An enhanced statistics package
·         The ability to embargo items to comply with publisher policies regarding when copy can be made open access
·          A copy request button for items where open access dissemination is prohibited
·         A complete redesign of how content is presented in

Thanks to Stuart Lewis and the DuraSpace development team; Enovation Solutions and TCD IS Services

PEER Behavioural Research – Baseline report

The PEER Behavioural Research Team from Loughborough University (Department
of Information Science & LISU) has completed its behavioural baseline report,
which is based on an electronic survey of authors (and authors as users) with
more than 3000 European researchers and a series of focus groups covering the
Medical sciences; Social sciences, humanities & arts; Life sciences; and
Physical sciences & mathematics.
The objectives of the Behavioural Research within PEER are to:

–       Track trends and explain patterns of author and user behaviour in the
context of so called Green Open Access.
–       Understand the role repositories play for authors in the context of
journal publishing.
–       Understand the role repositories play for users in context of
accessing journal articles.

The baseline report outlines findings from the first phase of the research
and identifies the key themes to emerge. It also identifies priorities for
further analysis and future work. Some interesting points to emerge from the
first phase of research that may be of interest to a number of stakeholders
in the scholarly communication system include:

–       An individual’s attitude towards open access repositories may change
dependant on whether they are an author or a reader; readers being interested
in the quality of the articles but authors also focused on the reputation of
the repository itself
–       Reaching the target audience is the overwhelming motivation for
scholars to disseminate their research results and this strongly influences
their choice of journal and/or repository
–       Researchers in certain disciplines may lack confidence in making
preprints available, and to some extent this is not only a matter of
confidence in the quality of a text but also due to differences in work
organisation across research cultures (e.g. strong internal peer review of
manuscripts versus reliance on journals for peer review). Other factors are
likely to include career stage and centrality of research to the parent
–       Value-added services, such as download statistics and alert services,
would contribute to the perceived usefulness of repositories and could help
them gain popularity in what is an increasingly competitive information
–       Readers often need to go through a variety of processes to access all
the articles that they require and widespread open access may reduce the need
for this time consuming practice.

The full report is available from

Science Foundation Ireland’s Open Access mandate is now effective!

Science Foundation Ireland’s Open Access mandate became effective from February 1st 2009.

The policy is clearly outlined on the SFI website under ‘Grant policies’. The full text of the policy is available here.

It covers peer-reviewed papers, conference papers, reports, monographs and datasets and generally follows the EURAB recomendations.

Now all Irish funding councils but one have open access policies: the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Health Research Board (HRB)). The HRB has OA recommendations which are expected to become mandatory later this year. All of the others have Open Access mandates in line with the EURAB recommendations. Apparently discussions are underway in IRCHSS which is now the only Irish funding council without an open access policy.

Higher Education Authority adopts OA mandate

Following a public consultation earlier this year, Ireland’s Higher Education Authority has adopted an Open Access mandate effective from June 30th 2008. The HEA is the second major Irish research funder to adopt an OA mandate – the first was IRCSET with an OA mandate effective from May 1st this year. Both mandates arein keeping with the recommendations of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) Policy in relation to scientific publication‘ and with the combined OECD Ministers’ Declaration entrusting the OECD to work towards commonly agreed Principles and Guidelines on Access to Research Data from Public Funding‘.

Also in common with the IRCSET mandate, the HEA requires deposit in an open access repository (ideally an institutional repository) upon acceptance for publication; repositories should release the metadata immediately, with access restrictions to the full text paper to be applied as required – but open access to the fulltext paper must be available not later than six months after publication.

Further information will be available shortly from the HEA website. Meanwhile the fulltext of the HEA mandate is available below (with thanks to Dr Gemma Irvine, Manager, Research Programmes, HEA):



The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has established and will promote the following policy relating to the placement of research publications in Open Access repositories.

Where a research publication arises in whole or in part from HEA funded research (i.e. where one or other of the researchers concerned receives HEA funds in support of their endeavours), the following policy will be adhered to with effect from 30th June 2008.


The HEA policy is adopted on the following key principles:

The intellectual effectiveness and progress of the widespread research community may be continually enhanced where the community has access and recourse to as wide a range of shared knowledge and findings as possible. This is particularly the case in the realm of publicly funded research where there is a need to ensure the advancement of scientific research and innovation in the interests of society and the economy, without unnecessary duplication of research effort.

  1. This publication policy confirms the freedom of researchers to publish first wherever they feel is the most appropriate.

  1. The effect of the policy is intended to increase the visibility of, and improve access to, the research funded by HEA and the State, where such research is intended to be published by the researcher(s) concerned.

  1. The policy is based on recognised best practice. It is in keeping with the recommendations of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) Policy in relation to scientific publication. It is also in keeping with the combined OECD Ministers’ Declaration entrusting the OECD to work towards commonly agreed Principles and Guidelines on Access to Research Data from Public Funding.

Conditions to which HEA funded award recipients should adhere:

  1. All researchers must lodge their publications resulting in whole or in part from HEA-funded research in an open access repository as soon as is practical after publication, and to be made openly accessible within 6 calendar months at the latest, subject to copyright agreement.

  1. The repository should ideally be a local institutional repository to which the appropriate rights must be granted to replicate to other repositories.

  1. Authors should deposit post-prints (or publisher’s version if permitted) plus metadata of articles accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings.

  1. Deposit should be made upon acceptance by the journal/conference. Repositories should release the metadata immediately, with access restrictions to full text article to be applied as required. Open access should be available as soon as is practicable but not later than six months after publication.

  1. Suitable repositories should make provision for long-term preservation of, and free public access to, published research findings.

  1. Books and book chapters are not covered by such repositories but the following condition applies in such cases. When a book goes out of print or four years following publication, whichever is sooner, and the publisher does not foresee a further print run or availability online for the work within a six-month period, then authors should make the work available online in an open and accessible way.

  1. Metadata has already been noted under point 3. Data in general should as far as is feasible be made openly accessible, in keeping with best practice for reproducibility of scientific results.

  1. Software, together with methods and algorithms, are not directly covered by Open Access repositories. However in keeping with best practice of scientific reproducibility key scientific results should be made available openly.

  1. HEA may augment or amend the above requirements wherever necessary to ensure best practice in Open Access.

How does Open Access work?

An Open Access repository is a storage and retrieval system where published research findings and papers would be stored and made available for full, open and free access by the research community and the general public.

A number of Irish universities currently provide open access repositories of their own and a consortium of the seven Irish universities is engaged in the development of a national open access repository system, i.e., connecting the repositories of each participating institution for fuller public accessibility as funded by SIF.

In an Open Access repository system, the usual copyright and fair practice considerations are not waived and publication on Open Access does not preclude prior publication in a recognised research journal or commercial publication.

Making scholarly publications available on Open Access allows them to be freely accessed by anyone worldwide using an internet connection. The potential readership of Open Access material is far greater than that for publications where the full text is restricted to subscribers only. Open Access repositories are also designed to expose the details of their contents to web search engines.


Council of European Union Adopts Conclusions on Access, Dissemination & Preservation

Today the Council of the European Union adopted “Council Conclusions on scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation” during the 2832nd Competitiveness Council meeting held in Brussels on 22-23 November 2007.

The Council has issued clear invitations to member states and to the Commission to develop policies and actions on the dissemination of scientific and research information (including datasets) and on digital preservation. No sign of a mandate though…

The press version of the Conclusions can be accessed here

Irish Research Council Proposes OA Mandate in line with EURAB Recommendations

The first Irish research funding council to propose an Open Access mandate is the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology (IRCSET). Today IRCSET has invited submissions from the research community, and other interested parties, regarding a proposed IRCSET policy on Open Access to Publications, stating:

“IRCSET intends to put in place a policy whereby researchers will be required to make their publications available on an open access basis – where these result in whole or in part from IRCSET funded research – as soon as possible after publication. The requirement will be that these should be made openly accessible within a period of 6 months at the latest following initial publication.”

The proposed policy is in line with the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) Policy in relation to scientific publication. Further details on the EURAB Policy are available here.

IRCSET invites all interested parties (including organisations and individuals) to make their views known.
The closing date for opinions or submissions is Friday 28th September, 2007. Further information is available at this link.

In proposing this mandate, IRCSET joins with other important funders of research internationally (Wellcome Trust, UK Research Councils, etc.) in seeking to maximise the impact of the research it funds through the widest possible dissemination of its research outputs. A list of international research finders who have adopted Open Access mandates is available here.

The IRCSET webpage provides information on the supporting infrastructure for Open Access currently being developed in Irish universities: “A consortium of Irish universities is now engaged in the development of the Irish Universities Association Libraries National Research Portal – an open access repository system connecting the repositories of each participating institution for fuller public accessibility…” and goes on to state: “the IUA Librarians are committed to supporting Irish researchers to make their research papers available on open access and each institution will provide, to the best of its ability, assistance in copyright clearance, deposit of papers and other matters of possible concern.”