Open Access developments  in Ireland take place mostly through institutional repository building and the adoption of OA mandates. . As of June 2015, there are 21 OA digital repositories registered in OpenDOAR. Currently, DOAJ indexes 14 OA journals published in Ireland.

Ireland’s national Open Access policy was announced on 23 October 2012. The policy consists of a ‘Green’ mandate and encouragement to publish in ’Gold’ OA journals. It aligns with the European policy for Horizon 2020 and can be used as a model for other national policies in development.

The launch of Ireland’s national Open Access policy has put Ireland ahead of many European partners. Irish research organisations are particularly successful in the following areas of research: Information and Communication Technologies, Health and Food, Agriculture, and Biotechnology.

8 OA mandates are registered in ROARMAP.

Enabling Environment:

There is a strong awareness of OA in Ireland, led by the OA mandates. This has been further enhanced by government project funding to develop institutional repositories in all universities and build a national portal to include research of all Irish research institutions.

Ireland already has considerable expertise in developing Open Access to publicly funded research, aligned with international policies and initiatives, and is now seeking to strengthen its approach to support international developments on Open Access led by the European Commission, Science Europe and other international agencies. The greatest challenge is the increasing pressure faced by publishers in a fast-changing environment.

Major Projects/Initiatives:

IRel Open Project: set up to develop university repositories and build a national portal to include research of all Irish research institutions. This has now been established as RIAN.

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

SHERPA/JULIET database indicates that as of June 2015, there are national OA mandates at 5 of the country’s research funders:

Other funders' OA policies:

Details of Key Organizations:

Irish Universities Association (IUA)
Overview: Representative body for Ireland’s (7) universities with a Libraries Working Group that has been responsible for managing the IRel project.

Communication address: Irish Universities Association, 48 Merrion Square
Dublin 2, Ireland; e-mail: info(at)

Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives

  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has an OA mandate and a repository on life sciences, information and communication and sustainable energy technologies.
  • Marine Institute Open Access Repository aims to collect, preserve and provide open access to the research output of the Marine Institute. The Repository contains digital archive collections and published and unpublished works of researchers in the Marine Institute.
  • Irish Health Repository (LENUS) consists of 7 collections in areas of health research, hospital research, primary and community care and health professions. It has a self-archiving open access facility
  • Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology (IRCSET) has an OA mandate for all funded research in the fields of science, engineering and technology and used RIAN, a consortium repository constructed as a result of the IRel project.

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

  • April 2015: University College Cork, Repository Network of Ireland, Teagasc: “Open access and Research Data Management: Horizon 2020 and beyond.” This was a FOSTER-supported training programme organized in partnership with EIFL with the aim of setting in place sustainable mechanisms for EU researchers to Foster Open Science. This was one of the 24 training programmes organized in 2015 for the the research communities of 17 other EU countries.
  • Publishing Long Tail Data, Research Data Alliance 3rd Plenary, Dublin, Ireland, March 28 2014.
  • RIAN is the outcome of the IRel higher education project supported by the Irish Government's 'Strategic Innovation Fund'. Project planning was carried out by the seven Irish university libraries, and was supported by the Irish Universities Association (IUA).
  • International Open Access Week events to raise OA awareness takes place annually through seminars and conferences:
    • 24 October, 2014: Repository Network Ireland Teachmeet held at Trinity College, Dublin. Repository Network Ireland is a newly formed group of Repository managers, librarians and information professionals in Ireland.  It organized the second annual teachmeet during International Open Access Week.
    • 23 October, 2014: "Introduction to Open Access for Psychology Students" organized by PSI Early Graduate Group.
    • 20 October, 2014: Seminar "Open Access can help Deliver a Healthy Ireland". Healthy Ireland is a new national framework for action to improve health and wellbeing in the Republic of Ireland over the coming generation. Based on the evidence, it outlines a new commitment to public health with a considerable emphasis on prevention. While also advocating for stronger health and social systems. Health professionals interested in accessing and using research and information attended the seminar; particularly in public health and health and social care. This was an opportunity to discuss and learn more about Open Access and Healthy Ireland ProgrammeThe seminar was organized with the aim to:
      • Raise awareness about Open Access (OA) initiatives and Healthy Ireland;
      • Explore how Open Access Initiatives can support the delivery of Healthy Ireland
      • Showcase key Open Access initiatives

List of Publications

Lawton, Aoife & Flynn, Eimear. "The Value of Open Access Publishing to Health and Social Care Professionals in Ireland". February 2015, Ariadne Issue 73

December 2014: "Ireland: The Transition to Open Access" published by PASTEUR4OA Project, Open Knowledge. Open Knowledge have delivered a case study looking at Ireland’s transition to Open Access. It includes a brief description of Ireland’s higher education and research infrastructure, and an overview of the scholarly communication systems including publisher output. This is followed by a short history of the development of Open Access policies in the country, including all aspects of implementation and supported infrastructures. The case study concludes with a look at challenges and on-going issues such as measuring the socio-economic impact of Open Access across Irish society and the economy, and capacity building.

Barkhoff, J (2008) Research evaluation, Metrics and Open Access in the Humanities. Presentation at Trinity College Dublin, September 2008.

Brennan, N (2009) Open Access policies in Ireland. Presentation at New Bulgarian University. April 23rd & 24th 2009.

Greene, J (2010) Project Management and Institutional Repositories: A Case Study at University College Dublin Library. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 2010 Supplement, Vol. 16, p98-115, 18p

Greene, J. (2010). Project Management and Institutional Repositories: A Case Study at University College Dublin Library. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 1698-115. doi:10.1080/13614533.2010.509994

Hackett, T. (2008). Libraries in the digital age: minimum copyright provisions. IFLA Conference Proceedings, 1-4.

Irish Universities Association (2007) IUA Libraries National Research Portalto raise the profile of Irish research findings. Press Release.

Lalor, K (2009) In praise of repositories and open access Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies Vol.9 (1): 4-5.

Lawton, A (2009) Lenus: from healing god to health repository An Leabharlann, 27: 26-30.

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