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Ireland: The Transition to Open Access

January 27, 2015 in PASTEUR4OA, Projects

Open Knowledge are a partner in the PASTEU4OA project, reinforcing open access strategies and policies at a national level and facilitating their coordination among EU Member States.

As part of the project activities a series of country case studies are being published.

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.

The case study is available as a PDF and was written by Stuart Dempster at Dempster Associates for Open Knowledge.


Ireland’s transition to Open Access has been iterative and substantive, with government bodies and funding agencies adopting Open Access policies over a period of several years. These policies have been developed through consensus building amongst different stakeholders and culminated in the establishment of the National Steering Committee on Open Access in 2012. The committee had representation from all Irish funding agencies and in October 2012 it successfully formulated the ‘National Principles for Open Access Policy Statement’, which outlines a framework for Open Access in Ireland.

The principles, which have placed Ireland in an exemplar position in Europe, consist of a green way mandate and encouragement publishing in Gold Open Access journals. The policy is supported by all Irish funders and uses existing infrastructure including the use of RIAN, a national portal that harvests content from Institutional Repositories of the Irish seven university libraries. The framework includes a set of common principles, general principles and other supporting statements on infrastructure, advocacy, coordination and exploiting Open Access.

Case studies for other countries are available from the PASTEUR4OA website.

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