Ireland sets open-access mandate

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Peer-reviewed journal articles and other research outputs resulting in whole or in part from publicly-funded research in Ireland should be deposited in an open-access repository and made publicly discoverable, accessible and re-usable as soon as possible and on an on-going basis, according to a new, national policy in the country.

The Irish policy states that every publicly-funded researcher in Ireland will have deposit rights in an open-access repository and deposit post-prints (or the publisher’s version if permitted). Deposit should be made as soon as possible, ideally at the time of acceptance for publication, and no later than the date of formal publication, it says.

In addition, researchers should deposit the metadata of articles accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings. This metadata shall comprise the full bibliographic and/or descriptive data and should comply with national and international standards and agreements for harvesting, reporting and interoperability. Repositories will release the metadata immediately upon deposit.

However, the policy also says that publishers’ copyright, licensing and embargo policies must be respected. It adds that access restrictions to the full-text article may be applied as required by publishers but that these embargoes should not normally exceed six months for scientific, technical and health science research publications and 12 months for arts, humanities and social sciences research outputs. This is similar to other policies in Europe.

The Irish policy also includes gold open access, stating that 'researchers are encouraged to publish in open-access journals but publishing through open-access journals is not necessary to comply with this open access policy' and that payment of open-access charges is not necessary to comply with the policy. According to the policy, '"Gold" open access complements, but does not replace, the procedures for deposit in an open access repository required by this policy.'

The policy also addresses research data, stating that this should be deposited whenever this is feasible, and linked to associated publications where this is appropriate. At a minimum, metadata describing research data and its location and access rights should be deposited.

These national principles will be effective from January 2013 with individual research organisations determining their own timeframes for implementation.