Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, May 01, 2008

IRCSET adopts an OA mandate

Today the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) adopted its long-awaited OA mandate.  From the policy:

...Where a research publication arises in whole or in part from IRCSET funded research..., the following policy will be adhered to with effect from 1st May 2008.....

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

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

3. 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 IRCSET funded Award Recipients
should adhere:

1. All researchers must lodge their publications resulting in whole or in part from IRCSET-funded research in an open access repository as soon as is practical, but within six calendar months at the latest.

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

3. 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;

4. 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 practicable after the author-requested embargo, or six month, whichever comes first;

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

Also see today's press release:

...The requirement will from now on form part of IRCSET’s terms and conditions in offering and providing funding to researchers. IRCSET is now funded under the National Development Plan and will allocate approximately €26.0 million in 2008 to the development of early stage research careers....

A number of Irish universities currently provide open access repositories of their own and a consortium of Irish universities is engaged in the development of a national open access repository system- connecting the repositories of each participating institution for fuller public accessibility....

“This is intended to be a highly beneficial policy which is fully in line with European and OECD guidelines,” commented Professor Jane Grimson, Chair of IRCSET....

Comment.  This may be the best funder mandate anywhere.  All the strengths of the exemplary September 2007 draft policy have been preserved in this final version.  Here's what I said about it at the time:

I particularly applaud the mandatory language, the firm six month deadline with no loopholes for resisting publishers, the equal standing of central and distributed repositories, and the full implementation of the dual deposit/release strategy (or what Stevan Harnad calls immediate deposit / optional access).