Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Irish Research Council drafts an OA mandate, calls for comments

The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology (IRCSET) is calling for public comments on an IRCSET policy on open access to published research papers.  (Thanks to OpenAccess@UCD.)  From the site:

The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology (IRCSET) invites submissions from the research community, and other interested parties, regarding a proposed IRCSET policy on...Open Access to Publications.

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.

All interested parties (including organisations and individuals) are invited to make their views known.

The closing date for opinions or submissions is Friday 28th September, 2007.

Submissions should only be made by emailing a word document to and should ideally not exceed 1,000 words in length. Please ensure to include the word “CONSULTATION” in the subject box of your email....

This draft policy is set out in detail below. It is in line with the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) Policy in relation to scientific publication. To download the full copy of the EURAB document, please click here.



  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 possible after publication, to be made openly accessible within 6 months at the latest.
  2. The repository may be a local institutional repository and/or a subject repository;
  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....

A consortium of Irish universities are 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....

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.


  • This is a superb draft policy (in part because it's based on the superb EURAB recommendation) and I hope IRCSET will adopt it without dilution.  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). 
  • I'm sorry that I didn't learn about this consultation until today.  The deadline for comments is only 10 days away.  Please spread the word especially to Irish researchers and Irish research institutions.

Update.  Also see Stevan Harnad's comments.  Excerpt:

...If the Irish mandate is adopted in its present form, it will immediately become the best of the adopted funder and national mandates, and the one for all subsequent funder and national mandates to model themselves upon....