Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another OA mandate for a public funding agency in Ireland

The Science Foundation Ireland has released a draft policy on The Open Access Repository of Published Research, undated but part of a call for comments apparently released today.  From the draft policy:

Science Foundation Ireland has established and will promote the following policy relating to the placement of research publications in Open Access repositories.

Where a research publication arises in whole or in part from SFI funded research..., the following policy will be adhered to with effect from … 2008....

The SFI policy is adopted on the following key principles: ...

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 SFI 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 SFI funded award recipients should adhere:

1. All researchers should lodge their publications resulting in whole or in part from SFI-funded research in an open access repository as soon as possible after publication, and to be made openly accessible within 6 calendar months at the latest.

2. The repository should ideally be a local institutional or international disciplinary 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;

6. Books are not covered by such repositories but the following condition applies in such cases. When a book goes out of print or four years following publication, whichever is sooner, and the publisher does not foresee a further print run or availability online for the work within a six-month period, then authors should make the work available online in an open and accessible way.

7. Metadata has already been noted under point 3. Data in general should as far as is feasible be made openly accessible, in keeping with best practice for reproducibility of scientific results.

8. Software, together with methods and algorithms, are not directly covered by Open Access repositories. However in keeping with best practice of scientific reproducibility key scientific results should be made available openly....

From the call for comments:

SFI now invites responses to this draft policy before 19th June. Responses can be sent by e-mail to

Comment.  This policy is virtually identical to the exemplary OA mandate adopted by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) earlier this month.  The only significant differences are the provisions on books, data, and software added by SFI (##6-8 above).  Kudos to all involved at SFI.  As I did with the IRCSET policy,

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).