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Launch of First National Guidelines on Open Access Publishing

The first national guidelines for Open Access publishing in Ireland were launched on 23 May 2024. The guidelines will provide practical support for Irish scholarly publishers and authors to transition to Open Access, with the potential to substantially democratise access to research.

Open Access publishing makes academic research (journals, books, datasets) free to read and share online, with limited copyright and licensing restrictions.

There are numerous benefits for society in ensuring that research is open to all. It can increase the transparency around research findings and broaden access to timely knowledge. The guidelines show how Open Access can also help researchers and publishers to increase the citation and discoverability of their research.

The guidelines provide information, advice and practical steps for publishers and authors to meet national and international standards and requirements for Open Access publishing. They explain the different models of Open Access and de-mystify key terms and jargon. They provide a step-by-step guide to Open Access publishing across key areas including platforms and technology, copyright and licensing, peer review, digital preservation, and funding models and requirements.

The project has led the development of the guidelines in consultation with publishers and authors. They support Ireland’s goal to achieve 100% Open Access to research publications by 2030 as set out in the National Action Plan for Open Research, 2022-2030, which was prepared by Ireland’s National Open Research Forum (NORF) as part of national strategic priorities for research and innovation under Impact 2030: Ireland’s Research and Innovation Strategy. 

The research consortium has 10 partners and is co-led by the Royal Irish Academy and the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute. There are eight affiliate organisations.

Commenting on the guidelines, Ruth Hegarty, project lead of and the Managing Editor of the Royal Irish Academy said ‘for authors and publishers new to open access publishing, these guidelines provide pointers on what you need to consider and where to find more information. PublishOA recognises that small Irish publishers and individual researchers need more support to navigate a rapidly changing landscape. We invite publishers and authors to get in touch with comments on the guidelines which will be updated at the end of the project.’

Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub stated: ‘We welcome the publication of these guidelines as a valuable step in creating a national response to the Open Access publishing revolution and to supporting Irish research scholarship into the future.’

Guidelines for Publishers:

Guidelines for Authors:



The National Action Plan for Open Research serves as a roadmap for the implementation of open research across Ireland and has three broad themes: 1) establishing a culture of open research; 2) achieving 100% Open Access to research publications; 3) enabling FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) research data and other outputs.

The European Union Commission supports Open Access for research funded by the EU. All peer-reviewed scientific publications arising from Horizon Europe funding must be available in Open Access. This means that publications are to be made freely available online, immediately upon publication and with no restrictions on use, either by deposit in a public digital repository or publication in an Open Access journal.

In Ireland, the National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment (NORF) report was published in 2019. NORF’s objective aligns with a European Commission recommendation to member states in 2018.

The funding for the project was approved by the National Open Research Forum (NORF) at the end of 2022 and is supported by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Government of Ireland. The project will run until November 2024. Its aim is to conduct a feasibility study into creating a national Diamond model Open Access publishing platform for Ireland.

NORF projects such as are funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS), as announced by then Minister Simon Harris in 2022 and 2023. partners:

Royal Irish Academy – RIA

Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute, TCD – TLRH

Technological University of the Shannon – TUS

University of Galway – UG

Publishing Ireland

Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology – IADT

Technological University Dublin – TUDublin

Munster Technological University – MTU

University of Limerick – UL

Southeast Technological University – SETU affiliates:

Irish Humanities Alliance – IHA

United Nations Sustainable Development Academy at University College Dublin – UN SDSN

Directory of Open Access Journals – DOAJ

Finnish Federation of Learned Societies

Queen’s University, Belfast – QUB

Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies – DIAS

JSTOR – Journal Storage


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