Ireland invests €1.9m to make more research freely available

2 Mar 2023

Image: © сергей тарануха/

The funding will be distributed by Ireland’s National Open Research Forum, which aims to boost collaboration and the sharing of information.

The Irish Government has announced new funding to advance the country’s goals in making research open access.

The fresh funding of €1.9m will be used to increase public engagement with research and establish a culture of open research. The overall goal is to have 100pc of research publications freely available to the public.

It is believed that open research will encourage collaboration and sharing of information, for the benefit of science and society.

Last year, the US government announced an updated policy on open access to substantially expand public access to taxpayer-funded science research across the world.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, said the international movement towards openness and transparency in research has set “new expectations”.

“The value of open research was clearly illustrated during the Covid-19 pandemic, when sharing research and evidence greatly accelerated understanding of the virus, and how to fight it, to the benefit of all,” Harris said.

The funding is going to Ireland’s National Open Research Forum (NORF), which was established in 2017 to push Ireland’s agenda in open research.

The €1.9m is being specifically administered by the Digital Repository of Ireland, which is the coordinating organisation for NORF. This funding will be distributed through funding calls under NORF’s 2023 Open Research Fund.

Ireland’s National Open Research Coordinator Dr Daniel Bangert said the new fund will help institutions and individuals “play a leading role in advancing open research in Ireland”.

“We look forward to collaborating with colleagues from across the sector to realise our aims of fostering an open research culture and broadening the reach and impact of Irish research.”

Last October, an Irish consortium revealed its progress in making research open access. At the time, the IREL initiative said it was on track to have more than 60pc of articles published in 2022 be freely available.

The week before, an open access charter was launched by Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for software. This charter aims to increase visibility for researchers, create more opportunities for collaboration and enable greater transparency in the research process.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic