OA in Ireland

The National Research Environment

There are seven universities in Ireland: University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork (UCC), the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University and the University of Limerick. St. Patrick’s College Maynooth (The Pontifical University) is included by the Irish Higher Education Authority as an eight university.

The National University of Ireland also has five recognised colleges - The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, National College of Art and Design, the Institute of Public Administration, the Shannon College of Hotel Management and St. Angela’s College of Education for Home Economics.

In addition to the universities, an important part of the Irish higher education infrastructure is the thirteen Institutes of Technology located throughout the country.

For further details on Irish Higher Education please see: http://www.hea.ie/en/AboutHEA

Major research funders

EU research funding

From: ‘Ireland: major EU achievements in science & research 2004-2009’, European Commission, 2009:

“Ireland ranks 3rd for high-tech exports and 6th for FP7 success rate within the EU-27 countries”

The Sixth Framework Programme for Research (FP6), which ran between 2002 and 2006, supported about 200 million Euros of Irish research. Irish researchers were particularly successful in getting funding for research training, career  development and mobility schemes, through the ‘Human resources and mobility’ parts (which  are also known as ‘Marie Curie Actions’) of the programme ‘Structuring the European Research  Area (ERA)’. Here, 162 Irish research participants received more than 54 million Euros.  Elsewhere, Ireland was also successful in areas such as ‘Information Society Technologies’  (over 42 million Euros); ‘Nanotechnology and Nanosciences’ (nearly 21 million Euros); and ‘Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems’ (17 million Euros). Irish organisations were also active in   coordinating and participating in projects  under FP6. Some 891 Irish organisations were involved in 715 projects; 175 of these were led  by Irish organisations.


The Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7) is in operation from 2007 and 2013. By October 2008, Irish research organisations had secured EC contributions of around  42 million Euros through FP7. Irish research organisations are particularly successful in the following areas of research: ‘Information and Communication Technologies’ (20 million Euros), ‘Health’ (over 5 million Euros), and ‘Food, Agriculture, and Biotechnology’ (over 3 million Euros). Also, they secured signifcant funding through ‘Marie Curie Actions’ for research training, career development and researcher mobility schemes (over 3 million Euros), and ‘Research Infrastructures’, which optimise the use and development of the best and existing research infrastructures in Europe (over 2 million Euros). The Irish are the lead coordinators in 23 FP7 projects and over 160 Irish organisations are involved in 139 projects.



Open Access and Repositories

Awareness of Open Access has increased within the research community nationally, particularly since institutional repositories have been built in each Irish university. Advocacy programmes and funder mandates (IRCSET, SFI, HEA) have had a positive effect. There is still some way to go before the majority of Irish researchers will automatically deposit their papers in their local OA repository. Institutional mandates requiring open access archiving of research publications have been adopted in three institutions to date: Dublin Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth and Trinity College Dublin.

If so, describe any activities or projects underway nationally e.g. funder policies/mandates, OA repositories projects/initiatives, development of OA journals etc.

Open Access projects and initiatives

The Open Access to Irish Research Project
Irish universities received government funding to build institutional repositories in each Irish university and to develop a federated harvesting and discovery service via a national portal. It is intended that this collaboration will be expanded to embrace all Irish research institutions in the future.

This three-year project started in April 2007 and ended in March 2010. The project was directed by the Irish Universities Association and managed by the Irish Universities Association Librarians’ Group. A press release on the project from the Irish Universities Association is available at this link. ‘Rian’, the Ireland's Narional Open Access Research Portal, harvests metadata from the institutional repositories of the Rian partner institutions. Rian was launched in October, 2010.

For further information on Rian please contact John Cox, (Librarian, National University of Ireland, Galway, Chair of the IUA Librarians’ Group and of the Rian Steering Group).

Related Projects:

  • DART-Europe
  • OpenAIRE: Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe
  • e-InfraNet : European network for co-ordination of policies and programmes on e-infrastructures

Associated National Initiatives:

Open Access repositories

Open Access repositories are currently available in all Irish universities and in a number of other higher education institutions:

Higher Education:

Institutional repositories

Subject repository

Government Agency:

Open Access publishing

A complete list of Irish OA journals is not immediately available. The following list is a sample only and will be expanded following investigation:

Crossings: Electronic Journal of Art and Technology

Economic and Social Review

Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland

Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland

Minerva: an Internet Journal of Philosophy

The Surgeon: Journal of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland

Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine

Open Access organisations and groups

  • Rian Steering Group
  • IUA (Irish Universities Association) Librarian’s Group (Coordinating body)
  • National Steering Group on Open Access Policy

Useful links and resources


Contributors Contact Details

Niamh Brennan, Trinity College Dublin
Phone: +353 1 896 1646

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