Introducing the National Open Access Monitor and its Call for Stakeholder Participation

Posted by Michelle Doran

19 January 2023

In this blog, Dr. Catherine Ferris, Open Scholarship Officer at IReL (Irish Research e-Library), introduces the NORF-funded National Open Access Monitor and invites stakeholders to register as participants in the project. IReL is the e-resource licensing consortium for Irish publicly funded HEIs and the lead organisation for the Irish ORCID Consortium. Since 2004, the IReL service has expanded from providing access to quality peer-reviewed online research publications and index & abstracting services, to facilitating open access publishing agreements, and managing the Irish ORCID Consortium. IReL is based in Maynooth University.

The National Open Access Monitor project is a two-year project funded under the National Open Research Forum 2022 Open Research Fund. Led by IReL, this project will develop a monitor for Open Access (OA) at the national level to publish, analyse and track progress towards the national target of 100% OA to research publications by 2030.

To achieve this objective, it is imperative to determine the current state of OA nationally, and to monitor how this develops as Irish research continues to transition to open research. While such analysis is currently underway throughout the sector, it is resource-heavy, time-consuming and often-times dependent on proprietary data sources which leads to silos of data and analysis for single stakeholder benefit. This project aims to rectify that. First, by identifying potential vendors and working to pilot and test potential solutions for the National OA Monitor. Then, by rolling out the approved solution(s) that will be publicly accessible to view and analyse, and be built based on community requirements.

The impact of the project will be to enable both point-in-time and longitudinal monitoring of the open access status of Irish research publications as part of national implementation and monitoring of open research practices. 

The National Open Access Monitor project is now inviting stakeholders to register as participants in the project. Stakeholders, in this context, are defined in the widest sense: anyone with a role in currently or potentially monitoring open access (OA) to research publications in Ireland, or who will enable monitoring of open access in Ireland, or who will use the resulting open access Monitor, are all welcome to participate and contribute to this project. Examples of stakeholders may include research performing organisations who monitor the publication outputs of their research community, and research funding organisations who monitor the publications arising from their grants. Multiple contributors from each stakeholder organisation/group/entity are welcome.

To register as a stakeholder participant, please complete this consent form and return it to On receipt of the consent form, your name and organisation will be included in a public list of stakeholders on the project website. 

Participants are asked to provide input and contribute over the course of this two-year project in the following areas:

  • to arrive at a community-agreed definition for open access in this context at the national level
  • to validate, and if required expand on, the user stories and functional requirements of the National Open Access Monitor identified by the NORF OA Monitoring Policy Brief Group. These functional requirements should explicitly state current OA reporting metrics for each stakeholder, required data points and potential future requirements
  • to monitor and track the costs associated with contributing to this project and to provide this data to the Project Manager in a pseudonymised format for inclusion in the final report to the projects’ funder. This is to demonstrate the total cost of the project to the national research system
  • to provide metadata and persistent identifiers as required, to enable the successful delivery of the pilot dashboard
  • to provide feedback on the pilot dashboard
  • if necessary, to work with the Project Manager to determine the impact of vendor non-deliverables
  • to work with the Project Manager to identify gaps, incomplete representation, or errors in pilot data.
  • to work to improve the quality and depth of data used for the national dashboard.

The first phase of contributions will be invited in February 2023 to complete the first two points above, which will be inform the Request for Tender documentation for the technical development of the Monitor.

All participants are asked to sign a consent form in advance of participating, to give permission for their contribution will be used, stored and preserved in the development of the National Open Access Monitor. For more information on how the data will be collected and managed, please see the Stakeholder Information Sheet and Consent Form. Signing the consent form does not obligate you to contribute in any or all stages of the project, but must be completed if you would like to participate.

For more information on the project, please see the project website: For any questions, please contact the Project Manager Dr Catherine Ferris at 

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