Ireland’s National Open Research Forum Announces Thirteen Collaborative Projects to Advance Open Research

Posted by Michelle Doran

2 October 2023

Ireland’s National Open Research Forum (NORF) is delighted to announce funding for thirteen new consortia-based projects designed to advance the implementation of the National Action Plan for Open Research 2022-2030 and to build national capacity and infrastructure for open research. The projects are supported by over €1.76 million from NORF’s Open Research Fund 2023, provided by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). 

Today’s announcement follows funding for six projects by NORF’s Open Research Fund 2022, and represents a total investment of more than €2.9 million in project funding to date.  

Commenting on the funding announcement, Dr Louise Callinan, Head of Research at the Higher Education Authority, said:

The HEA is delighted to support the second tranche of projects under the Open Research Fund, which aims to enable Ireland’s transition to an open research environment. The 13 multistakeholder projects announced today respond to priority actions in the National Action Plan for Open Research and demonstrate the leading role of the wider research community in advancing open research in Ireland. The projects will help to build capacity in open research practices and enhance the national and international visibility of our research.

Dr Daniel Bangert, National Open Research Coordinator, added:

These projects will deliver key aspects of the National Action Plan for Open Research and accelerate Ireland’s transition to an open research environment. NORF is delighted to support these projects and the broad range of stakeholder groups involved, including higher education institutions, disciplinary communities, research centres, librarians and researchers. Together they further demonstrate the momentum and collaboration underway across Ireland to achieve national ambitions for open research. 

An official launch of the projects will take place on 2 November 2023 at Ireland’s inaugural National Open Research Festival. Further details of the event are available here

NORF Open Research Fund 2023

NORF is funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science through the Higher Education Authority. NORF’s Open Research Fund is administered by the Digital Repository of Ireland, the coordinating organisation for NORF, which is headquartered at the Royal Irish Academy.

Further information about the Open Research Fund 2023 is available here

Funded Projects

Four projects have received funding under Strand I, Priority Actions 2023, to deliver a set of prioritised actions identified in the National Action Plan. Details of the successful projects are:

Incentivising Open Research Practices in Ireland

Project Title: Roadmap to Embedding Open Research Practices in Ireland (ABOARD)

Host Institution: University College Cork

Project Leads: Dr David O’Connell (UCC) and Dr Sally Smith (TCD)

This project brings together a strong consortium of research performing organisations, research funding organisations and key researcher groups to engage in deep, iterative dialogue with key stakeholders across the Irish research landscape. The project will use a consultation-driven approach to reach agreement on core commitments and concrete steps to effectively incentivise open research practices, develop a statement on the use of Responsible Research Metrics, and support the development of Responsible Research Assessment.

Public Engagement and Open Research

Project Title: ENGAGED: Co-Creating Ireland’s Public Engagement and Open Research Road Map

Host Institution: Trinity College Dublin

Project Lead: Prof Jo-Hanna Ivers (TCD)

This project involves sectoral stakeholders from higher education institutions, funding agencies, relevant government departments and community organisations to understand perceptions of, benefits, risks and needs around public engagement and the open research reformation. Through an extensive consultative process, the project builds knowledge, capacity and the network for co-creating and implementing an evidence-informed Public Engagement and Open Research Roadmap, with agreed actions, timelines and key performance indicators.

National Research Data Management Framework

Project Title: National Research Data Management Framework (iFrame) 

Host Institution: University of Limerick

Project Lead: Mr Armin Straube (UL)

This project will develop a national Research Data Management framework that will describe agreed best practices for service provision and policies both at institutional and national level. The project will coordinate with projects funded under the Open Research Fund 2022, to ensure that their outputs are taken on board and mutual benefits towards the National Action Plan are realised.

Institutional Open Access Policies and Rights Retention

Project Title: SCOIR: Secondary rights, Copyright, Open access, Institutional policies, and Rights retention

Host Institution: Trinity College Dublin

Project Leads: Prof. Eoin O’Dell (TCD) and Ms Frances Madden (TU Dublin)

This project will assess and present options to make it easier for researchers to retain their rights for the works they publish and make their work open access. The project will adopt a two-pronged approach to policy and legislative change by exploring the potential of developing a secondary publishing right in Irish legislation and by adopting institutional rights retention policies. SCOIR will also develop an open access policy framework for both funders and institutions that is aligned with the National Action Plan and international best practice. 

A further nine projects received funding under Strand II, Open Research Stimulus 2023, which seeks to stimulate and advance the uptake of open research by recognising and rewarding researchers from all disciplines who want to play a leading role in advancing open research in Ireland. All projects funded under Strand II align with and address one of the three themes of the National Action Plan for Open Research:

  1. Establishing a culture of open research
  2. Achieving 100% open access to research publications
  3. Enabling FAIR research data and other outputs

Among the new Open Research Stimulus projects announced today are:

Cultivating an Open Research Culture in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Host Institution: University College Dublin

Project Lead: Dr Lai Ma

This project aims to foster a culture of open research in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) using a holistic approach to explore and examine the principles and best practices of open research in the HSS, the alignment between the principles of open research and research assessment criteria, and the rewards and recognition systems in supporting open research.

Building a Culture of Open Research for Irish Health and Social Care Practitioner Researchers

Host Institution: Health Service Executive

Project Lead: Dr Gemma Moore

This project will contribute to Ireland’s goal of achieving 100% open access to research publications by 2030. The project aims to establish a network and community of practice to support open research publication in health and social care and to establish a diamond Open Access journal to enable fully open publication for this cohort. 

Sharing Arts Practice FAIRly: Developing Best Practice Training and Guidance to Support the FAIR Dissemination of Arts Practice Research Outputs

Host Institution: University of Limerick

Project Lead: Prof. Helen Phelan 

This project will enable the FAIR dissemination of research data and other outputs of arts practice research through an enhanced understanding of current practice, the publication of best practice guidelines, and the development of technical support training. 

For a full list of the projects awarded funding, see the below attachment:

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