Ireland’s National Open Research Forum Awards €1.16 Million to Six Collaborative Projects to Advance Open Research

Ireland’s National Open Research Forum (NORF) has awarded funding to six new collaborative projects to implement priority actions in Ireland’s National Action Plan for Open Research 2022-2030. By building national capacity and infrastructure for open research, these projects will support the visibility and impact of Irish research and help progress Ireland’s strategic goals for research and innovation under Impact 2030

Speaking about the scheme, NORF co-chair, Tim Conlon (Higher Education Authority) said: 

The HEA welcomes the announcement of these awards which form an integral early step in Ireland’s journey to becoming fully open access whereby the outputs of research will be accessible for use within and beyond academia. The successful projects will address the initial six actions arising from Ireland’s National Action Plan for Open Research and will be crucial in enabling Ireland’s transition to an open research environment.

Dr Daniel Bangert, National Open Research Coordinator, added:

The implementation of open research requires collective and collaborative effort and we are delighted to support this cluster of projects involving over thirty stakeholder organisations from across Ireland. They will deliver key nationally coordinated actions in the National Action Plan for Open Research, with clear benefits for the national research system and Irish research. 

The six project teams are supported by €1.16 million from the NORF Open Research Fund. The successful research projects were selected following an open call for proposals and a rigorous two-stage peer review process conducted by an expert international panel. All research projects commenced on 1 November 2022, and have a duration of 24 months. A full list of projects is available below. 

An official launch of the projects will take place online on 21 November 2022. Further details of the event are available here.

National Open Access Monitoring 

Host Institution: IReL

Lead Applicant: Dr Catherine Ferris 

Led by the IReL consortium of Irish research libraries, 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. 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. 

Open Access Repository Assessment and Alignment

Host Institution: University of Galway

Lead Applicant: Dr Cillian Joy

This project brings together thirteen higher education institutions and governmental partners to conduct a national programme of repository alignment to deliver standardised metadata nationally while building infrastructure in line with international best practices. The main aim of this project is to create a robust and standardised approach to national interoperability of Irish repositories, which in turn provides a streamlined gateway to international research platforms positioning Irish Open Access research for a global audience.

Open Access Transition Programme

Host Institution: Royal Irish Academy 

Lead Applicant: Ruth Hegarty

This project engages extensively with partners in the national and international scholarly publishing communities to conduct a feasibility study and pilot with a view to establishing a national platform for Diamond Open Access publication of journals and books. This project, by adopting international advisory governance structures and international benchmarking, will support and advance the ambition of Impact 2030 that Ireland become “an international model of best practice” in open research.

Open Research Training Programme

Host Institution: Maynooth University

Lead Applicant: Dr Dermot Lynott

This project brings together 35 researchers and librarians across 11 higher education institutions, representing disciplines including science and engineering, social sciences and the humanities, in a consortium with proven expertise in the provision of research support and training. This project will develop a national open research training programme to enable researchers at all stages of their career to upskill in open research practices, strengthening Ireland’s open research ecosystem in a sustainable way.

National Data Stewardship Network

Host Institution: University College Cork

Lead Applicant: Dr Aoife Coffey

This project will enable the development of data stewardship across the national research landscape by improving the recognition and professionalisation of data stewards and data stewardship skills, and facilitate knowledge development throughout the emerging community of research data management support staff. By building these skills nationally, the project partners will ensure the curation, preservation and dissemination of national data assets, and the continued growth and development of the Irish open research landscape.

Shared Data Storage Service Pilot

Host Institution: HEAnet

Lead Applicant: Roberto Sabatino

This project will deliver a sustainable model for national shared data storage service for active data, starting with a pilot for diverse research groups. The pilot will enable users to access a national shared storage infrastructure and a suite of data management services during the active phase of the research data lifecycle to verify demand for such services and their fitness for purpose. This programme of work will be delivered by a project team with vast experience in developing and managing national and international research data infrastructure.

The NORF 2022 Open Research Fund is a funding programme supported by the Government of Ireland and the Higher Education Authority. 

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