Minister Simon Harris congratulates authors at Irish universities on choosing to publish their research open access

The Irish Research eLibrary (IReL) has published an analysis of the publication data from its 2022 open access agreements with publishers. This most recent data from agreements with 24 academic publishers shows that 3,121 articles were published open access with the support of IReL in 2022. This is an increase on the 2,813 articles that were supported in 2021, the first year that IReL entered into agreements with publishers to allow publications from participating Irish higher education institutions be freely available to any citizen, student or researcher in any country.

Also of note was the number of researchers who opted-in to avail of IReL support to make their publications open. Nearly 90% of eligible authors chose the open access publishing option when presented with the choice. This is a positive indication in terms of the adoption of open research practices outlined in Impact 2030: Ireland’s Research and Innovation Strategy and aligns with the National Action Plan for Open Research, which sets a target for 100% open access to Irish research publications by 2030.

Speaking about the release of these latest figures from IReL, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris said:

“I’m delighted to see a further growth in the number of Irish research publications that are now available freely to the public to read and use. Making Irish research openly available is important in achieving progress in addressing key global challenges and I’d like to applaud authors at Irish universities for choosing to embrace open research practices”.

Since 2021 IReL has pursued agreements with scholarly publishers that allow any researcher, lecturer or student from an IReL member institution writing in these publishers’ journals is offered immediate open access by default, and at no cost to the author.

In 2022 Irish technological universities and institutes of technology joined IReL and from 2023 authors from these institutions can also avail of a number of IReL’s open access agreements.

IReL’s Director, Susan Reilly, said:

“the expansion of IReL membership is a very welcome development. This means that more Irish authors can avail of support to publish open access. Our aim is to be inclusive by supporting authors, from the very start of their career onwards, to make their research open access and by offering options to publish in a diverse range of journals from small local publishers to large international publishers from across a range of disciplines.”

December 2023

IReL Executive Report, 2022