Institute’s Open Research Policy launched during Open Access Week

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Prof Luke Drury from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Prof Luke Drury from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Week-long events planned for Open Access Week which was opened at WIT with the launch of a new policy and a talk on open research from a guest speaker

WIT celebrated the opening of Open Research Week on 21 October 2019 by officially launching the WIT Open Research Policy in the atrium of the Tourism & Leisure Building.

Following the official launch a guest speaker, Prof Luke Drury from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, gave a talk on the subject of Open Research.

The event held also marked the 12th Anniversary of the WIT Research Repository  developed to enable WIT-affiliated authors to make their research data open in accordance with the FAIR principles and now in line with the new WIT Open Research Policy.  

Open Access explained

Terry O’Brien, Institute Librarian at WIT set the tone for the event by introducing the topic “Open Access” and the various initiatives that aim to work with publishers, societies, consortia, and other stakeholders to accelerate the transition for clearer approaches to transformative arrangements for Open Access.

“Open Access for Whom?”

Dr Mark White, VP for Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies at WIT, officially opened proceedings and eloquently posed the question “Open Access for Whom?”

He went onto indicate that these questions will determine the extent to which emerging open systems for research will address inequities in the current system or replicate and reinforce them.

Dr White emphasised that the “decisions we make now—individually and collectively—will fundamentally shape the future for many years to come. As ‘open’ becomes the default, all stakeholders must be intentional about designing these new, open systems to ensure that they are inclusive, equitable, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community”. 

Open Research with Prof Luke Drury

The launch was followed by a talk by Prof Luke Drury from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, on the subject of Open Research. This talk was inspiring and thought provoking on the future concept that all scholarly content could be immediately accessible upon publication without any delay and free to read and download, without any kind of technical or other form of obstacles.

He spoke regarding the “publish or perish” culture of research assessment and offered some indications of what valid research outputs should be, he said "outputs are more than just papers - software, data, protocols etc. should all be seen as “common goods of humanity”. He further emphasised that "Open science and open access aims to leverage ICT to realise this vision of the universality of science and the right of every human being to be part of the scientific enterprise - equity of access is thus a key part of this.”

Moving on from open access 

David Kane, WIT’s System Librarian who also spoke at the event further underlining the need for change and individual response to action this change “It is no longer simply enough to make our research 'open access'.  This is why we have adopted the wider term 'Open Research' at WIT.  We live in a new age of big data, which comes with great opportunities to improve society through data-informed decisions, evidence-based policymaking, etc.  Paradoxically, there is a troubling 'anti-science' trend in the public consciousness that is working against us at the moment, just when we need science to help us overcome the grand challenges of climate change, sustainability, disease, etc.  As researchers, it is incumbent on us to work together to beat these problems, and to re-engage the public imagination.”

Plan S – the plan for science publishing

All speakers referenced “Plan S” which is an initiative for open-access science publishing that was launched by Science Europe in September 2018. It is an initiative of "cOAlition S" (including SFI and ERC), a consortium launched by major national research agencies and funders from twelve European countries, now includes the Gates foundation and WHO. The plan requires scientists and researchers who benefit from state-funded research organisations and institutions to publish their work in open repositories or in journals that are available to all by 2021.

National consortium

In response to this movement WIT has signed up to join HEA-sponsored National ORCID consortium. This policy is connected to the global ‘open’ movement, which is itself aligned with European Commission policy 13 and with the principles of Plan S.

According to Dr White, WIT plans to engage in further initiatives such as DORA in an effort to change the culture of research assessment if open access is to become a reality in WIT and for researchers on a global scale.

Further events

There are many other activities to avail of this week as part of Open Access Week.

ORCID clinic

On Wednesday a drop-in clinic will be held in the training room of the Luke Wadding Library for all those interested in finding out more about ORCID and setting up their own ID.


On Wednesday afternoon there will be a showing of the movie "Paywall: The business of scholarship". A short documentary discussing the business model of the scholarly publishing industry.

Lunchtime Altmetrics masterclass

On Friday, the Institute welcomes Jane Burns of Athlone Institute of Technology to deliver a lunchtime masterclass on "Alternative Metrcis (Altmetrics)". This area is really gaining ground in recent years with respect to measuring impact and this masterclass is an excellent opportunity to learn more.  

Booking for all events and more details are available via the website

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