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Open Access Research Publishing: Open Research

This is a guide to open access pubilshing in the heatlh services.

What is Open Research?

Where Open Access aims to make publicly-funded research publicly available, Open Research (sometimes called Open Science) has the more ambitious goal of making public not just the completed research, but all the outputs that form part of a research project.

Research outputs that fall under the umbrella of Open Research include datasets, software, code, protocols, samples, drafts etc. The inclusion of these outputs is intended to maximise the reproducibility of research and to optimise the peer review process.

Open Research is intensively promoted at both the Irish (for example through the National Open Research Foundation) and EU level.

Data Management Plans

A data management plan (DMP) is essential to proper research data management (RDM). A DMP is a systematic description and aggregation of all the data you generate or acquire during the course of your research project, as well as all the software, metadata, digital objects, coding and search strategies used in the discovery and analysis of that data. It also includes details of funding and ethics approval.

Data management plans usually require dedicated software to manage them. Access to this software may be provided by third-level institutions, but there are free, open source versions available too - notably OpenAire's Argos platform.



Zenodo is an Open Science / Open Research repository hosted by the European Council for Nuclear Research - more commonly known as CERN. It is part-funded by OpenAIRE.

Zenodo leverages the Big Data tools developed by CERN to store and make accessible all the outputs of a research project, from Data Management Plans to finished research papers, and including any and all ancillary datasets, software, code and related digital objects.

Each record in Zenodo is assigned a digital object dientifier (DOI). This allows any research artifact (for example a questionnaire) to be acknowledge and cited.  

Zenodo is fully Open Access, and intellectual property rights to all items resides with their creators. Even the software on which Zenodo is constructed is Open Source.

Anyone can deposit their research in Zenodo as long as they have the legal right to do so.

National Open Research Foundation (NORF)

NORF coordinates the various Open Research activities in Ireland. In its own words, "NORF provides a space for communication, consultation and cooperation among key stakeholders in the research system regarding strategic issues and overarching policies and procedures on open research. The Forum combines the expertise of representatives from policy, research funding, research performing, the library sector, enterprise and other key stakeholders in the research system from across Ireland."

The HSE has a presence on the NORF Steering Group.


OpenAIRE is the EU's umbrella body for Open Research. It coordinates the OR activities of its stakeholders, helping member states and research bodies to align their policies regarding Open Research and Open Science. As part of this it develops common policies, protocols and data standards both within the EU and in partnership with non-EU bodies.

OpenAIRE provides facilities, resources and training to make research and its associated outputs more open. These are open to individual researchers, and include Zenodo and Argos.






Developed by OpenAIRE, Argos is a platform for developing and publishing Data Management Plans (DMPs), as well as familiarising researchers with the concepts and processes of research data management (RDM). Anyone can publish a DMP in Argos, and each DMP is assigned its own digital object identfier (DOI), enabling it to be cited.

European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)

EOSC is a European Commission initiative to create a comprehensive open research ecosystem. Also described as a "co-created space" or "research commons", it is far broader in scope than OpenAIRE, though OpenAIRE plays a key role in EOSC. EOSC aims to:

  • foster best practices of global data findability and accessibility;
  • help researchers get their data skills recognized and rewarded;
  • help address issues of access and copyright and data subject privacy;
  • allow easier replicability of results and limit data wastage;
  • contribute to clarification of the funding model for data generation and preservation, reducing rent-seeking and priming the market for innovative research services.

EOSC’s purpose is “to break down walls in existing siloed approaches for access to services and all scientific content (publications, data, software, methods), and to further evolve the ways in which researchers are able to collaborate.” That is, it establishes linkages not just among datasets but among the systems used to access and analyse them, and between national research infrastructures.

According to its website, EOSC “…will not replace existing infrastructures, but rely on them and allow users to work in multiple ecosystems owing to the interoperability of EOSC systems. They will see EOSC as an entry point to find, access and use services from multiple infrastructures. It will be open to countries outside the EU as well.”

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