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Open Access to Published Research

Background

The Health Research Board (HRB) supports and promotes research which will improve peoples health, patient care and health service delivery. One of the main outputs of this research is new ideas and knowledge, which the HRB expects its researchers, both clinical and non-clinical,  to publish in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals.  

The HRB has a fundamental interest in ensuring that the availability and accessibility of this material is not adversely affected by the copyright, marketing and distribution strategies used by publishers (whether commercial, not-for-profit or academic).

Position statement

The HRB supports the principle that ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research should be made available and accessible for public use, interrogation and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable.  Such published research output must be subject to rigorous quality assurance through effective peer review mechanisms.  With advances in internet publishing, the HRB seeks to encourage initiatives that broaden the range of opportunities for quality research to be widely disseminated and freely accessible.

The HRB position on Open Access:

  • Requires authors of research papers to maximise the opportunities to make their results available for free.
  • Encourages authors to archive research papers accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, which are supported in whole or in part by HRB funding, to be made available through an open access repository as soon as possible following the date of final publication;
  • Encourages authors and publishers to license research papers such that they may be freely copied and re-used (for example for text and data-mining purposes), provided that such uses are fully attributed.

The HRB encourages all HRB-funded researchers to make all articles freely available on an open access repository on the date the article is published. However, a number of the mainstream journals and publishers do not currently have an open access policy and often have restrictive copyright clauses. These journals request a fee of between €1,000 - €2,500, on top of publications costs already incurred by the researchers, to allow manuscripts to become freely available on the date of publication. The HRB will not provide additional funds to cover these costs, although this is currently under review. Publishers copyright, licensing and embargo policies must be respected.

For further information on copyright, fees and embargo periods please use the following links:  http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/

 

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