Previous EPA Research programmes have encouraged an open access policy. In 2019 the EPA endorsed the National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment which is the first step in a process to create a National Action Plan for the Transition to an Open Research Environment in Ireland. The EPA is a participant in the National Open Research Forum (NORF) and to that end will implement recommendations from the action plan once these have been published.
At present the EPA’s policy on Open Access and Open Data is as follows:
All projects funded by the EPA Research Programme are required to ensure open access to all peer-reviewed publications resulting from EPA funding. This must be done by depositing your peer reviewed manuscript in an open access repository as agreed with the EPA. You are also encouraged to publish in reputable open access journals. Please note however, the communications budget may only be used for Gold Open Access in exceptional circumstances, subject to prior approval by the EPA. Expenditure on Gold Open Access that has not had the prior approval of the EPA will be deemed ineligible.
It is also a requirement for all funded projects that the research data needed to validate the results presented in their scientific publications is deposited via a data repository as agreed with the EPA.
Data and information resources generated by projects are part of a very wide spectrum of outputs which includes, but is not limited to: quantitative and qualitative datasets, databases, GIS layers, geographical data, geographic imagery, project presentations, posters, abstracts, surveys and questionnaires, photographs, audio or visual recordings, software code and software libraries, mobile and smartphone applications, computer models and simulations, pre-prints of PhD and M.Sc. theses, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), etc.
Each project funded by the EPA is expected to deposit data and information resources on a data repository as agreed with the EPA. This will vary from project to project. Every project should engage in discussions with the EPA from an early stage in their funding to agree what data and information resources will be archived and subsequently disseminated as open data. Data and information resources must be generated by the project itself. Consequently, this requirement does not include the deposition of data and information resources such as Ordnance Survey mapping and imagery or other commercially obtained resources.
Additionally, Grantees must ensure open access, through a data repository as agreed with the EPA, to the bibliographic metadata that identify the deposited publication, and which must include:
We recommend that authors retain their copyright and grant adequate licenses to publishers.
All final versions of publications and data should also be submitted via the EPA’s Grant Management and Application Portal as part of the reporting requirements of the Programme.