Trinity College Gives Irish Blessing to Open Access – May the Luck of the Irish Enfold You

trinity ballProbably the most exciting news during the Open Access Week 2010 is that of Dublin’s Trinity College providing free online access to its research. Trinity College has thus joined the outstanding pioneers of the OA movement on student campuses, MIT, Harvard and Stanford.

Knowledge must be accessible widely if its benefits are to impact on society.  Trinity is proud to make the work of our world class researchers and scholars available on open access.  This policy means that the institutional supports will be in place to assist our researchers in making their work freely available.
(Trinity’s Dean of Research, Dr David Lloyd)

Trinity College – “Mother of a University”

Ireland’s oldest and paved with cobblestones, Trinity College was founded in 1592 and named in the open letter issued by Queen Elizabeth I, the ”mother of a University.” Academically, divided into three faculties;

  • Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences section
  • Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science section
  • Faculty of Health Sciences section

Trinity is consistently ranked as the best university in Ireland,  and is ranked in 52nd position in the top 100 world universities and 14th position in the top 200 European universities by the QS World University Rankings 2010. The Library of Trinity College is the largest research library in Ireland with nearly five million books.

TARA – Trinity’s Access to Research Archive

The new Open Access policy was approved unanimously at Trinity’s recent Research Committee meeting and will take immediate effect. Journal articles, TCD research theses, peer-reviewed conference papers, reports and working papers, photographs, videos, dissertations, or other intellectual property in digital form will be deposited in TARA, Trinity’s repository designed to store, catalogue, index, distribute, and preserve the digital materials. Supported by the Committee and the Dean of Research, TARA is built with Dspace, the open source repository software which is developed and used for the same purpose at MIT. TARA is explicitly designed to allow internet search engines (such as Google), web crawlers and harvesters (such as RIAN, or OpenAIRE) to discover and point to its content, thus maximizing the impact of the publications it contains beyond that of conventional web pages or publisher websites.

How does it work with conventional scholarly publishing? As they explain on Trinity’s website:

  • TARA complements and works alongside traditional means of publishing including the peer-review system
  • Published journal articles are deposited in the version permitted by the publisher (publisher’s pdf or author’s final draft post-peer review)
  • Currently over 70% of scholarly publishers will allow some version of the papers they publish to be deposited in an open access repository like TARA (occasionally a short embargo is required)
  • Far from threatening scholarly journals, it can add to their impact by linking back to the original publisher’s site

When a faculty member deposits an item in TARA, the system presents him with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license. Agreeing to the license simply means that he gives his (or hers) permission to Trinity College Dublin to distribute his (or hers) work electronically. TARA also allows restrictions to be placed on access to electronic theses through an automated ‘application for stay’ which is part of the e-thesis submission process. TARA is the largest open access institutional repository in Ireland, with more than 12,000 items freely available.

The entire archive of the distinguished 160-year old Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland is there, rubbing shoulders with the latest scientific, technical and medical research from Trinity’s top researchers as well as theses from our postgraduate students.  There are books and book chapters from Arts and Humanities disciplines, thousands of images from Trinity’s Irish Art Research Centre (TRIARC) as well as reports in law, economics and social sciences, many of which have impacted on public policy-making in Ireland.
(TCD Press Release)

Almost all of the Irish funders have mandated Open Access, such as the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Last year, Dublin Institute of Technology became the first Irish higher education institution to adopt an open access policy. Trinity’s Open Access policy is the first such policy adopted by Irish University and Trinity becomes as such, one of the forerunners of the data-centric Universities of the future.

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1 Response to Trinity College Gives Irish Blessing to Open Access – May the Luck of the Irish Enfold You

  1. Pingback: Simon Fraser University – From Fur Traps to Science Fiction | InTechWeb Blog

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