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Developing a National Action Plan for Open Research in Ireland

We are pleased to share news of a new phase for Ireland’s National Open Research Forum (NORF), marked by a revised structure and the beginning of a process to develop a National Action Plan that supports the National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment

On 20 October 2020, NORF held a kick-off meeting for five newly created Working Groups that address strategic areas set out in the National Framework: open access to research publications; enabling FAIR research data; infrastructures for access to and preservation of research; skills and competencies; and incentives and rewards. Working Group members were formally nominated earlier in the year and bring together experts from across the national research system, including representatives of higher education bodies, research performing organisations, library groups and other key stakeholders. The groups are led by co-chairs and coordinate through cross-group meetings of co-chairs and the National Open Research Coordinator. Membership details are available on the NORF website

The focus for NORF in 2020-2022 is a National Action Planning exercise that will propose nationally coordinated actions to address the challenges of changing the Irish research system to strengthen, promote or better support open research practices. NORF is taking a staged approach to this work, beginning with a National Open Research Landscape Report that will outline the national situation in each of the strategic areas, including progress made, gaps and challenges, and examples of good practice. The landscape report will be presented in draft form for community feedback in a series of webinars planned for February 2021. Stay tuned for further details! 

The landscaping work will serve as the basis for a conversation with the national research community about how best to meet the gaps identified. From March 2021 onwards, NORF will be consulting widely to identify implementation options and models suited to the Irish context and feeding this into a set of interim recommendations. 

2020 has demonstrated the critical importance of scientific cooperation, rapid and transparent scholarly communication, and open and equitable access to research. We look forward to continuing the national conversation on these issues in the new year. 

To stay informed of NORF activities and events, follow the NORF Twitter account and subscribe to the newsletter

To learn more about the National Open Research Forum (NORF) visit

DRI has been a long time contributor to NORF and has committed to supporting open research policy and practice in Ireland. The DRI director is part of the NORF’s Steering Committee and Core Oversight group, DRI staff serve on the NORF working groups on FAIR Data and Infrastructure, and Ireland’s National Open Research Coordinator is located at DRI.