Open methodologies are those which are transparent and available to share from the beginning of a research project. Detailing these methodologies facilitates research integrity and reuse and provides a contextualised understanding of the work. Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development. Open methodologies have the potential for adaptation and reuse in different contexts and for that reason articles on methodologies tend to attract more readers and citations for a longer period.


Is generally the term assigned to Open Source software. This is software that has a source code that anyone can use, reuse, modify and enhance. Open source software is non- proprietorial and is generally developed by a community of interest. Open Source will carry a license but these licenses ( as distinct from licenses signed with vendors) grant users the right to use the software any way they like. However, they are normally copyright left, meaning that anyone who creates a modified open source program must release the source code for that program. Using open source software gives more control to the user as the source code can be examined and tested. Developers work in a community sharing mistakes and errors as soon as they are discovered. Open Source software is not necessarily free from cost. The source code will always be free but the creators may charge for services such as installation or customisation.

Open access to publications and data is essential for the sharing of ideas and encouraging early collaboration. Open access to publication means articles are free to read wherever they are found. Traditionally this would have been in open access repositories but in recent years publishers are now charging an article processing charge to make the article published in a scholarly journal free to read. Also,  there is a rise in open access journals which charge much cheaper article processing charges and again make the publication free to read.  There is an increase in the number of Diamond open access journals that are both free to read and publish in. Data published in open access repositories is free to use and reuse and enhances research integrity and replicability. Open data generally demands a Readme file which can allow a user to repeat the original experiment, test, and scrutinise the findings.

  • Directory of Open Access Journals DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high-quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • Open Journal Systems (OJS) is an open source software application for managing and publishing scholarly journals. Originally developed and released by Public Knowledge Program in 2001 to improve access to research, it is the most widely used open source journal publishing platform in existence, with over 25,000 journals using it worldwide. 
  • Open Research Europe launched in March 2021, this provides fast publication and open peer review for research stemming from Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe Funding across all subject areas.
  • EUt+ Academic Press: this is an initiative of Work Package 8.6.7 which is providing a demonstrator for a three-year pilot project for the EUt+. More information to follow
  • DOAB Directory of Open Access books.  This is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers. All DOAB services are free of charge and all data is freely available
  • OAPEN is an online library and publication platform. OAPEN works with publishers to build a quality-controlled collection of open access books and provides services for publishers, libraries, and research funders in the areas of hosting, deposit and quality assurance.
  • Arrow@TU Dublin is the institutional repository and is a global platform for the dissemination of research outputs from the university. This is a full-text repository that attracts around one million downloads annually. Arrow is also part of the Digital Commons Network which brings together the open access material of nearly 700 universities and give us access to readership in the United State, Australia, and the Philippines. Arrow also has a Data Portal where a researcher can record their dataset even if they do not wish to make the dataset open. Registering on the Data Portal makes the data findable and enhances discovery and collaboration. It is always good practice to include a ReadMe file. View the following guide to creating a readme file.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions (UNESCO, 2019).

Open license refers to a license that respects the intellectual property rights of the copyright owner and provides permissions granting the public the right to access, re-use, re-purpose, adapt and redistribute educational materials (UNESCO, 2019).

UNESCO (2019) has made recommendations on OER which have been unanimously adopted by member states. The Recommendation on OER - adopted unanimously by the UNESCO General Conference at its 40th session in November 2019 - supports the creation, use, and adaptation of inclusive and quality OER, and facilitates international cooperation in this field.
The Recommendation is the only existing international standard-setting instrument on OER and is the fruit of over a decade of efforts to bring together a wide diversity of stakeholders.

OER has seen impressive and sustained uptake and impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that the pandemic has caused widespread school closures in 185 countries and 89.4% of learners forced to stay home, OER is important to supplementing formal online classes and even temporarily serving as the main form of education for those who are unable to access online learning. Many educational institutions, both schools, and private publishing and assessment companies have opened up their resources so that students in quarantine who may not otherwise have access to learning resources at this time may still continue to learn. UNESCO has also identified a number of MOOCs and OER that can provide online courses and self-directed learning content through both mobile and desktop platforms (UNESCO, 2019).

OER form part of ‘Open Solutions’, alongside Free and Open Source software (FOSS), Open Access (OA), Open Data (OD) and crowdsourcing platforms.