CKM / Communications / Data / ILRI / ILRIComms / Knowledge and Information / Open access / Research / RMG

Open access and data accelerate ILRI’s innovation and research

Accelerating innovation through open research at ILRI

Under the terms of CGIAR and ILRI policies on open access and data management, “best efforts”
shall be used to make all information products and other intellectual assets produced by ILRI
open access, “subject always to the legal rights and legitimate interests of stakeholders and third
parties, including intellectual property rights, confidentiality, sensitivity, farmers’ rights and

The CGIAR policy defines open access as the immediate, irrevocable, unrestricted and free
online access by any user worldwide to information products, and unrestricted re use of
content subject to proper attribution.

The International Livestiock Research Institute – ILRI – started taking open access seriously in early 2010, adopting open licences for its products, setting up a dedicated repository as a publishing tool for all its products and establishing a portal for its data.

For ILRI, opening access offers significant opportunties, it:

  • Allows partners, collaborators and others to directly use our work;
  • Increases the visibility of our research— whether in journals, social media or through search engines;
  • Increases the chances that our work will lead to outcomes and impact by removing access barriers;
  • Fosters collaboration by sharing what we do more widely; others are more likely to see and want to contribute to our work;
  • Facilitates the re-use of our digital resources across other platforms, through open standards, licences and inter-operability;
  • Safeguards our institutional memory and legacy for future use.

What does this mean in practice?

Open access is mandated through CGIAR and ILRI policies on open access and data management; it is guided by the ‘FAIR Guiding Principles’ that provide guidelines and metrics to improve the findability, accessibility, inter-operability, and reuse of our digital assets; it requires that we give all our products open ‘creative commons’ or similar licences encouraging re-use; it requires that commercially published articles, books and book chapters have open licences and copyrights retained by ILRI; and it requires us to make our data, publications, code, software and other products accessible through robust repositories hosted by ILRI or other reputable platforms.


Taking advantage of an institute-wide annual meeting, we just developed a series of short handouts and a poster about open access practice at ILRI. View and download the handouts here:

In October 2019, as part of international open access week, we will organize further outreach around the ‘power of open’ – encouraging and motivating staff to really exploit being open to make their research and their products as accessible as possible.

More information on open access and open data at ILRI:

People to contact:


Post by Peter Ballantyne based on resources compiled by colleagues Abenet Yabowork, Harrison Njamba, Jane Poole and Erick Rutto.

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