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Collections Publications Policy

Publications Policy 2020-2023

Policy No: NMI-POL-ACC-005 Version No: 2019-11-27-v4-FINAL
Date Approved: 23 January 2020 Approved By: Board
Number of Pages: 4 Signature:
Review Period: 5 Years Division Responsible: Collections & Learning
Implementation Date: 23-1-2020 Review Date: 21-6-2023

NMI is committed to facilitating publications on its collections and values this process as a means to disseminating information the collections in our care, and the work of NMI in general. NMI recognises the role of its staff in producing publications and the value of facilitating publications by others as individuals or in collaboration with NMI.

For the purposes of this Policy, a ‘publication’ is considered to be information that is made available to the public in a traditional (e.g. books, articles in periodicals, reports, leaflets, posters, etc.) and/or digital format (e.g. webpages, blogposts, tweets, etc.). As a public body, the NMI is subject to the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003 (FoI Acts) and as such any record not deemed sensitive under the Official Secrets Act 1963 may be made available to the public. Therefore, this policy applies to all non-sensitive recorded information produced by the NMI, whether originally intended for internal or external use.

Legislative Basis

The National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997 obliges the Board of NMI to publish information on collections under Section 11 (1) of the legislation. This states:

11— (1) The principal functions of the Board of the Museum shall be to maintain, manage, control, protect, preserve, record, research and enlarge the collection of museum heritage objects for the benefit of the public and to increase and diffuse in and outside the State knowledge of human life in Ireland, of the natural history of Ireland and of the relations of Ireland in these respects with other countries.

Section 11 (2) (e and o) of the legislation state:

11 – (2) The Board shall have all such powers as it considers necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions under this Act including, but without prejudice to the foregoing, the following powers:
(e) to disseminate and promote the dissemination of literature and information relating to the collection of the Museum
(o) to compile, publish and distribute (with or without charge) books, magazines, journals, reports or other printed matter, including aural and visual material as may be appropriate in relation to any matter connected with its functions or activities.


1 The NMI respects intellectual property and the rights of producers of content, including our own rights in this area. However, we also recognise the value of sharing content, and as such we seek to facilitate sharing within the legal framework provided by the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000.

1.1. Unless otherwise stated, the NMI attaches a Creative Commons BY-SA License to our published material, allowing sharing of content with attribution (©NMI).

1.2. The NMI shall undertake due diligence to ensure that rights are known and conditions of use are met when working with or sharing publications produced by an external individual or body (including but not limited to; attribution, citation, seeking permission and purchasing licenced rights agreements). This includes adherence to the recommendations of the National Open Research Forum (NORF) as they pertain to open access.

2 The mission of the NMI is furthered by the production of books, articles and catalogues relating to our collections and practice and the knowledge and expertise of our staff. Such publications generated within NMI require approval through the Print Publication Proposal Mechanism, to ensure sufficient resources can be allocated to their development. These publications may be produced in-house or in partnership with, or under contract with, external individuals or bodies.

2.1. Major print publications must be strategically planned in accordance with exhibition schedules, or research projects and in consultation with the annual business plans of associated internal departments. All such publications must include a prominent NMI logo.
2.2. Resources required for the development, production, storage, distribution and archiving of print publications must be assessed in advance and adequately provisioned.
2.3. Where possible the NMI will develop partnerships with publishers and explore the possibilities of sponsorship to meet resourcing needs.
2.4. The museum’s library has a role to preserve and make available publications produced by, for or in association with the NMI. NMI Library Policy identifies the aim to acquire print copies of the publications of its staff, past and present. NMI will produce an online bibliography of past publications, and make digital editions available where feasible.
2.5. The NMI will seek to maximise the accessibility of print publications by also producing digital, braille and audio versions where possible, and as resources are available both for new titles and past publications.
2.6 NMI publications will be subject to peer review, at a level to be determined by the Head of Collections & Learning.
2.7 Print Publication proposals will be assessed by the Head of Collections & Learning and subject to approval by the Director NMI.

3 The NMI recognises that digital publications are of increasing importance to our mission as they provide greater scope for access than traditional print media. It is our aim to engage with a variety of digital media platforms in order to maximise our reach to a wide variety of audiences.

3.1. Stability of platforms is an issue for heritage organisations and we will prioritise use of established and demonstrably sustainable platforms for delivery of core content. Digital publications will be appropriately indexed and tagged with metadata in order to facilitate discovery and retrieval.

3.2. Digital platforms are developing rapidly and we will limit engagement with new platforms to delivery of novel content that we acknowledge may be ephemeral in nature, but which provides an otherwise unavailable mechanism for engagement.

4 All staff are bound by the NMI Code of Conduct and before contributing to a publication either internally or externally produced, they should familiarise themselves with section 7. in particular, it should be kept in mind that:

4.1. When members of staff represent the NMI their published opinion must be consistent with our mission, values and policies. Staff of the NMI making false or offensive statements or libellous claims in any medium that may be published are in breach of this policy and the NMI Code of Conduct and may face disciplinary action.
4.2. Where staff of the NMI contribute content to a publication not produced by the NMI, it should be made clear whether they are contributing in a personal or institutional capacity, and when speaking in a personal capacity a distinction should be made to distance personal opinion from the opinion of the NMI.
4.3. Individuals not directly employed by the NMI do not have the authority to represent the position of the NMI in a publication without prior approval from the Director.

5 NMI supports the publication of work by internal and external researchers. Access and conditions are detailed in the NMI Research Policy. In addition:

5.1.NMI will support publication through access to photographs, imaging services in NMI and make available images for publication.
5.2.Priority will be given to peer-reviewed publication on NMI collections.
5.3.NMI supports staff in preparation of publications, by setting aside time in annual business plans for research and publication. Staff will be supported in this endeavour by associated and relevant NMI Human Resources policies.
5.4.NMI supports staff in making time available to support the operations of publishers of periodicals or books in subject areas relevant to NMI, on a personal basis as editors, reviewers, or members, subject to approval from the Head of Collections & Learning.

View a PDF version of this policy

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