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Position statement on Open Research

1. What is Open Research?

Open Research (also known as Open Science) is the practice of applying principles of openness to every stage of the research lifecycle.

Practising Open Research means sharing research outputs (eg. research protocols, methodology, code, data, and publications) as early as possible in the research process in a way that enables access and reuse by others.

2. Why is Open Research important? 

Openness in research increases transparency and removes access barriers. This approach aligns with the University’s core aims of advancing knowledge through research and contributing to the wellbeing of society, and has the potential to increase both opportunities for collaboration and impact.  

Funders similarly recognise the value of Open Research for sharing new knowledge and discovery and are increasingly including mandates as a condition of awards. The REF2021 environment statement includes Open Access support and activity as a key element of a vibrant research community.

3. Principles 

The University supports the principles of Open Research and researchers are encouraged to apply these throughout the research lifecycle. While engagement with the principles is voluntary, the University expects researchers to act in accordance with funder mandates.

Principles: 

  • Pre-registration of research 
  • Transparency in research methodology
  • Public availability and reusability of research data and analysis code
  • Public accessibility and transparency of research communication
  • Using web-based tools to facilitate collaboration.

The University recognises that engagement with the principles will differ across disciplines and projects and may be determined by a variety of factors, eg. commercial potential, industry partnerships, human participant data, publisher requirements. All credible, practical and sustainable means of practising Open Research will be supported by the University. 

Researchers retain the freedom of choice to decide the outlet for sharing their research outputs but are required to take funder policies into account and encouraged to consider Open Research principles when making choices.

The University is committed to responsible metrics, ie. using the intrinsic merit of the work (exhibited by academic rigour, innovation and level of scholarship) and not the publishing outlet, when making quality judgements. 

4. Expectations and support for Open Research

The University has two key expectations of research staff and students: that research outputs will be as open as possible as early as possible and fulfil funder policy requirements, and that researchers will encourage engagement with Open Research practices in discussions with research partners.

To support these expectations, the University will provide:

  • guidance and training for researchers at all career stages, including advice on sharing outputs and funder policies  
  • access to systems to facilitate Open Research, including but not limited to Pure, OA Gateway, ORCID, the University’s Data Repository, Research Data Gateway
  • support for sustainable Open Access options

Guidance and training will continue to be provided by relevant expert teams, will be promoted through multiple channels and will build on existing provision: 

The University will engage in discussions nationally and internationally to ensure that development of policies and procedures relating to Open Research aligns with institutional objectives and commitments.  

5. Monitoring

Institutional and funder policies on Open Access and Research Data underpin Open Research and the University will monitor the adoption of Open Research practices by its researchers and report as required, eg. by funders.

This will include, but not be limited to, monitoring use of systems and software that support Open Research, eg. Pure and approved data repositories, and use of Open Access funding for publications.  

6. Contact

Further information and contact details are available on the Library’s website