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Open Access

What is open research?

Open Research extends the principles of Open Access publishing to the whole research cycle.  This means publications, data, code, software, etc, are all openly stored, shared, reviewed and reused, whenever possible. 

Open research means:

  • Faster dissemination of research
  • Faster advancement of knowledge and innovation for public good
  • Increased transparency of research processes and methodologies
  • Increased reproducibility of scientific research
  • Greater trust in research
  • Increased opportunities for collaboration with a wider range of people
  • Increased citation rates (and more outputs that can be cited!)
  • Greater real-world impact

In the STEM fields, and in Europe generally, open research is commonly referred to as open science.

Make your research open

Register your trial, study or report

Specifying your research plan in advance enables others to see what you are working on, increasing research quality and transparency. There are many places to register your research.  Examples include:

Make a pre-print version of your research available

Many publishers allow a pre-print (pre-peer review version) of articles to be published (check Sherpa Romeo for policies).
Pre-print registries include:

Note: Pre-prints are a searchable content type in some databases, including Scopus.

Make your code and software open

Code may be an integral part of your research findings and can be kept and shared openly so others can replicate and verify your research.  Use a code repository or platform to manage and share your code and software.  For example:

It may also be appropriate to release code under an Open Source Licence, and you could also publish a software paper to promote your code and enable others to use and cite it.

Make your data open

Making your data open enables others to verify, re-use and cite your data.
It is important to think about making your data open early on as part of your research data management plan.  This ensures data collection can be done in an appropriate, ethical manner - particularly if you are dealing with sensitive data sets. 

Make your data open via a discipline-specific or general data repository.

Make your publications open

This page of our guide has details on making you research outputs open access

Open research resources

Example of open research:

Citizen science

Citizen science is when the general public participate in the research process - across science, social science, humanities and the arts.  
As a movement it is closely aligned with open science (or open research).

Citizen science associations:

Examples of citizen science projects: