In the context of a supportive, inclusive, and collaborative research culture, open research practices strive for collaborative working, sharing and openness throughout the entire research cycle to enable transparency, reproducibility, and the reduction of inequalities. The University of Leeds is a values-driven university committed to fostering open research to achieve our mission to advance knowledge, transform lives and shape a better future for our communities, our region, and the world.
Read the University’s Open research statement.
The statement informs the strategic priorities of the Open Research Advisory Group, a subgroup of Research Culture.
Open research principles are applicable across the disciplines but will vary depending on the nature of research. Research should be “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”. It is recognised some research outputs cannot be openly available due to ethical, legal or commercial restrictions. There is more information available to share and reuse data safely.
Key aspects of open research practice
- Open access publishing makes your research outputs freely available online. Your published research can then be downloaded, read and reused under open licencing conditions.
- Open data can be freely used, modified and shared by anyone for any purpose. It is made available under an open licence like Creative Commons. Not all data can be made open due to commercial or personal data considerations. However, data can be FAIR – findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable – without being open: restricted-access data could be FAIR if the descriptive metadata is openly available.
- Open platforms, tools and services help to enhance research efficiency. It is important to share detailed instructions on how to use and build equipment, and to use open, non-proprietary platforms where possible. Use open licences to share code and software.
- An open approach to conducting research enables a collaborative and inclusive approach with researchers across disciplines and sectors, including the public who can contribute to the research process through citizen science for example. All research contributors are openly acknowledged through a CRediT author statement or equivalent.
- Transparency and public engagement builds trust and accountability with the public and makes the university a trusted, respected and valued partner in society. Ensuring that research methodology can be examined in detail enables others to gain a deeper understanding of research results and integrity.
For some researchers, practicing open research is already second nature. Others may feel it adds another stage to the research process, but there are significant benefits for you, the research community and wider society.
Practicing open research:
- helps demonstrate your research is robust
- helps other researchers reproduce your results and avoid unnecessarily repeating research
- ensures you retain access to your own work in the long term
- enables faster dissemination and impact, helping to raise your research profile
- extends the reach and impact of research outside academia
- increases opportunities for collaboration
- increases chances of citations
Resources, guides, case-studies and more to help support your open research practice
Open Research Case Study project developed by Dorka Tamás and PhD candidate Christopher Cox from interviews conducted across the University of Leeds.
Listen to our podcast episode
Funder policies including UKRI and Wellcome and the University’s Publications policy recognise the value of open research and include requirements for researchers.