The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science (2021) defines Open Research (or ‘Open Science’) as:
"An inclusive construct that combines various movements and practices aiming to make multilingual scientific knowledge openly available, accessible and reusable for everyone, to increase scientific collaborations and sharing of information for the benefits of science and society, and to open the processes of scientific knowledge creation, evaluation and communication to societal actors beyond the traditional scientific community. It comprises all scientific disciplines and aspects of scholarly practices, including basic and applied sciences, natural and social sciences, and the humanities, and it builds on the following key pillars: open scientific knowledge, open science infrastructures, science communication, open engagement of societal actors and open dialogue with other knowledge systems."
Open Research at Surrey
The University’s Open Research Position Statement sets out Surrey’s commitment to Open Research.
To put this commitment into action in alignment with the refreshed University strategy, we have put together an Open Research strategy and 5-year action plan (PDF).
Ten reasons to practise Open Research
- The outputs of research are as open as possible, as early as possible. Open Access to research outputs benefits both anyone who needs access to the research findings – researchers, innovators, policy makers, practitioners, students, the public – and the researchers who created these outputs. Openly available research is highly visible and has the potential for wide impact
- Being open and transparent throughout the research process – sharing the underlying data, materials, methods and analyses – supports replicability and reproducibility of the research
- Assigning accurate metadata and unique identifiers to research outputs ensures that the research is discoverable
- Sharing outputs under licences allowing adaptation and reuse in various contexts fosters collaboration and creativity
- Being transparent about the research evaluation itself (e.g. open peer review, grant review panels) reduces biases and creates an environment of dialogue and debate
- Being clear and open about the initial motives, context, and predictions of the research (e.g. by using preregistration) supports integrity and potentially replicability
- Conducting and disseminating research in ways that involve the public (public engagement, citizen science) opens opportunities for innovation and collaboration
- Creating and sharing educational resources, including resources drawn from research, openly benefits learners and advances research literacy
- Research outcomes may need to be ‘as closed as necessary’ at different points of the research cycle. Even if some outcomes of the research cannot be openly available, being transparent about why this is not possible, i.e. declaring IP and respecting data protection and confidentiality, ensures integrity and public confidence in the research process
- The values of Open Research extend to having an overall more transparent and inclusive working culture, including transparency in ways researchers, collaborators and research projects are recruited and evaluated.
Getting started with Open Research
To help you get started, we have collated Open Research resources available at the University and beyond to aid you in improving the transparency, re-usability and discoverability of your research.