The University of Surrey is committed to fostering an open research culture.
Our position statement on open research
The University of Surrey has a strong and long-standing commitment to openness in research, being among the first in the UK to adopt an open access policy in 2005. Since then, the University has been broadening the scope of openness in research to research data services, licensing initiatives and the use of responsible metrics. Our approach to openness is part of our broader efforts to enhance the quality of research practice, as outlined in related University statements:
- The University of Surrey’s Statement on Integrity and Governance sets out our commitment to the highest standards of integrity in all aspects of research as well as observing the Code of Good Research Practice.
- The University of Surrey’s 2019-2022 Research and Innovation Strategy emphasises our commitment to responsible research, including a commitment to open research and ensuring open access to research outputs as follows:
"We believe that openness is at the heart of a strong scholarly research culture, as a mechanism to increase reproducibility, to lower barriers to accessing knowledge, and to build upon each other’s work. At Surrey, in accordance with the Concordat on Open Research Data, we will continue to promote and support open and immediate access to publications, research data, and other research outputs.
Our open research aspirations extend beyond access, to how we do research and to how we disseminate our findings. We will adopt open platforms and services, participate in open, collaborative projects, and engage with the public to achieve the ultimate objective of advancing knowledge and creating innovation for the benefit of all."
In a context in which the terms ‘open research’, ‘open science’ and ‘open scholarship’ are often used interchangeably, the University of Surrey chooses to use the term ‘open research’ when defining a research culture that ensures the transparency, reproducibility and open availability of scholarly knowledge. Embracing a culture of ‘open research’ will necessarily have impact on research practices; the concept of ‘open research’, therefore, extends to the creation, storage, dissemination, discovery, preservation, and evaluation of research outputs and processes.
In adopting the term ‘open research’, we demonstrate our commitment to supporting all disciplines and research communities across the University and to avoiding any sense of restriction to ‘hard’ scientific disciplines implied by the term ‘open science’.
The purpose of this position statement is twofold.
Firstly, it formally articulates the University’s continued commitment to an open research culture that strives to ensure that all research carried out at Surrey is available to all levels of an ‘inquiring society’.
Secondly, it provides a foundation for a suite of practice-specific policies (current and future) addressing all dimensions of open research activity, including: open access to research outputs, the management of research data, preservation, responsible metrics, copyright and scholarly identifiers.
The University’s commitment to open research is underpinned by a set of principles which relate both to the individual researcher and the institution.
By definition, the open research lifecycle is one in which ‘as much as possible is as open as possible, as early as possible’. We recognise that there are significant variations across disciplines, influencing how appropriate particular open research practices may be in specific instances; provision for context and discipline specific variations is addressed in the relevant policies for which this position statement forms the foundation. With this in mind, as far as is possible and appropriate, we expect researchers to:
- make their research outputs, including publications, research data, research methods and software, and artefacts “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”. Research should, by default, be made openly available in a timely manner, unless there is a valid reason (e.g., ethical or commercial) for restricting access or reuse.
- describe research data according to the FAIR Data Principles ensuring that it is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable;
- adopt standard identifiers (e.g., ORCID) both for individuals and for assets (e.g., DOIs) to aid discoverability and re-use; and
- apply practices that support reproducibility, in research contexts where this is possible and appropriate. These include, but are not limited to, pre-registration of standard procedures and analysis plans, and transparent reporting of research designs, methods, statistical analysis and results.
The University of Surrey recognises the value of an open and transparent approach to research practice as integral to the quality, rigour and impact of its research. With this in mind, the University of Surrey is committed to:
- developing and embedding open research practices that value transparency, accessibility and reproducibility, as intrinsic to the University’s research culture;
- promoting relevant cultural change, e.g., as discussed in the League of European Research Universities (LERU) policy paper on open science;
- providing training and development opportunities for the research community that facilitate an understanding of open research;
- enhancing the sharing of knowledge and best practice across the University of Surrey, including via the Open Research Team and the Open Research Working Group;
- actively supporting the wider open research agenda through collaboration and alignment with national and international partners and networks (e.g., UK Reproducibility Network); and
- the development and promotion of responsible and fair approaches to research assessment and measurement of research impact, as endorsed by the institutional Statement on Responsible Metrics.
The position statement is aligned to funder policies, with which the University must comply, including:
- Concordat on Open Research Data (PDF)
- Concordat to Support Research Integrity
- EPSRC Policy Framework on Research Data
- Horizon 2020 Open Access to Scientific Publications and Open Access to Research Data
- REF Open Access Policy (PDF)
- UKRI Policy on Open Access
- UKRI Policy on Research Data
- Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy
In addition, the University acknowledges that it must comply with the requirements for open access and research data mandated by other organisations from which it receives funding. View a list of research funders’ open access policies.
The position statement is also informed by key sector statements, references and initiatives, both national and international, including:
- Budapest Open Access Initiative
- Munafò MR et al. (2017). A manifesto for reproducible science. Nature Human Behaviour, 1, 0021.
- Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics
- Principles of cOAlition S
- San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
- Snowball Metrics
- The FAIR Data Principles
- The Metric Tide: Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management
- UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics
- Wellcome’s Guidance for research organisations on how to implement responsible and fair approaches for research assessment
For further information, resources and details of the support that the University of Surrey offers see the University of Surrey’s open research pages.
This statement is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. ‘Developed from the UCL Statement on Transparency in Research, November 2019’.
We promote and support open and immediate access to publications, data, and other research outputs, to:
- Encourage transparency, reproducibility, and re-use of our research.
- Build on each other's work.
- Lift barriers to accessing knowledge.
- Practise responsible metrics.
- Engage the public and increase impact.
Free and open access to research findings offers significant benefits to all sectors of society. It increases access to insights and knowledge and in turn, supports the research community’s ability to tackle global challenges.
Reaching wider audiences
Our publications are available at the University's open access repository and rank highly on Google searches. They are accessed by researchers, practitioners and the wider public from more than 200 countries every day. Downloads from the repository have recently passed the five million mark.
How we support open research
The Open Research team in the Library supports with:
- Open access to research outputs: advice on authors' rights and publishing options, liaison with publishers, and management of the University’s open access repository, to ensure maximum visibility of Surrey’s research output in line with funders’ policies.
- Research data management: support and advice on available solutions and best practice, as set out by research funders.
- Researcher profiles: advice on identifiers such as ORCID, and support with the visibility of the researcher to various audiences.
- Bibliometrics and altmetrics: advocacy on the use of responsible metrics in line with the values and principles of international and UK metrics communities.
Visit the open access information on the library website to learn more.