Statement on open research

UWE Bristol encourages our research community to explore the benefits of using open practices in their research and supports a growing culture and practice of open research.

UWE Bristol is committed to the aims and principles of open research. We encourage our research community to explore the benefits of using open practices in their research. We will seek to increase the quality, integrity and accessibility of our research by supporting a growing culture and practice of open research.

We encourage our researchers to be as open as possible, as early as possible, and to explore options for open access publication of research findings and open sharing of data, taking account of university and other policies.

What is open research?

Open research is based on the principle that knowledge produces the greatest benefits if it is shared as widely as possible. It comprises a set of principles and practices that aim to make the outputs of research freely accessible and usable, as early as possible, for maximum public benefit. 

Open research is relevant to all researchers, although processes and practices will differ according to discipline and research context. Common practices include:

  • making the outputs of research, including publications, data, software and other research materials freely accessible
  • using online tools and services to increase the transparency of research processes and methodologies
  • making scientific research more reproducible by increasing the amount and quality of information openly available to the wider public
  • using alternative models of publication and peer review to make dissemination and certification of research faster and more transparent
  • using open collaborative methods to increase efficiency and widen participation in research.

UWE Bristol’s mission – excellence with impact

In line with the University’s mission to promote ‘internationally excellent research with real-world impact’, we recognise that open research practices can increase the integrity, quality and productivity of research. They can also bring benefits to individual researchers in terms of academic reputation and reward, opportunities for collaboration, and the generation of impact. Typically, research conducted on open principles is more collaborative, transparent and reproducible, and makes its outputs more accessible to a greater number of people.

The benefits of open access include:

  • maximising the academic, social and economic impact of research, by making research findings more easily accessible and reusable for a wider range of audiences, including for research, innovation and teaching and to support public engagement
  • enhancing the integrity and rigour of research through greater openness, transparency and increased opportunity for findings to be scrutinised
  • improving the efficiency of research and of scholarly communication by reducing duplication and enabling easier access to research and identification of past findings.

The openness imperative

The principles of open research are reflected increasingly in the policies of public funders and research organisations that promote greater communication, collaboration and public access to research, and in the evolving models of scholarly communication. For example, many funders and journal publishers already require researchers to share their data, and such expectations are likely to increase. Change is also being driven by the needs of academic communities, and a broad range of research users in businesses, communities, the third sector, public sector and the wider world.

The research community, inside and outside academia, is moving towards greater openness, and there are clear benefits to embracing these developments, not simply responding to compliance requirements.

Limitations

In the promotion of open research, it is important to recognise that not everything can, or should, be made open. There are ethical, legal and commercial reasons why some research outputs and research data cannot be made openly accessible; the communication of results and sharing of data should take these into account.

See guidance on Intellectual Property, including UWE Bristol's IP policy and regulations, or email tech.transfer@uwe.ac.uk.

See guidance on whether to make research data open access and on restricting access, or email lib.rke@uwe.ac.uk.  

See guidance on research ethics, including ethical review procedures, or email researchethics@uwe.ac.uk.

Open research policies and support

The University’s approach to open research is underpinned by our policies for open access (in development) and research data management policy (PDF). Responsibility for the open access policy sits with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise).

Support for open research is provided by:

Library Services, including:

  • administration of the University’s Research Repository and Research Data Repository
  • administering open access funding
  • increasing opportunities for open access publication through the best use of publisher deals
  • advice on research data management
  • advice on funder requirements for open access publishing
  • advice on open access requirements for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

For any further enquiries, contact lib.rke@uwe.ac.uk.

Research, Business and Innovation, including:

  • advice on intellectual property and UWE Bristol's IP policy
  • advice and administration of UWE Bristol research ethics processes and procedures
  • advice on research governance, including research data management, GDPR compliance, data security and data storage.

See additional information on the Library's research support pages for postgraduate researchers and research staff.

For any further enquiries, contact research@uwe.ac.uk.