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It’s likely that you’ve heard of the terms open access, open data, open research, open science. “Open” this and “open” that! You might start to feel a bit like the doorperson at the Savoy. But rest assured, there’s no need to be overwhelmed by the terminology.

It’s all about your links

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Essentially, we should strive to make research openly available: the papers we write (“open access”); the research data we gather (“open data”), along with a bunch of other work we do (code, lab notebooks, database search strategies, clinical trial reports). You name it. Research can include several valuable outputs in addition to scholarly papers. Linking all research outputs together helps researchers, policymakers, government officials, clinicians and the wider general public to consume, utilise or build upon your work. Individual outputs interlink and connect, knitting together a transparent trajectory of all research conducted. This is open science in action. Or open research, if you prefer.

The only way is up

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As well as societal benefits, Open Science increases the visibility of researchers’ profiles. A number of studies prove open access content attracts higher citations. Making a wide number of research outputs from a project publicly available; for example, papers, datasets, code or lab notes, can help the academic community become actively engaged with your research. Open Science links all the research outputs for a project together which helps the research community understand your research or allows them to build upon it.  Researchers can create complete profiles of their works, which can be evidenced for impact cases. Long term, Open Science can also help institutions to save costs by reducing duplication –  for instance, building upon existing datasets already out there in the digitised research ecosystem – instead of funding data collection that is not needed.

Become an Open Science Wizard

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Open Science is dependent on exemplary research practice to facilitate sharing and collaboration. If research conducted doesn’t go through the proper procedures or channels to make it findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable then it’s most likely going to be of little use to the world at large. So how does one become a well versed open science wizard?

Well, firstly remember you are not alone. The Library’s Research Support and Research Data Management teams offer a range of support to help you manage and make your research data and your publications open.  There are a number of workshops for both academic staff and postgraduate researchers including training on Research Data Management, Open Access, raising visibility of research and ORCID.

Open Science Training Courses

What is Open Science?
This introductory course from FOSTER helps you understand what is open science and why it’s important.

Best Practice in Open Research
This course helps you to navigate open research best practice in line with funder and institutional policies.

Research Data Resources

Research Data Management Toolkit: Sharing RDM knowledge and good practice

This toolkit from JISC supports researchers throughout the entire research data lifecycle by signposting resources from a wide range of websites and organisations, sorted by topic and audience.

Coursera Mooc – Research Data Management and Sharing

Open Access Resources

Open Access Explained
Video all about the benefits of making publications open access made by the Library.