Skip to Main Content

Open research

Information is provided on a number of different ways you can embed open practices into your research.

Upcoming Research Spotlights

Library Research Spotlight's - Completed for 2023. 

Look out for the 2024 Spotlight here early next year.


Register for a webinar

What is open research?

Open research is “scholarly research that is collaborative, transparent and reproducible and whose outputs are publicly available” (European Commission, 2018, p. 4)

Open research applies to the entire research cycle, not just open access publishing. Open research extends to all disciplines and types of research, inclusive of protocols, data, code, software, publications, and more. Many elements of the research lifecycle can be made open, transparent, and reproducible.


European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. (2018). OSPP-REC : Open Science Policy Platform Recommendations,

Open research principles

The principles of Open Research will be reflected in the policies of public funders and organisations that promote greater public access to research. The principles apply to all researchers and all disciplines, and are:

  • Accessible outputs - making the outputs of research, including publications, data, software, and other research materials freely accessible
  • Transparent processes - using online tools and services to increase the transparency of research processes and methodologies
  • Reproducible - making scientific research more reproducible by increasing the amount and quality of information placed on the public record
  • Faster dissemination - using alternative models of publication and peer review to make the dissemination and certification of research faster and more transparent
  • Open collaboration - Using open collaborative methods to increase efficiency and widen participation in research

Open licenses

'Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose' (The Open Definition)

The outputs of research, including publications, research data and software code, should be shared under an open licence wherever possible, in order to maximise opportunities for their consultation and re-use by others.

Examples of open licences include:

The Creative Commons licence suite includes versions with Non-Commercial and No-Derivatives terms. These are not open licences, because of the restrictions the terms place on re-use. But if the material cannot be made available under an open licence, it is still wise to publish under a standard licence that offers the closest approximation. CC BY-NC may not be an open licence, but it grants broad permission for use in research and teaching and other non-commercial activities.


"Open definition" by Open Knowledge Foundation is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Related guides