Open Research at the University of Bristol
Open research is a broad range of practices which, when combined, makes research more accessible, transparent, reproducible, and visible.
Open research incorporates many practices, not all of which are applicable to every discipline, but it has at its core:
- Open access to research outputs
- Making research data available
- Making underlying code or software available
- Using preprint servers (eg: medRxiv, PsyArXiv, bioRxiv and arXiv)
- Open peer review
- Registered reports
- Using permanent identifiers, such as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for articles and data, and ORCiD for researchers
- Using responsible metrics in the assessment of research quality
- Citizen Science
All of these practices support the transparency of research, add to the quality and robustness of research outputs, and promote research integrity. They demonstrate that research conducted at the University is of the highest quality, and that its researchers use best practice when undertaking research. You can read more on open research practices at UKRI's Open Research webpage, and Wellcome's Open Research webpage.
The UK Reproducibility Network provides peer-led perspectives and a set of primers on open research practices. The joint Library/UK Reproducibility Network Open Research Prize 2021 case studies offer practical examples of how local initiatives can showcase the breadth of open research practices across our Schools and Faculties.
The Library and Open Research Support
The Library's Research Support Team provides training, advice and support on gold and green open access publishing, including depositing accepted manuscripts in PURE, the University’s institutional repository, and its public-facing portal, Explore Bristol Research.
Within this team, a dedicated Research Data Service provides researchers with training, advice and support on how to plan, manage and share research data through data.bris, the University’s Research Data Repository.
The University of Bristol commits to the principles of open access. Open access to our research outputs ensures the work we do can be read by anyone with an internet connection, regardless of wealth or access to library subscriptions. It also ensures the highest profile for our research, ensuring our work makes the largest impact.
We ask our researchers to do the following:
- Follow the University's Open Access Policy by depositing accepted manuscripts of journal articles, peer-reviewed conference papers and University of Bristol PhD theses in Pure so they can be accessed via Explore Bristol Research
- Follow the requirements of funders' open access policies, including Research England’s open access policy for the REF
- Consider the openness of a journal when deciding where to publish, and avoid publishing in journals that prevent the open dissemination of research
- Request copyright licences that enable re-use and sharing of publications, such as the CC-BY and CC-BY-ND licences
- Use appropriate Preprint repositories, to provide early access to research for comment and discussion
- Consider whether your article would benefit from open peer review, and whether you can publish in a journal that supports it
- Encourage students and new members of staff to get a basic introduction to open access and open research through the online Academic Publishing Essentials course
- Consider ways you can go above and beyond the requirements of policy, to make your work as open and accessible as possible
The University has a Research Data Management and Open Data policy, is committed to the principles and the practices endorsed by the UK Concordat on Open Data, and promotes the principles of FAIR data.
Publishing datasets ensures that data underpinning our research can be accessed by others. This makes our research transparent and reproducible as it increases the amount and quality of publicly available information.
We ask our researchers to do the following:
- Practice good research data management, to make sharing simple, and datasets easy to understand
- Use the University’s Research Data Storage Facility, to ensure data is safely and securely managed
- Publish data in a data repository as soon as possible, or at the latest, alongside the publication of research articles and conference proceedings
- Add data access statements to published articles, which direct readers to where the data can be accessed, and under what conditions
- Where data is sensitive, publish a record of research data which provides details on how data can be published, and under what conditions
- Publish any underlying code alongside your data, or in a code repository
The University’s policy statement on responsible metrics aligns with external initiatives on the same task, including the Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics and the Metric Tide report and we are a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). We are committed to using research metrics responsibly, including using qualitative measures alongside appropriate quantitative metrics, using a range of metrics where these are required, and considering a wide range of research outputs in assessments of research quality.
The University has:
- Provided a Research Data Repository to support publication of non-traditional research outputs such as datasets
- Implemented an Academic Promotion Framework (PDF) that considers qualitative measures of excellence in promotion criteria, rather than quantitative metrics
- Provided training and support to academics to ensure that where quantitative metrics are required, they are used appropriately
Training and guidance
We offer a one-hour workshop on the basics of open research.