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Subject Guides

Open Research: a Practical Guide


This Practical Guide provides helpful support and links to recommended external resources for a range of open research practices.

This is a practical guide offering an introduction to open research methods which can be applied at different stages of your work. This guidance is intended for researchers of all levels, and across all academic disciplines.

The Open Research at York web page also provides information on open research initiatives and examples of good practice from across the University.

What is open research?

open signThe University's Open Research Statement outlines the core idea behind open research: "all aspects of the research cycle should be shared and accessible where possible. Research should be as open as possible, as closed as necessary."

Openly accessible publications and data are more frequently read, re-used and cited than those behind a paywall. Crucially, they are more accessible to a broader audience of readers who do not have access to academic libraries and subscription content. Open research also provides new opportunities for collaboration on a global scale and promotes the reliability and validity of your research by allowing others to reproduce or replicate the work.

Covid-19 virus cartoon

Open research practice has taken a key role during the Covid-19 pandemic. This guide includes information on how different open methodologies are helping to disseminate valuable research related to the virus. 

SPARC Europe have also put together an extensive set of resources to showcase open research initiatives and discussions in the current crisis. 

'Open research' or 'open science'?

These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but are based on the same principles of collaboration and accountability. Open research is relevant to all researchers (not just scientists), but its applications will differ between disciplines.

CISPC - What Does Open Research Mean To You?

A variety of definitions and perspectives from across the scholarly communications industry

Wellcome Trust - What is Open Research?

"Researchers around the world, in all disciplines, store, share and reuse their outputs with the wider community, so everyone can access knowledge and insights much sooner, helping to advance their work and support reproducibility" - Wellcome Trust (2017).

Further resources

Stack of books

Throughout this guide there are external links to additional reading and guidance on specific aspects of open research practice.

These are some general sources of information and support which may also be of interest: