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Open Research: a Practical Guide


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

Information iconThis 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.

What is open research?

York Open Research logo
The 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.

'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.

Open research and the global pandemic

Covid-19 virus cartoon

Open research practice has taken a key role during Covid-19, and this guide includes information on how different open methodologies have helped to disseminate valuable research related to the pandemic. 

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

"The developments of the last two years, as the research community has responded to the global crisis, have created opportunities which now need to be grasped in order to effect ongoing positive change in the scholarly communication system" - Research on Research Institute report (Dec 2021)

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 insights and knowledge much sooner" - Wellcome Trust

Further help

The York Open Research Community of Practice brings together researchers, support staff and advocates from across the University to discuss open research and provide support in different practices. 

  • Our wiki space contains information about the York Open Research Advocates network, as well as our Open Research Awards Scheme, case studies, events, and training opportunities across the University.
  • We have created a York Open Research Slack channel where staff and postgraduate students can share expertise and ask questions. 
  • You can follow York Open Research on Twitter (@UoYOpenRes) for the latest discussions, updates and recommended resources for open research practice across all disciplines. 

Central support is also provided by the Open Research team, who provide guidance and training on different aspects of open research practice (see below).

Training sessions for postgraduate researchers and staff

The Open Research team offer training to postgraduate researchers and staff through the Building Research and Innovation Capacity (BRIC) programme.

To book a session go to: SkillsForge - Postgraduate Researchers or LMS - Staff (login required).

Autumn Term sessions:

Show details & booking for all selected sessions

If you need information, take a look at the:

You can also contact the team by email to:

  • ask a question
  • request training for your department, research group, staff and/or postgraduate researchers

Alternatively, book an Open Research Online Appointment to discuss your individual needs.

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: