Open research (or open science/scholarship) is the practice of research that enables others to collaborate, validate and contribute, where research outputs, data, protocols, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.
The establishment of open research requires a change in research culture at all levels of the University, in principles, practices and policies. Support in the form of tools, standards, guidance, training and dedicated advice are required to effect this change.
The University is committed to open research as indicated in priority 20 of the Strategic Plan 2018–23.
Open research support and guidance for researchers
Open access is free, online access to research publications that would otherwise require institutional subscriptions to journals.
The University's Open Access website has information about funder requirements (UKRI, Wellcome and others) and what you can do to make your publication open access, for example through deposit to the Oxford Research Archive. You can also read the University's policy on open access.
Research data are a very valuable resource, and sharing research data for scrutiny and reuse will help drive transparency, improve cooperation and strengthen the quality of research.
Many research funders now encourage or require you to share data, especially research data that are part of a research publication.
The Research Data Oxford website provides advice, guidance and information on how and when research data can be shared, what might limit or prohibit data sharing, and what can be done to enable other researchers to correctly cite your data where it has been made available. You can also read the University's policy on the management of data supporting research outputs.
Reproducible Research Oxford (RROx)
RROx is a researcher-led, cross-University initiative focused on both advancing the open research agenda and research reproducibility, extending to all disciplines. RROx is the local network of UKRN, the UK Reproducibility Network. RROx coordinate events and initiatives and maintain a list of relevant resources. If you are interested, do get in touch with RROx.
Research integrity is a core underpinning value of research. It requires adherence by the research community to consistently high standards, together with openness and transparency, thereby securing public trust in, and support for, research, while also ensuring that research findings can be used as effectively as possible.
The Research Support website lists the University's policies, guidelines and procedures relating to research integrity and ethics.
Responsible and fair research assessment
The University of Oxford became a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) in 2018, and is committed to implementing the core principles as part of a fair and responsible approach for research assessment.
Outputs in the implementation of DORA so far include:
- In Michaelmas term 2019, Research and Innovation Committee approved a set of ten principles to promote responsible use of research metrics at Oxford;
- Development of the University’s REF 2021 Code of Practice in accordance with DORA;
- Inclusion in Associate Professor inclusive recruitment guidelines;
- Practical guidance for hiring managers, reward panels, and HR advisors, published in 2022.
This work is overseen by Research and Innovation Committee as part of the University’s Research Culture programme, under the priority area of Valuing Contributions. Ongoing projects are listed on our Research Culture pages.