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Five practical ways to make your research open

Find out how to conduct research that's transparent, verifiable and reproducible.


Open research (also commonly called open science) refers to the idea that research should be conducted in a way that is transparent, verifiable, and reproducible. Here are five ways you can incorporate open practices into your research.

Publish open access

Open-access publication means publishing your research in a way this is available for anyone to access online for free. As most research is publicly funded there is an increasing awareness that any outputs should be available to the public. Many funders now require open-access publication. It is also beneficial to researchers by increasing citations, public engagement, and opportunities for collaboration. The Open Access team at the library have further information about ways to publish open access, including how to access financial support.

Use pre-prints

You can publish your manuscript in an archive before submitting it for peer review to an academic journal. This is referred to as a ‘pre-print’. Popular archives include arXiv (Physics, Maths), bioRxiv (Biology), PsyArxiv (Psychology), and SocArxiv (Sociology). Pre-prints promote transparency by allowing any changes following peer-review to be visible.

Pre-register your research

If you collect data as part of your research, you can pre-register your study hypotheses, design, and any analyses as part of a time-stamped recorded plan in a public repository. This helps improve the quality and transparency of research by allowing others to see any deviations from the original plan in the final published piece of research. A popular platform for pre-registration is the Open Science Framework.

Publish your data

You can make any data that you collect or create as part of your research openly available for others to use. This highlights the quality and reproducibility of your work by allowing others to reproduce your findings using your data. It also promotes collaborative science by allowing others to re-use your data. You can publish your data in the University of Bath data archive.

Publish your research materials

You can also publish any materials that you have created for your research (e.g., survey questions, video stimuli, algorithms, coding schemes, code for statistical analysis etc.) so that they are openly available to the research community. This helps make your research transparent by allowing others to see exactly what you used and encourages collaboration by ensuring your materials can be reused. Materials can be published alongside data on the University of Bath data archive or on the Open Science Framework.

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