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What is open research?

Open research comprises openness throughout the research cycle, through collaborative working and sharing and making research methodology, software, code and equipment freely available online, along with instructions for using it. Open research includes making publications freely available online (open access), in addition to the underlying research data (open data).

Open access to research publications and data means that these are freely available to be viewed and downloaded by anybody with an internet connection, anywhere in the world, without having to log in or pay. Open access benefits individuals not affiliated with institutions that buy access to journal content, this can include researchers in developing countries, practitioners such as health workers, governments and members of the public (whose taxes helped to fund the research).

Licences such as Creative Commons applied to open access publications and data allow reuse, subject to proper attribution to the author of the work. The data and publications can be interrogated, reused, built upon and adapted, leading to new research findings, development and innovation.

Open access outputs may have higher usage and more citations. Open access can help to build your research profile and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, in addition to increasing the visibility and impact of University of Exeter research.

Open research benefits you as an individual as well as the institution and society as a whole. 

Find out how to make your work open access.

Why make your work open access?

Professor Sabina Leonelli on why she chooses to make her work open access: so that it is more widely accessible and can be read and reused by members of the public, researchers in developing countries and other individuals not based at academic institutions.

The benefits of open access

The benefits of open access include higher citations, greater visibility, wider distribution, enhanced reputation, stimulating dialogue and increased impact of research.

Open access success stories

As an interdisciplinary researcher, Professor Sabina Leonelli explains how making her work open access increases readership, opening it up to researchers beyond the field she is publishing in and beyond academia to industry and policy makers, evidenced in increased exposure, greater visibility, higher citations and collaboration opportunities.

What does openness mean to a researcher?

Find out what open science means to researcher Sabina Leonelli, Professor of Philosophy and History of Science at the University of Exeter.

Advice to open access sceptics

Professor Sabina Leonelli debunks the myth that open access publications are lower quality and addresses the concern that researchers don’t have time to think about open access.

Challenges of open access

Professor Sabina Leonelli highlights challenges of open access including identifying suitable open access publication routes and barriers to this, including subscription only or 'hybrid' journals where research is published behind a log in / paywall and only accessible to individuals at institutions that pay journal subscription fees to the publisher.