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Open Research Position Statement

  • Version 1.0
  • Last updated:

1. Purpose of this statement

This Statement summarises the key principles for the conduct and support of Open Research at Cardiff University. The Statement is informed by external frameworks including the League of European Research Universities (LERU) advice paper ‘Open Science and its role in Universities: a roadmap for cultural change, May 2018’, and the Concordat on Open Research Data.

This statement has been produced by the University’s Open Research Task and Finish Group and approved by the University’s Open Research, Integrity and Ethics Committee. More detailed Policy Frameworks for Open Access and Research Data Management are available in section 9 of this document.

This Statement will be reviewed and refreshed at least every two years and after major policy changes.

2. Statement of intent

Research integrity, ethics and Open Research are a critical part of Cardiff University’s vision, and the University is committed to ensuring that Cardiff is a leader in these areas. Working with our staff and students, we are striving to develop innovative approaches to support Open Research and the responsible use of research metrics, and ensuring our staff and students obtain high-quality training so they know how to undertake rigorous and credible research of the highest standard.

3. What is Open Research?

Open Research is the practice of undertaking research in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, protocols, lab notes and other research processes are readily available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods (see Foster Open Science).

Open Research comprises openness throughout the research cycle, through collaborative working and sharing and making research methodology, software, code and digital research materials readily available online, along with instructions for using them. Open Research includes, but is not limited to, making publications freely available online (Open Access), in addition to the underlying research data (Open Data), software, research protocols, tissue samples and the research materials used (see University of Exeter on Open Research).

4. Benefits of Open Research

Open Research is about creating greater efficiency and productivity. Embedding Open Research as an integral part of good research practice conveys significant benefits, as outlined in the Open Research Data Task Force report, and the League of European Research Universities’ Open Science paper. These benefits include:

4.1. Improving the visibility, and therefore discoverability, of all qualitative and quantitative research products (including, but not limited to datasets, software, research protocols, tissue samples, reagents, cell lines). This should allow greater recognition of authors and help enhance research impact;

4.2. Providing for the use of recognised identifiers/processes to give due acknowledgement to authors and external funders;

4.3. Promoting more effective communication and collaboration between researchers;

4.4. Improving the rigour, validity and reproducibility of research by ensuring that truth claims are accompanied by the evidence on which they are based, and making that evidence more readily accessible for scrutiny and interrogation;

4.5. Accelerating and increasing the impact of research both within the research community and beyond. Open data and publications can be interrogated, reused, built upon and adapted, leading to new research findings, development and innovation.

5. Open Research at Cardiff University

5.1. The University aims to be a leader in generating new knowledge, tools and policies in partnership with business, industry, government and other major stakeholders, facilitated by a vibrant and inclusive research environment. These research outcomes are a vital part of accelerating the contributions that Cardiff University makes to the health, wealth, security and well-being of future generations in Wales, the UK and globally.

5.2. The University supports the UK Research and Innovation position on Open Research, including the 2016 Concordat on Open Research Data.

5.3. Research outputs (including publications, protocols, qualitative and quantitative results and the data supporting those results) should be open to scrutiny, discussion and debate to improve transparency, discoverability and access to knowledge.

5.4. In promoting a strong Open Research culture, united in our commitment to delivering the highest standards of academic achievement, we can ensure that Cardiff University remains a sector leader in research quality and integrity.

5.5. The University has committed to following the principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment and the responsible use of metrics.

6. Expectations on researchers

6.1. The University expects all researchers to observe the highest standards of research integrity as set out in the Research Integrity and Governance Code of Practice.

6.2. Subject to considerations such as confidentiality, security and protection of intellectual property rights, researchers should be open to sharing their research with other researchers and the public, and be willing to promote the open exchange of ideas and information.

6.3. Researchers have the freedom to choose the appropriate means to disseminate research outputs and data (in all its forms). That choice comes with a responsibility to ensure that all research outputs and accompanying data are made ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’.

6.4. The University expects its researchers to be open with other researchers and the public regarding their work and promote the open exchange of ideas and information. This includes the necessary rigour to ensure that open materials are of the highest quality. This may include:

  • where possible, ensuring all publications are Open Access;
  • where appropriate and possible, making openly available the underlying data relating to these publications;
  • sharing protocols openly.

6.5. The University expects that research data that substantiates research findings or is likely to be of interest for future research shall be deposited for preservation to a University, national or international data service or repository, where legal, contractual and ethical considerations allow. Research data must be deposited with the appropriate metadata and documentation and shall adhere to the FAIR data principles, whereby data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

6.6. Ensuring Open Research requirements are considered as when costing a research project and throughout the project lifecycle.

6.7. At all times, researchers are expected to act in accordance with the expectations of those funding the research, and with the minimum thresholds set by regulatory bodies.

7. Supporting our researchers

The University will support its researchers through:

7.1. An appropriate governance structure, including Open Research leads within each School, an Open Research Operational Group, reporting into the University Open Research, Integrity and Ethics committee and Professional services support (including staff in Research Innovation Services, University Library Services and University IT).

7.2. Recognising the track records of academics in Open Research practices as part of institutional hiring, promotion, and appraisal policies.

7.3. Developing a culture of Open Research throughout the organisation, including internal and external communication methods.

7.4. Provision of support, advice and guidance for individual researchers, appropriate to their disciplinary setting, including guidance on protecting intellectual property, ensuring confidentiality and licensing and sharing of data, code and digital materials.

7.5. Provision of training in Open Research methods, including, but not limited to, research data management, Open Access, responsible use of metrics, and the Human Tissue Act.

7.6. Ensuring long-term sustainability of open materials and their continued open accessibility, including the purchase of an institutional data repository system planned for late 2019.

7.7. Engaging with government and sector organisations, international consortia to ensure policy development and compliance is in keeping with the needs of the University and broader society.

8. Support

Please direct any questions regarding the University’s Open Research Position Statement to the Research Integrity and Governance team, Research and Innovation Services:

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Document title:Open Research Position Statement
Version number:1.0