Principles of Open Research at Lancaster University

Open Research (used interchangeably with Open Science) champions the idea that scholarly and scientific knowledge (and data) should be shared as freely as possible and as early as possible in the research process across all disciplines, both within and beyond academia.

The Value of Open Research

Open Research offers numerous potential benefits: providing medical and health researchers with robust data to improve health outcomes, enabling scholars to work at the intersection of digital technologies and the arts and humanities, and driving innovation for business and entrepreneurs by providing them with access to leading research findings.

Open Research increases transparency and accelerates discovery and innovation, enabling all members of an enquiring society to learn from and build upon scholarship and science – improving the health of our communities, advancing our understanding of the human condition, and empowering small to medium businesses and third sector organisations. We all stand to benefit.

The UK Research and Development Roadmap (2020) states that “we must embrace the potential of Open Research practices” to protect the integrity of our research and ensure that knowledge is shared and spread collaboratively all over the world. Increasingly, open practices are an essential condition of research grants as funders seek to maximise their return on investment in research as a public good.

Lancaster's Position

The University’s Charter states that its objects “shall be to advance knowledge, wisdom and understanding by teaching and research and by the example and influence of its corporate life”. This undertaking places a responsibility on members of the university to commit its research output for the good of all people; an undertaking that has been reflected in the research activity of the institution since its beginning.

Strongly encouraged by the founding vice-chancellor, staff undertook research that was challenging and often included current real-life issues, necessitating the researcher to make the results known at an early stage and to have them published. Research staff have consistently collaborated with other universities – regionally, nationally and internationally – as well as with institutions beyond higher education, including business, government agencies and charities.

The principles and practices of Open Research are aligned with our prevailing research culture, reflecting core values embedded within Lancaster University’s moto, Patet omnibus veritas (truth lies open to all).

The University has invested significant resources on Open Research, including the establishment of a dedicated team in the Library who work with colleagues across all disciplines of the University, both at Bailrigg and at the institutions in the region and abroad with whom we have academic links.

We promote Open Research, which includes the transparency of processes and sharing of outputs, such as publications, data, code, corpora, protocols and methodologies. We explicitly recognise the benefits to the world-wide research community of research transparency and openness and look for reciprocal treatment from our research partners.

By practicing Open Research our academic community:

  • Demonstrate their research is transparent and their data robust;
  • Enable other researchers to validate their results;
  • Safeguard the global research community against plagiarism and fraud;
  • Facilitate rapid and accurate dissemination of research findings;
  • Increase the likelihood of citations and the peer recognition of the research output;
  • Ensure research grant applications align with funder expectations;
  • Increase the scope for further investment by funders in the research area;
  • Help other researchers to avoid duplicating research;
  • Safeguard access to the research findings and data for the long-term;
  • Extend the social and economic influence and impact of the research; and
  • Increase opportunities for collaborations and partnerships.

The principles and practices of Open Research are aligned with our prevailing research culture, reflecting core values embedded within Lancaster University’s motto, Patet omnibus veritas (truth lies open to all).

A quote from Lancaster University