Skip to Main Content

Open Research Toolkit

Created by the Open Research Working Group, comprising representatives of the Australian Research Management Society (ARMS) and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), the Toolkit supports Australasian institutions to implement or further

Open Research Toolkit



Open research supports research discovery and the translation of research into benefits for the public by requiring researchers to immediately share their results with other researchers, policy makers and practitioners who can apply the new knowledge.

Disseminating your research outputs through open access channels means that other researchers, practitioners in the field and the general public can find, access, share and apply your research findings. Open research provides more exposure for your outcomes, increases innovation, encourages collaboration and improves community engagement.

How to be an open researcher. Conduct research responsibly. Comply with open research policy. Make your outputs FAIR. Apply the CARE principles. Use Creative Commons licenses. Ensure you work has a DOI. Make your outputs openly accessible. Make your data openly accessible. Make your code openly accessible. Maintain your current awareness.

Apply Guidelines on the Responsible Conduct of Research

It’s important to apply guidelines related to the responsible conduct of research. Applying these guidelines:

  • encourages the widest possible dissemination of research at the earliest opportunity

  • ensures appropriate collection, access and use of data 

  • ensures data produced through publicly funded research is accessible.


Open researchers are familiar with and apply the guidelines in the following documents.

Comply with the Open Research Policies of Your Funders and Institution

As a researcher, you need to comply with the open research policies and requirements of the relevant research funding body and your own institution, including open access, open data and data management policies. In Australia, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) are the key competitive funding bodies with open research policy requirements. Other funders of research, particularly international agencies who are part of cOAlition S (see below), may have specific open research conditions. It is important that you are aware of and adhere to the obligations contained in associated funding agreements.


Use Creative Commons Licensing

Licence your research outputs - including data* - with an appropriate Creative Commons licence. Creative Commons licences facilitate access to and use of copyright works. There are a range of Creative Commons licences which are suitable for research outputs.

* Some institutions may recommend alternative practices for licensing data. Discuss with your institution's research office.


Ensure Your Work has a Digital Object Identifier

Where possible, make sure your research and associated outputs, including data, have a persistent Digital Object Identifier (DOI). This will allow other researchers and users to find, cite and potentially reuse your research outputs.


Make your Research Outputs Openly Accessible

Making your research outputs openly accessible is a key part of being an open researcher. You need to consider what type of open access is appropriate for your research outputs. Funder requirements may also contain guidance regarding the most appropriate type of open access (including the need to consider costs associated with some forms). Options for making your publications openly accessible include:

  • Publish in an open access journal (which may involve paying article processing charges)

  • Publish open access in a hybrid journal (which may involve paying article processing charges)

  • Make the author accepted manuscript version of your publication freely available through a repository.

Publish Your Work in an Open Access Journal

Open access journals provide free online access to the full content of the journal. Publishing in an open access journal may incur article processing charges (APCs), which can vary considerably between journals. This is referred to as gold open access publishing.

Deposit Your Publications in Repositories

Increase the visibility and accessibility of your research by depositing a version in a subject-based repository or an institutional repository. This is referred to as green open access publishing. Every university in Australia has a repository for this purpose.

Avoid Predatory Publishers

Predatory publishing is an exploitative academic publishing business model where publication fees are charged to authors without any peer review for quality and validity and without the provision of editorial and publishing services. Open researchers must evaluate journals and publishers before submitting their work. Ask peers and colleagues about their experiences with a publisher and investigate using the resources below.


Make your Research Data FAIR and Openly Accessible

FAIR. Findable. Accessible. Interoperable. Reusable.

Ensure your research outputs such as data, software and code data are findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR). FAIR data incorporates the principle of ‘Open as possible, closed as necessary’ in order to foster the reusability of data and to accelerate research while safeguarding sensitive or private data. Researchers should consider depositing their data to facilitate reuse as part of their data management plan.


Apply the CARE Principles

Consider your research data in relation to the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance - Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics (CARE). The CARE Principles are people and purpose-oriented, reflecting the crucial role of data in advancing Indigenous innovation and self-determination. You should also consider the requirements for data within the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research.


Make your Code / Software Openly Accessible

Consider your code or software in the same way as any of your other research sources and outputs. Think about citing prior code, giving your code an identifier and giving it a licence which enables adaptations of your work to be shared. Research software published through commercial or institutional repositories can be made discoverable through Research Data Australia with descriptive metadata to facilitate discovery and reuse.


Maintain your Current Awareness

Staying up to date with the latest issues and developments in open research nationally and internationally allows open researchers and supporters to effectively promote the benefits of open research.


This list includes selected websites, news sources, toolkits, and resource lists that will help you stay up to date or develop your skills and knowledge related to open research.

Except where otherwise noted, all content on the Open Research Toolkit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) licence. Under the licence conditions, please attribute Open Research Toolkit.