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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 improves access, transparency and reproducibility, which provides benefits for researchers, research communities, research institutions, governments, industry, and society more generally. 

Open access is one important piece in the open research puzzle. The benefits of open access are often summarised by the following graphic, created by Danny Kingsley and Sarah Brown.

 

Many of these benefits apply to other aspects of open research, too.

Unpacking the Benefits of Open Research

The benefits of open research are many and varied. The following section summarises the benefits for key stakeholders.

Open research benefits everyone - from individuals, to industry, to researchers and governments - in the following ways:

  • Improved access to the scientific literature by individuals and organisations within and beyond academia, including the community broadly
  • Increased trust in research through:
    • Increased transparency in the peer review process
    • Improved transparency and reproducibility through visibility of data and validation
  • Increased citizen engagement with and participation in research
  • Faster identification of new research opportunities
  • Faster translation from research to application
  • Increased visibility of outcomes from public investment in research
  • Improved public access to authoritative information.

Open research has other benefits for different stakeholder groups, too. Expand the headings below to see what the benefits are for other groups.

Additional benefits for governments include:

  • More efficient research strategy decisions
  • Enhanced innovation through timely access to research outputs
  • Fulfilled obligations for tax payer access to tax payer funded research, which is required for some government funding agencies
  • Improved efficiency through less repetition and research waste.

Additional benefits for industry include:

  • Enhanced ability to collaborate through clearer visibility of research and researchers
  • Enhanced innovation through timely access to research outputs.

Additional benefits for the research community include:

  • Improved research efficiency through wider access to data and outputs
  • Stronger aggregations of data and improved capacity to realise the power of machine learning and big data analyses
  • Increased cost-effectiveness through reuse of existing datasets
  • Increased capacity to produce new research through improved access to existing research that can be reused and built upon to produce new knowledge
  • Strengthened connections within the research community
  • Increased transparency, potentially leading to improved research quality, integrity, and/or reproducibility.

Additional benefits for research institutions include:

  • Increased success in attracting funding as funders, government and taxpayers continue to see the benefits of investment in research
  • Increased visibility and impact of the work undertaken by researchers at the institution, which impacts positively on the institution’s reputation.

Additional benefits for researchers include:

  • Increased impact through:
    • Greater visibility of research outputs
    • Wider distribution of research outputs
    • Higher citation rates
  • Enhanced reputation
  • Increased influence on practice and policy
  • Increased dialogue related to research
  • Increased opportunities for collaboration
  • Stronger assertion of author rights through the use of Creative Commons licenses, which protect researchers’ ability to reuse, build upon and adapt their own work
  • Improved funding opportunities as funders, government and taxpayers continue to see the benefits of investment in open research.

 

References

The benefits of open research outlined on this page have been synthesised from a variety of sources, including the following websites:

Open research: What is open research? (n.d.). University of Exeter. http://www.exeter.ac.uk/research/openresearch/about/explained/

Open Science and Research Initiative (ATT). (2014, December). The open science and research handbook. Foster Open Science. https://www.fosteropenscience.eu/sites/default/files/pdf/3986.pdf

What is Open Research? (n.d.). University of Melbourne Library. https://library.unimelb.edu.au/open-scholarship/what-is-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.