Open Research

Open Research (which may also be referred to as Open Science or Open Scholarship) aims to increase openness and transparency across all parts of the research lifecycle.

It is considered to be beneficial to all involved in the research process, from funders, to researchers, to policymakers, and to society as a whole.

Imminent availability is one of the core facets of open research i.e. that as much openness as possible is achieved as early as possible. This ensures that others can others can engage with, learn and benefit from the research at the earliest opportunity.

A wide range of activities come under the umbrella of Open Research, as shown in the diagram below:


Open Research encompasses openness in terms of platforms, tools and software that increase the transparency of research methodologies and processes, and also in terms of widening participation (e.g. citizen science) and extending the reach of your research (e.g. public engagement).

Whilst the concept of Open Research encourages openness throughout the whole research lifecycle, the emphasis is most often on open access (in relation to publications) and open data (in relation to underlying research data). Further detail in relation to these areas is provided below:


The Open Research Landscape

Many funders (both national and international) are now endorsing open science practices, and in some cases mandating that outputs (& associated data) of the research they fund be made openly available. In the next programme of EU funding, Horizon Europe, it is expected that Open Science will be incentivised to ensure it becomes modus operandi for research.

The National Open Research Forum (NORF) has developed a National Action Plan for Open Research. The plan serves as a roadmap for the implementation of open research across Ireland and is structured according to three themes: Establishing a culture of open research; achieving 100% open access to research publications; and enabling FAIR research data and other outputs.

Also working towards an open research environment are cOAlition S (an international consortium of research funders who have launched Plan S, an initiative for open access publishing) and Science Europe’s Working Group on OA.

Some key funder requirements in terms of Open Research can be found via the links below: