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Defining open research

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We asked delegates at CISPC2019: what does open research mean to you and your organisation?

Tasha Mellins-Cohen, director of publishing, Microbiology Society: 'Open research covers a much wider breadth of the research lifecycle than just open access, though obviously open access was our starting point.

'It's a really good way of ensuring that all material associated with scholarship is made available – whether that's your lab notebooks, or your protocol, or your data or code – it's there and available to be re-used and re-purposed by other people, which helps to reduce research waste.

'The Microbiology Society fully embraces that ethos. We have just launched a new journal specifically designed to target research waste – so we publish negative results, replication studies, data methods; all of that.'

Matt McKay, STM Association: 'Open research is becoming an integral part of everything that we are doing. Publishers are involved with the dissemination of research, so anything that be made open and sustainable in a way that people can get more access is a great thing.

'Open research is more of an encompassing term; we've spoken about open access for many years but to me open research means looking at the whole research process – that might be around peer review; that might be around data. But it is a more holistic term, it's a broader application of looking at open measures and how they can benefit publishers, researchers and librarians.'

Zoe Fletcher, research services librarian at the University of Manchester: 'To us, open research is really about getting out there all the fantastic work that the researchers at they University of Manchester are constantly doing.

'We are a massive institution and we do some really high-quality research, and we want to increase the impact and the reach as far as possible – not just to other academics and researchers in simmer areas, but to the wider public as well, so it's about trying to think of innovative and new ways in which we can do that.'

Anna Besse, Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands: 'In our institution we call it open science and education; we have other themes such as open access, FAIR data and citizen science. outreach to the public is also very important because open access is not enough and you really have to speak the manage of the public.

'Rewards and incentives are also a central part of our programme. We've noticed that open research takes a lot of time and that many researchers only do it in the evening, and we really need to change the system to incorporate the open aspects in their daily research practice.'

Ian Bruno, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre: 'Open research is more than just open data, and more than just open access. It's more than just taking a research output and making it available for anyone to come along and use.

'For us it's important that – in addition to all of that – you have curation, you have metadata, you have attributes that really make it possible for someone who wants to take advantage of that output (either to validate it or to reuse it in a different context) to do that in an easy way. They can look inside that digital object and understand what the content is.

'As well as making sure that making the outputs accessible, it's about making sure that what is inside them is transparent.'

Neil Patrick, senior brand communications executive, Cambridge University Press: 'Open research is one of the key pillars to us. Part of our whole mission is to increase and broaden knowledge, and share this knowledge as far as we can.

'We need to make sure that work that is funded is as widely accessible as possible, and we need to broaden and make available all the research that is done globally, because the impact that it can have is huge.'

Alison Hope, vice-president of business development, Emerald Publishing Group: 'At Emerald we have come a long way in the last couple of years, as well as securing some transformative agreements in Europe and in other parts of the world.

'We've opened up our 'green' policy to have zero embargo, and more recently we launched Emerald Open Research, which is a research platform that lines up with the UN sustainable development goals.'

Kathryn Spiller, licensing manager, JISC: 'We work very closely with the funders so it's very important for us to do what we can to move the open research agenda forwards – specifically, in my roles, in terms of moving journals and other outputs in the UK to open access, which is critical for us.'

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