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OA Blog continues with... Open Research at University of Wolverhampton

26/10/2020
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Advances in science and research generally rely on transparency and reproducibility, but these can be undermined by cultural norms that value publication and grant-funding track records over verification and confirmation. Mounting evidence indicates that these norms can erode research quality and create a hyper-competitive environment that can deteriorate researchers’ wellbeing.

This situation is unsustainable. Therefore, researchers, institutions, and organisations are engaging in mass self-examination with the view of reimaging research culture so that it is more open and supportive while rewarding transparent and reproducible research. To facilitate this shift, collective action is required from institutions, particularly universities. The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) is a peer-led consortium seeking to make research as rigorous as possible, supporting self-organising grassroots and top-down initiatives via a network of local and institutional leads. In addition to seeking to be one of sixteen other universities who have signed up to UKRN and assigned an institutional lead, the University of Wolverhampton has two local network leads, Drs Ian Lahart and Samuel Westwood.

As part of their broader strategy to engender open research practices, which represent best practice in high-quality research, Ian and Samuel plan to set up an open research working group. This working group will be composed of action-oriented senior academics and experienced research staff that seek to make research as transparent, open, and accessible as possible by modifying policies and procedures at the department and institutional level. Samuel will also lead an initiative he founded at King’s College London, the RIOT Science Club, which is a seminar series promoting awareness and providing training in Reproducible, Interpretable, Open, and Transparent Research Practices. 

Open Research illustration

Article Author: Samuel Westwood, PhD

westwood4@wlv.ac.uk

 

ORCID: 0000-0002-0107-6651

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