Back Back

OA Week Day 4: Building an open community: University of Wolverhampton Open Research Working Group

Building with the word community displayed in the windows

What is Open Research?

Open access is seen as a societal good in the way that it increases access to the scientific record, and allows others to build on research in a speedier fashion. But it has also had an impact in the way that research is conducted, with funders and researchers looking for ways to open up more of the research lifecycle. By doing so, researchers can practice more responsible research by proving the integrity and transparency of their research processes and decrease duplication of effort, but also increase opportunities for collaboration. This movement is known collectively as Open Research, or Open Science.

Open research involves being as open as possible and as closed as necessary. It acknowledges that where research involves sensitive data, for ethical and legal reasons, that sharing may have to be limited to protect the subjects of the research. However, it also encourages researchers to consider sharing as many outputs as they can and to consider ways of handling the data so that it can be shared, such as anonymisation or redaction.

This sharing might start at the very beginning of the research process, with the research question a researcher is proposing to examine, and the methodologies and protocols they intend to apply to gathering proof for their thesis, through preregistration of a study. It might mean making datasets available through a data repository to make it FAIR, with anonymisation or redaction applied if needed. It might be about sharing the initial preprint version of their findings, and gathering feedback from other researchers prior to submission to a journal. It could even be recycling research outputs for teaching and learning.

As such, the research ecosystem is evolving, and new platforms like Octopus and European Open Science Cloud are emerging to help researchers engage fully with the open agenda.

Open Research Working Group

At the University of Wolverhampton we have recently formed an Open Research Working Group which is exploring how to promote, support and build open research communities and practices within the University. The group has representatives from each of the faculties, as well as staff from the Doctoral College, the REDF project (link to Wednesday’s blogpost), and the University Library. The group meets on a quarterly basis, but is constantly sharing news and resources via Teams.

We are always open to more members to join, the only criteria is that you have enthusiasm for engaging with open research.

We discuss issues and look at practical actions we can take to improve engagement with open research, on subjects including:

  • Training and advocacy for open research
  • Development of open research web resources
  • Best practice in open research
  • Incentives for open researchers

If you are interested in joining the group, contact us at, and help us build a community!

Stuart Bentley
Scholarly Communications Librarian

Image source: Berchtold, T. (2016) #community from, under a CC BY-SA Licence

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

Share this release