Open ResearchMaking your research more open

Ten things you can do to make your research more open

Research organisations and funders are increasingly recognising the importance of Open Research as a means to disseminate research results that can be checked, reproduced, and re-used for further research. Adopting such practices will help you in getting your research more widely known, increase your reputation in your field of research and help you grow your networks with other academics.

Our 'drop down' guide below provides a short introduction on how you can make your research more open. More detailed information is available from the relevant support teams in our Professional Services.

There are now many ways in which you can share your data, research protocols, software as well as publications. The best practices and platforms can differ across disciplines so it is important to contact the relevant Open Research support team for more information on the opportunities available to you. This can avoid unnecessary workload such as having to edit data retrospectively for sharing. The support teams can also advise you regarding specific Open Access and Data Management policies external funders may have in place.

Take advantage of the ever-growing possibilities for making your research findings openly available; these range from preprint servers in multiple fields to so-called Read & Publish (aka transformative) agreements with publishers, which will allow your research publications to be made available as Gold Open Access at no additional cost to the authors.

There is an increasing number of pre-print servers available for you to deposit an early version of your publications regardless of what specific discipline you're working in.

As evidenced by the fast-paced progress of COVID-19-related research, this is the quickest way for research findings to be shared and research funders are making ever more emphasis on this mechanism for sharing research results. As a consequence of this latter funder policy evolution, publishers will typically raise no issues with preprints being openly available for the submissions they receive. Data shows that articles with preprints receive a lot mor citations than those following traditional publishing routes.

Publish other types of work, such as your reports, working papers and/or conference papers more formally with a DOI.

The Open Access team at the library can provide persistent identifiers for research outputs published via non-standard channels that do not get DOIs or the appropriate licences assigned by default. By making the outputs more easily identifiable, this standard publishing practice will improve research impact for these publications and, critically, allow its monitoring via indicators such as Altmetric scores associated with DOIs.

In addition, make the information underpinning your research, such as code, methods and protocols, openly available or at least persistently identified. Research software is a relevant part of the research outputs and can be curated and persistently stored in a github repository allowing for versioning and for referencing in publications. Research data, softwaremethods and protocols may also be published in specific outlets.

Research impact for your work may be significantly enhanced by tweeting your recent publications or blogging about your research findings. The University's Corporate Communications team regularly release posts disseminating relevant pieces of institutional research at Strathclyde, a service you may benefit from by contacting them. All these actions will result in higher Altmetric scores for your publications.

Make sure your ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is openly available and remains up to date so that your publications can be correctly attributed to you.

The University tries to ensure a default synchronisation of information between your Pure profile at Strathclyde and your ORCID profile. However, if your ORCID profile is set to private, it makes it difficult for the account holder to be uniquely identified. There is further guidance on how to Create & Link an ORCID ID on the Pure - Managing my Profile site (please note: this is behind a login).

To facilitate this further, make sure that your Pure record is up to date. You can add publications, outputs, (eg posters, theses, conference papers, etc.) and activities (eg conference participation; invited talk, etc.) and link – 'relate' - all of these elements to provide a comprehensive picture of your research/expertise. Guidance is again available from the Pure - Managing my Profile site (please note: this is behind a login) and from Pure staff at


The RRS is an Open Access strategy devised by the cOAlition S group of research funders (which both the Wellcome Trust and UK Research and Innovation belong to) in order to make full-text accepted manuscripts available in institutional repositories under no embargo period and under a Creative Commons licence upon first online release of the publication. Both the Wellcome Trust and the UKRI have recently updated their Open Access policies to include this Open Access compliance route among the requirements for their funded outputs, and the RRS is also likely to be a requirement for post-2021 REF compliance when the updated policy is announced next year.

FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. Research data should be made openly accessible where possible; unnecessary restrictions should be removed and necessary restrictions should be minimised. Equally, care should be taken to ensure confidential data is restricted as necessary, ie data can be FAIR but not open. These principles will require good data management practices from the start, so make sure to contact the RDMS team at the start of your project to ensure you are capturing data in the right format and avoid additional work at a later stage. Data Management Plans (DMPs) - often mandated by research funders - can be very helpful to structure which data you will be gathering and how best to capture and store it for later sharing.

If you are teaching undergraduates, PGDs or PGRs, consider including a session on Open Research in the curriculum to highlight the benefits and discuss the best research practices with them. Our Professional Services teams can support you in producing content for such sessions. The university has also attempted to integrate relevant procedures into researcher development training, such as requiring data management plans to be submitted by all PhD students. To help and support PGRs in creating a DMP, there is a course on Creating Research Data Management Plans; this is linked with the PG Cert and attendance can be arranged via the RDP team.

Consider embedding co-production of research plans with stakeholders or citizen science elements of data collection (see for instance this 'How safe is your playground' or the H2020 INSIGNIA project for Citizen Science Investigation for Pesticides in Apicultural Products) in your projects. You can furthermore widen the impact of your research by engaging in Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement activities. The PE team in RKES ( can provide advice and support in how to maximise benefits from such engagement, as well as how to strengthen relevant sections in your grant applications.