A UK initiative to promote rigor and replicability of research has received £ 8.5million to encourage open research practices.
As part of one of the largest awards given to supporting robust and transparent research methods, the UK Reproductibility Network (UKRN) will receive £ 4.5million from Research England as part of a five-year project aimed at providing training in open research practices.
An additional 4 million pounds will come from the 18 member universities of the network, as well as other partner institutions, including publishers Wiley and Springer-Nature, Jisc and the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Initially, the project will be implemented in all 18 member universities, but the network is expected to grow over the five years of the award, making training and materials more widely available across the industry.
It will also seek to develop a framework for the continuous assessment of institutional practices and learning in open research and to share effective practices between partner institutions and across the sector.
The project has been described by the UKNI as representing a “major strategic investment” by Research England to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the open research agenda, and builds on the recent announcement of UK Research and Innovation’s open access policy, which will require researchers supported by the country’s major funder to publish their findings in open access journals.
David Sweeney, executive chairman of Research England, said the support from the funder “would allow the network to scale up its activities and accelerate the adoption of open research practices across the industry.”
“We know that increasing the transparency of the research process supports higher standards of research integrity and increases the quality and scope of research,” said Mr Sweeney, adding that Research England “has supported the UK Reproductibility Network since its inception “.
Marcus Munafò, professor of biological sciences at the University of Bristol who chairs the network’s steering group, said the project “would allow us to foster the adoption of open research practices in UK institutions and ensure that this happens. do it in a coherent and coordinated manner ”.
“Open research practices – by making as much of the research process available for reuse and review as possible – have the potential to accelerate the advancement of knowledge and improve the quality of the research we produce”, said Professor Munafò.
“What’s most exciting is that it represents a collaborative approach – several institutions working together to ensure that the sector as a whole benefits.”
Research England’s funding comes from its Development Fund, which commits up to £ 27million in annual funding to support projects that help develop higher education research and knowledge exchange activities at UK.
Other institutional funders include Data Readiness Group, Griffith University Australia, Research on Research Institute, Software Sustainability Institute, UK Data Service and VIRT2UE Research Integrity Trainers.