Lancaster University: Lancaster takes step forward in opening research to all

The University has published a public statement that pledges to make the shift to ‘Open Research’ meaning that whether you are a researcher, a charity, business or member of the public, Lancaster scientific and scholarly publications and research data will be available for you to access without cost.

Although this is a long-term transition with some obstacles yet to overcome – for example many research papers are still published behind paywalls – the University is well on the way towards achieving this aim. Research published in open journals will be available both through the University’s Research Directory and via our institutional repository.

As one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities – and one of the top 150 in the world – Lancaster has led the way in impactful research from sustainable farming and Modelling Covid-19 cases in Africa and transforming NHS leadership to improving social justice and identifying serious criminals using new techniques. Much of this work has been carried out by teams of international researchers and conducted in collaboration with partner communities, businesses and organisations. Our researchers are also increasingly working with the public as collaborators, via approaches such as citizen science.

Open Research offers numerous potential benefits: providing medical and health researchers with robust data to improve health outcomes, enabling scholars to work at the intersection of digital technologies and the arts and humanities, and driving innovation for business and entrepreneurs by providing them with access to leading research findings.

Open Research also increases transparency and accelerates discovery and innovation, enabling society to learn from and build upon scholarship and science. The potential benefits range from improving the health of our communities, advancing our understanding of the human condition, and empowering small to medium businesses and third sector organisations.

This work will become increasingly possible at Lancaster, thanks to the move towards Open Research.

Professor Louise Heathwaite, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, said: “Open Research – sometimes referred to as Open Science – champions the idea that scholarly and scientific knowledge and data should be shared as freely as possible and as early as possible in the research process across all disciplines, both within and beyond academia.

“The principles and practices of Open Research are aligned with our prevailing research culture, reflecting core values embedded within Lancaster University’s motto, Patet omnibus veritas ‘truth lies open to all’.

“And with our strong focus on engagement, business and enterprise, knowledge exchange, Open Research is at the heart of our mission – this is absolutely the right thing to do.”

The University has invested significant resources in Open Research, including the establishment of a dedicated team in the Library who work with colleagues across all disciplines of the University, both at Bailrigg and at the institutions in the region and abroad with whom we have academic links.

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