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Open Research

What are open methods?

Open methods are those which are made available to other researchers. For example a research team could register their research protocol with a dedicated repository or website.

This sharing of methods supports the replication and reproduction of research as colleagues can see the steps taken in conducting a project. It also contributes to the development and sharing of tools and methods available for research more generally.

Whilst the sharing of research methods is common in health research it is possible in any discipline.

Research design and protocol registries

There are a number of sites where you can register your research designs and protocols.

Research designs:

AsPredicted- multidisciplinary

OSF- multidisciplinary 


American Economic Association's registry - economics and social sciences

Center for Open Science preregistration- multidisciplinary

Protocol Exchange- natural sciences multidisciplinary

Health specific registries

Systematic reviews

Prospero is an international database of systematic review protocols in the areas of health and social care.  Registration helps to provides transparency in the review process.  It also helps to counter publication bias and safeguard against reporting bias.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials must be registered on a publicly accessible database before the trial begins.  You should use existing and established international registers such as ISRCTN registry.  Please note that your funder may specify a particular registry.

Experimental protocols and lab books

Instead of maintaining closed documentation and using paper lab notebooks, consider using online tools such as Binder (software), protocols.ioBenchlingLabstep or RSpace to record and and publish experimental protocols and lab notes

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