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Open Research

Sheffield Hallam University Statement on Open Research


Sheffield Hallam University recognises the value of Open Research as part of our strategy to create knowledge and to transform lives as the UK's leading applied university.  This statement sets out how our research community is encouraged and supported to adopt open research as part of their academic practice.

What is Open Research?

There are many different definitions of 'Open Research', but it is most often used to describe principles and practices which aim to make the research process collaborative and transparent and to conduct scholarly communication outside publisher paywalls. It is an interchangeable term with ‘Open Science’ which is used in the European context, where it embraces the full spectrum of knowledge.

Open access to the outputs of research, commonly publications and data, are established ideas.  Open Research is a wider concept, extending open principles to the whole research cycle and encompasses:

  • Open Access.  Making the outputs of research freely accessible online.
  • Research data management and open data.  Making research data openly available, thus enabling the data to be interrogated and re-used.
  • Collaborative research. Using collaborative methods to widen participation in research and to communicate research to wider audiences.
  • Transparency and reproducibility.  Tools, services and practices that increase access to research and contribute to the integrity of research.

The principles of Open Research are increasingly reflected in the policies of public funders of research, in developments in the landscape of scholarly communication and in the practices of the wider academic and research community.  

Open Research at SHU

In the area of scholarly communication, two of the major principles of Open Research are underpinned by University policies, guidance, support and library infrastructure.

The SHU Open Access publication policy  supports the principles of open access and the making of  outputs from publicly-funded research available through unrestricted online access. The University's institutional repository, SHURA and the Elements publications management system enable researchers to practice open research in relation in their scholarly communication. Support, advice and guidance is available to researchers in the use of these systems, about publication strategies, publishing Open Access, funder requirements relating to open access and funding for gold Open Access publishing.

The SHU research data management policy supports openness and transparency in research and promotes open access to research data to facilitate data sharing and collaboration and  to support dissemination of research findings.  The SHU research data archive, SHURDA enables research data to be shared openly.  Support and guidance is available for researchers with research data management, sharing data and with funder policies on research data.

There are also SHU guidelines to support researchers with the responsible use of research metrics, reinforcing the key role of expert judgement and supporting inclusive and transparent processes in research assessment.  Advice and help with understanding and using metrics responsibly is provided.

SHU Open Research Operations Group

The Open Research Operations Group is a forum for experts and stakeholders.  The group regularly review the Open Research policies and guidelines, monitor the changing scholarly communications and open research landscapes and develop appropriate policies, systems, services and support for the SHU research community.   

As Open Research increasingly becomes an integral and characteristic part of our research environment, the University's ambition is to further support and foster Open Research, working with the SHU research community to further develop support for open practices throughout the research cycle, which would also include:

  • supporting efforts to involve the public in research and connecting research with the public.
  • supporting the use of tools and practices which increase the transparency and reproducibility of research.
  • raising awareness and understanding of alternative models of publication and peer review which can increase transparency.

More information

For more information about the University's Open Research statement, and for support with open practices, please contact the Library Research Support Team.

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