Emily Farran represented the UKRN at the recent UKRI online engagement event on Enhancing Research Culture.

Emily was part of a discussion panel, which represented the views from four different Research England funded projects, including our recent own funded project, Growing and Embedding Open Research in Institutional Practice and Culture. The aim of our project is to accelerate the uptake of high-quality open research practices, and the many benefits to research quality, integrity and public trust in research that will consequently flow. We will: develop and deliver innovative high-quality training in open research practice; develop and deliver a framework for ongoing evaluation of institutional practice, leading to the embedding of a culture of continuous research improvement; share effective training, materials, and practice across the sector, and promote the alignment of incentives to drive uptake of open research.

During the panel discussion, Emily spoke of the benefits of transparency in research, many exemplified during the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of the wide sharing of data and code, checking code for reproducibility, and global collaboration, and how transparent and Open Research can benefit research quality, reproducibility of research and public trust in research. She discussed the current lack of appropriate incentives for widespread adoption of Open Research practices. She used examples of incentives which go beyond meeting mandates, but incite a change in cultural norms, such as Open Research awards, Open Research badges, communities of practice (peer to peer support) and the appointment of Open research leads. She also discussed current challenges in providing adequate training for researchers which reflects the different levels of maturity in Open Research practices across different disciplines. Our project will directly address this demand for training, ensuring that researchers are equipped to meet the needs of funders and publishers, but more importantly, to redefine what it means to be good at research.

A summary note from the event can be downloaded here: Summary of Research Culture online event

Thank you to those who wrote and provided this summary note.