Open science promotes open access to research. Adopting open approaches can enhance transparency and scientific integrity, promote public engagement, stimulate innovation and improve the efficiency of research.
Digital technologies enable researchers to collaborate in cross-disciplinary teams by sharing resources such as data, computing power and software over the internet.
In our blog post, why we should all be interested in international research programmes, we further explore benefits of working collaboratively so that organisations and their staff can access internationally-held data and resources.
Collaborate by sharing data
Policies from UK research funders and support for research data management within UK universities, as well as long established specialised data centres have made the UK a world leader. The development of the Open Research Data Concordat, has united the sector around key principles. Read more about this sector agreement in our blog post.
Through the research data spring project, we piloted approaches to open data publishing and software reuse. There are also new opportunities in data-driven decision making as more services become digital and more devices become internet-connected, more data is generated.
The Software Sustainability Institute and UK Collaborative Computational Projects encourage collaboration by sharing software. The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshops bring together researchers, developers, innovators, funders, publishers, leaders and educators to explore best practices and the future of research software.
Keeping data safe
Our blog explains how sharing data makes the most of research, but organisations also need to think about how to keep data safe. You will need to store digital research data so it is secure and backed up regularly, but for collaboration it also needs to be easily accessible to those authorised to do so.
Use research tools
Electronic lab notebooks offer many benefits to users and organisations. E-notebooks meet the needs of researchers by simplifying data copying and backups, while at the same time protecting intellectual property and creating a shareable archive. This post on our research data blog links together the most recent advances in this area.
Virtual research environments (VREs) can encourage collaboration between research and business, improve communication and enable research data to be used in new and different ways. Our guide to VREs describes the benefits of setting up your own VRE and how to get started.
Break down location barriers
Research teams spread over sites, or even continents, can hold virtual face-to-face meetings using videoconferencing.
Transfer data easily
Some research requires the transfer of vast amounts of data from one site to another. Making connections between research facilities and storage services is key to this. Our Janet End-to-End Performance Initiative is seeking out communities who could use the network for large scale data transfers. Science and Engineering South (SES) are currently working alongside Jisc to develop a shared data zone for better collaboration between their member institutions.
Our Netpath service also allows our customers to interconnect sites and services using point-to-point virtual private connections over the Janet Network and beyond, avoiding disruption to the main network. These connections enable UK researchers to work on major international projects.
We’re developing a research data shared service, with a comprehensive research data management toolkit alongside it.
We’re also engaging with open science initiatives. Our equipment.data projects allow universities, colleges and the research community to share equipment with each other to improve efficiency and collaborate.
We’re a partner in EUDAT2020 which is providing support for an open data pilot arising from Horizon2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation. The pilot encourages the creation of data management plans with open data principles to make results and underlying research data available.