What is Open Research?

Learn more about open research, its benefits, and what the funders are saying​.

Practicing Open Research

Open research extends the principles of open access publishing to the whole research cycle, inclusive of research protocols, data, code, software, and much more. It is about being as open as possible, as often as possible, and only being as closed as is necessary. It encompasses all disciplines and types of research. Through planning many elements of the research lifecycle can be made open, transparent, and reproducible.​

The University of Melbourne is committed to disseminating its research as widely as possible and expects researchers to make their publications open access, as outlined in the Principles for Open Access to Research Outputs at the University of Melbourne.

Open Research and the Research Lifecycle

Benefits of Open Research

By engaging with open research you are enabling greater transparency and reproducibility to be applied to your work and research outputs. This, in turn, may lead to​

  • Creating opportunities for collaboration, both in and outside of your discipline​
  • Increasing access to research by individuals and organisations outside of academia, thus impacting and progressing real-world problems, impact, and lives faster​
  • Higher citation rates, as well as more outputs that can be cited. With data, software, and code being made available and being assigned persistent identifiers, a research project can have a larger impact within and beyond academia​
  • Greater efficiencies in research more broadly as less repetition is needed​
  • Improving research integrity by limiting the possibility of closed research practices. This in turn increases trust in research​
  • Compliance with funder mandates and institutional requirements

Funders and Open Research

At the funder mandated level, open research has focused on openly accessible research outputs such as journal articles, book chapters, and monographs. This is commonly referred to as open access (OA). Recently, funders have begun including open data and other potential outputs, such as code and software, in their policies.​


The Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have both mandated that research publications stemming from their funding must be OA within twelve months of publication. By complying with The University of Melbourne’s Principles for Open Access to Research Outputs at Melbourne you will also by complying with ARC and NHMRC funding.​

For more information on how to comply with the OA policies of ARC and NHMRC, visit our funder compliance guidelines.


Increasingly, international funders are introducing OA policies that require publications to be licensed under a Creative Commons license and made freely available immediately upon publication, often through an institutional repository.

A large push in this direction is being led but Coalition S’s Plan S initiative which mandates that all research publications stemming from Plan S funding must be made open at the time of publication. Numerous funders have signed up to this initiative including Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, the EU Commission, UKRI, and the WHO. Find out more about Plan S.

Further Support

Broadly, this resource has been organised from steps to take from planning your research, through to the publication of results. It can be used in partnership with the Open Research LibGuide which provides practical, how-to information on the topics covered here.

To get in touch with Scholarly Communications staff see the Contact page on this website or arrange a time to talk with your Faculty and School Librarians.

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