Open Sesame!

Quote by researcher-storyteller

As I grow up in the research world, making my research open becomes increasingly important. “Open research” is research conducted in a transparent and open way to make research methods and products as accessible as possible. Essentially, it’s research with a spirit of generosity. Publishing in open-access journals, making research data and software freely available, open peer review, pre-prints: these are some of the ways that open research works. I prefer collaboration to competition, and think that competitiveness can hinder research too – working among rivals makes work more stressful, and hiding your knowledge makes it more likely someone else’s work will overlap with yours.

I was lucky to take part in the University of Bristol’s first Open Research Prize in April 2021. This was a chance to celebrate open research practices across the university, in collaboration (sensing a theme?) with the UK Reproducibility Network and the University of Bristol Library Service. I presented my work with people living on the slopes of Fuego volcano in Guatemala, sharing their memories of previous eruptions and their responses through interviews. Having shared how we worked to bring our research to a broader audience, I was thrilled to win the “Widening Reach” prize!

The event brought up many ideas for future openness in my research. In the video above I talk about making our results more accessible – but can we increase transparency earlier in the research process? Other researchers at the event had creatively used methods like responsible metrics, preliminary reports, and harnessing public opinion to make their research iterative and open. These inspired some ideas for future work in Guate – watch this space!

Various links on open research:

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