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The Open Research Data Task Force

​ As part of Professor Adam Tickell’s advice on open access to research to minister Jo Johnson, a recommendation was made that a ‘roadmap’ for national open research data infrastructure be produced with a set of recommendations. In order to lead and coordinate this work the minister established a Taskforce. 

Open research data is the next key phase in the UK’s open science ambitions – by science we mean a formal approach to knowledge that is rationally explicable and practically applicable. The UK is a world leader in research data, following policies from UK research funders and engagement in support of research data management within UK universities, as well as long established specialised data centres. The academic community has played an important role in developing the research data landscape, particularly with the development of the Open Research Data Concordat, which for the first time has united the sector around key principles.

About the Task Force

Professor Pam Thomas (PVC Research at the University of Warwick) chairs the Task Force.
Secretariat support is provided by Jisc. 

Members include:

  • Professor Geoffrey Boulton (University of Edinburgh, CODATA)
  • Professor Bill Spence (Queen Mary University of London)
  • Professor Deborah Smith (University of York) 
  • Professor David De Roure (Oxford University) 
  • Professor Andrew Prescott (University of Glasgow)
  • Chris Awre (University of Hull)
  • ​Professor Nick Wright (Newcastle University) 
  • Professor John Helliwell (University of Manchester)

and representatives from Research Councils UK, HEFCE, The Wellcome Trust, Universities UK, BEIS and Jisc. 

  • Alex Saxon (Research Councils UK)
  • Ben Johnson (HEFCE)
  • David Carr (The Wellcome Trust)
  • Max Hastings (Universities UK)
  • Rachel Bruce (BEIS) (Observer)
  • Linda Naughton and David Kernohan (Jisc)

The Task Force will consult more widely or co-opt expertise as required.​


The Task Force will deliver multiple outputs, starting with a report of the current state of play in 2017, and concluding with a full report in early 2018. 

The first report (2017) is intended to signal the main themes of open research data, provide an overview of the current state of play in terms of policy and infrastructure, and indicate the most appropriate forward direction for both.

The second report (2018) will make clear and detailed recommendations to Ministers and is likely to cover:

  • Key national initiatives that show promise
  • Areas for further support
  • Stakeholder engagement opportunities and risks
  • Infrastructural issues and investment opportunities and challenges
  • ​Technical barriers and costs or benefits arising from overcoming them.

For further information, please contact ORDTF@jisc.ac.uk ​

 The team

Max Hastings

Max Hastings

Policy Researcher
Universities UK

Martina Tortis

Martina Tortis

Policy Analyst
Universities UK
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