Open science

About Open Science

Open Science is the umbrella term for a global movement to make all aspects of science and knowledge generation publically available to everyone, for free, via the internet. ​The area of work has many aspects, and it is useful to understand some basic definitions: 

  • Open Science: research outputs (in general) that are made publicly available for free at the point of access.

  • Open Access (OA): Typically, this refers to journal articles which are made publicly available for free at the point of access (although some limited work is underway on Open Access Monographs). This can be achieved by two 'routes':

    • 'Green' Open Access: refers to publications which are placed in institutional or subject repositories, often after a publisher imposed embargo period. Publishers often impose copyright and re-use restrictions on such publications.

    • 'Gold' Open Access: refers to publications where 'Article Processing Charges' (APCs) are paid to the publisher, in return for immediate and unrestricted access to the full text to anyone in the world.

  • Open research data: the data underpinning scientific research results that have no restrictions on their access, enabling anyone to access them through the internet.

UUK's work to support Open Science

UUK takes a lead role in a range of sector activities to support the Open Science agenda in the UK. We are also a member of several other groups which are active in this space.​

Our work in this area has three strands, and more information about each strand is available by following the links below:​

UUK Open Access Coordination Group

The UUK Open Access Coordination Group works to ensure that the activities to support the transition towards open access in the UK can be effectively coordinated, have an ongoing focus and that progress can be monitored.

The Open Research Data Task Force

The Taskforce leads and coordinates the implementation of a ‘roadmap’ for national open research data infrastructure.

The Forum for Responsible Research Metrics

The Forum for Responsible Research Metrics is group of research funders, sector bodies and infrastructure experts working in partnership to promote the responsible use of research metrics.

​UUK's Open Science policy positions

  • We believe that all of the UK's publicly-funded research and research data should be available to the public, for free. Open science makes research more transparent, rigorous and efficient; stimulates innovation; and promotes public engagement.

  • We believe that both "Green" and "Gold" routes to open access research are equally valid options to achieving OA as part of a 'mixed economy', and, we are aligned with the UK government view which recognises a national preference for Gold OA, "where this is realistic and affordable". 

  • We recognise that the overall cost of scholarly communication appears to be increasing as part of the transition to open science and, also in line with the government's view, we are keen to see better value obtained for higher education institutions. 

  • In particular, we are keen to continue to see progress with off-setting Gold APC charges with subscription costs in 'hybrid' journals, and to see Gold APC charges reduce over time in a healthy market.

  • We believe that progress in the transition to open science is best achieved by working collaboratively and in coordination with all stakeholder communities associated with scholarly communication, and to tackle challenges​ with a shared purpose.​

 The team

Max Hastings

Max Hastings

Policy Researcher
Universities UK

Martina Tortis

Martina Tortis

Policy Analyst
Universities UK

 Blogs

How open and accessible is university research? – An update

27 October 2017
As Open Access Week draws to a close, Professor Adam Tickell analyses the university sector's recent activities and achievements in the field of open access.

Research misconduct: how universities are addressing the issue

30 March 2017
Jamie Arrowsmith, Programme Manager at Universities UK, discusses the progress universities have made in addressing research misconduct.

Funders and universities must work together to build international partnerships

15 March 2017
Ahead of UUK's International Higher Education Forum, Ed Whiting from Wellcome Trust discusses the importance of global research partnerships.