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Explore the concept of 'Open Research' in more detail, and discover how the Library Research service is working to promote and sustain an Open Research culture at the University of Edinburgh. The regularly updated roadmap outlines the progress we have made so far, and our objectives in the coming year.

Open Research, or Open Science as it's commonly known in much of the rest of the world, is research conducted and published via a combination of two or more of the following attributes:

  • Open Access publication
  • Open research data
  • Open source software and code
  • Open notebooks
  • Open infrastructure
  • Pre-registration of studies

The drivers behind Open Research are both idealistic and pragmatic: it argues that publicly funded research is a public good, and ought to be accessible by everyone with minimal barriers or paywalls, and also that openness benefits society by speeding up the research process, facilitating the reuse of research outputs for new purposes, and increasing transparency and public trust. By making the full record of research "as open as possible and as closed as necessary", and taking active steps to preserve not only research publications but also the data, protocols and documentation that support them, the conclusions of research remain accessible and reproducible for contemporaries and future generations alike.

At Edinburgh we have made a conscious choice to use the more inclusive term "Open Research" over "Open Science" in order to underscore the relevance of the terminology across the entire University, from Physics to Fashion.  It is not a binary, either-or situation, but rather a continuum that runs from fully closed to fully open.

Our road-map outlines the path the Library will be taking to facilitate and encourage Open Research at the University.


Edinburgh Open Research Roadmap

The Edinburgh Open Research Roadmap will guide our move towards Open Research as the "new normal" across all research disciplines in the university. As an active member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) we have based this roadmap on the "Open Science and its role in universities: a roadmap for cultural change" ( paper published by LERU in 2018.

Our progress against the 2023 roadmap has been reviewed and an updated 2024 roadmap is now available. This reflects the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain. We would welcome any comments or feedback on this updated plan, these should be sent to Dominic Tate ( as tracked changes on the word version of the Roadmap.


Over the next few years we will continue to make progress on this roadmap and an updated version will be published early each year.

The 2022 & 2023 versions of the Roadmap can be downloaded below:



Visual Update to the Roadmap

Preview of Open Research Roadmap poster.

A visual outline of the roadmap and our status in 2024 can be downloaded in PDF format below. It surveys our progress with respect to the LERU pillars, and their links to the central challenge of culture change.


Download the Visual Update to the 2023/4 Roadmap