Practicing open research
Carrying out research requires understanding and upholding principles of openness or open science in both your research methods and your communications. At every stage of the research life cycle, from data collection, sharing of findings to evaluation of the research output there are expectations of transparency, accessibility and reproducibility.
Learn what is expected of you from the College, research funders and the wider academic community below.
All research you carry out must be original and all reports and manuscripts you produce must be your own work with correctly cited references included where appropriate. Read more about plagiarism and originality.
To provide help and support with understanding what is and isn’t plagiarism the Graduate School has developed an online training course which you will be expected to complete.
After completing the course you should be able to explain what plagiarism is, be familiar with the concept of academic integrity, be able to explain how to avoid plagiarism and learn what the College’s policy concerning plagiarism is.
The Library website is where you can find the Liaison Librarian designated to provide support for your subject.
The cornerstone of good data management is planning. At the start of your project it is a good idea to put together a data management plan (DMP). This is a living document that contains information about how you intend to collect, store, preserve and share your research data. The College’s research data management team can be contacted for help and support around writing a DMP.
Careful data collection and storage are also essential parts of performing high quality research. You need to develop a good system for recording and storing your data, and find a way to ensure your data is regularly backed up. You'll find this very helpful when you come to prepare manuscripts describing your findings and your final thesis. Being able to access well-documented methodologies and data will also be of great help to other researchers coming after you.
It is likely that your group will have defined mechanisms for managing data including lab books, backup discs, use of data storage services such as Box and the central College servers. Find out about these methods and ensure you know which ones you will be using.
For more information visit the College’s research data management webpages.
When you finish your thesis, it should be made publicly available through the College’s open access repository, Spiral.
Since the thesis will be openly accessible it is important that copyright laws are not infringed through use of material copyrighted by journals. Journals are usually happy to allow reuse of copyrighted materials provided permission is sought and the source of the material is declared. Read more advice and guidance about copyright on the Library website.
The Scholarly Communication website from the Library also offers help and support available on how to prepare your thesis for deposit to Spiral, as well as wider distribution to the academic community.
If you are thinking of submitting your written research findings for publication in a journal, you need to understand how your research will be evaluated as a publication. Primarily, evaluation is in the form of expert peer review, but sometimes, people use metrics to assess a journal or an article for impact or relevancy.
Whilst the College is committed to evaluating research on its own merits, rather than the venue in which it was published, you might come across metrics when dealing with journals or considering citations.
Look out for the Graduate School’s Alternative Ways to Measure Your Research Impact webinar course for an introduction to metrics tailored to your needs as a doctoral student.
Read here for a good guide to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of commonly used metrics or check the Library website.
Please contact the Bibliometrics Service if you would like to further discuss metrics and research evaluation.