Open Research and its Benefits
Open research, also called open science, is one of the forms of research that offers an interactive research process for the individuals involved. As the name suggests, open research projects conducted by researchers are open to their peers or to the general public. Depending on the nature of the research, the project can be open access only. It means the data used during the research is available to the public, but the public is not able to contribute to research.
The rise of technologies plays a major role in almost all parts of science, including research. Social media, software, access to the internet allows researchers to take new approaches to different research projects. Conducting open research is among those approaches, and practice shows that it helps to get better results in certain fields.
Within the broader context, open research includes collaboration between colleagues or general public members, sharing the details related to data collection methods and data itself, coding, data analysis process, etc. Open research allows interested individuals to contribute to research. In other words, they become part of the research and play a major role in the end results.
What are the main characteristics and benefits of open research?
- By making the data, methodology, software, etc., used in the research freely accessible to individuals, researchers maximize the possible benefits the research can bring to the public.
- The process is transparent and openly available; thus, there is little to no room for bias. It increases the research reliability.
- Open research can help attract unknown professionals who can play a significant role in the research outputs.
- Open research reaches to broader audience considering that modern technologies allow using a number of online platforms in promoting research projects. There are billions of internet users around the world, so open research can involve people from all over the world. It is especially useful if the research carries global importance.
- One of the most challenging tasks during the research process is finding participants. The sample size is usually small during the average research, but the open research provides a chance to increase the sample size by a wide margin.
- Similarly, thanks to many contributors, open research has access to a larger amount of data compared with normal research.
- Open research may reduce research costs. Hiring offices, spending money on participants, travel costs are all part of the research process. The online nature of open research helps to avoid most of these costs. Researchers can start a project and get feedback from anywhere.
- It is a time-friendly concept when it comes to specific topics. A project can last for an extended period of time depending on the number of contributors and subject matter, but the sample size may result in more reliable results. Therefore, there may not be a need to repeat the research process multiple times, which is the case with normal research projects.
- Open research projects can attract more funds because of accessibility and openness.