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University joining UK Reproducibility Network

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The University of Reading is formally joining the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN), an independent network of stakeholders in the UK dedicated to improvement in the quality and reproducibility of academic research output.

In 2018, we published a University Statement on Open Research , setting out a commitment to improve the quality, integrity and accessibility of our research by supporting a culture of open research. Joining the UKRN as an institutional partner continues this journey.

Each institutional partner within the UKRN has created a senior academic role focused on research improvement. At the University of Reading, this role is taken up by Dr Phil Newton, Dean for Environmental Research. Dr Etienne Roesch is our local network lead, tasked with growing and nurturing open and reproducible research across our research divisions and themes, particularly amongst early career researchers.

While the UK is at the leading edge of research globally, retaining this position cannot be realised without producing research output that is rigorous, robust and of high quality.

Professor Parveen Yaqoob, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation described the UKRN as an important development in supporting a positive research culture.

“Rigour and reproducibility in research is a fundamental element of a positive research culture,” she said. “By joining the UKRN, we are demonstrating our commitment to work collectively to support the highest standards of quality in our research.”

Advances in science depend on research that is replicable, and this is underpinned by high quality training and appropriate incentives for researchers. UKRN initiatives will include developing common training across career stages, aligning promotion and hiring criteria to support open and reproducible research practices, and sharing best practices. Academic leads will liaise with grass-roots networks of researchers at their institutions and with UKRN stakeholders, including funders and publishers.

Professor Marcus Munafò, chair of the UK Reproducibility Network steering group, said: “Collective action by institutions can reform research culture and improve research quality. The commitment of so many universities to work together, and with the UK Reproducibility Network, represents an exciting and potentially transformative step.”

 

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