Aerial view of Manchester suburbs


What is collaboration?

Two people walking down street (Community Market)

Collaboration in open research broadly describes the participation and contribution of non-traditional researchers (such as industry partners or members of the public) in scientific research. This approach encompasses a number of practices including team science, open collaboration, citizen science and co-production.

Benefits of collaboration

  • Increases participation and engagement in research, facilitating research on a bigger scale
  • Helps to align research more closely with societal needs, maximising research impact
  • Projects provide reliable and up-to-date scientific information to the public, policymakers and other stakeholders
  • Leverages the combined expertise of all contributors to enhance the value of research projects and outcomes
  • Facilitates and advances scientific innovation through combined resource (e.g. effort, time, research infrastructure)
  • Results and products of scientific research are freely available to everyone

Team science

A team science approach to scientific inquiry encourages the collaboration of researchers within and across disciplines and institutes. Individuals and teams from across the research community combine their efforts and resources to address complex scientific and societal questions, often in a multi-disciplinary endeavour.

Open collaboration

Open collaboration projects are those that anyone can contribute to and the results of which are freely available. This method is widely seen in open-source research, however similar approaches can be observed in the dissemination of knowledge by online communities through e.g. wikis and mailing lists.

Collaboration at the University of Manchester

As part of our Open Research Strategic Action Plan, and in conjunction with the Research Lifecycle Programme, the Office for Open Research is working to maximise the utility of existing commercial data sources and in-house technologies to facilitate greater collaboration.