Researcher in seminar holding notes

Research transparency

What is research transparency?

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Research transparency is a key concept and underpinning principle of open research, promoting values of openness and transparency in the scientific process. It is an ethical approach to research which improves research integrity and enhances the informational value and impact of research. 

Research transparency encompasses a range of open practices including registering studies, sharing study data, and publicly reporting research findings. Researchers are encouraged to adopt transparent and responsible practices to improve research integrity and the trustworthiness of scientific findings.

Registration of research methodology and intended analyses increases researcher accountability and improves credibility across all disciplines. Sharing of additional research outcomes such as study data, reproducible scripts, software, and protocols allows for both replication and extension of the work by others. The open dissemination and reporting of outcomes improves access to scientific knowledge, allowing policy makers and the public to use research findings to make informed decisions.

Benefits of research transparency

  • Enhances research integrity and credibility
  • Produces research which is responsible, reproducible, open, and evidence-based
  • Facilitates proper interpretation of results
  • Promotes the open dissemination of research and equitable access to scientific knowledge
  • Researchers and other stakeholders can identify opportunities to collaborate
  • Improves reproducibility and validity of findings

Research transparency benefits everyone, including researchers, governments, healthcare providers and members of the public. It is therefore particularly important in publicly funded research, becoming an increasingly significant requirement from many journals, institutions, and funders.

Further resources