Open Research: practices, experiences, barriers and opportunities

Van den Eynden, V, Knight, G and Anca, V. 2016. Open Research: practices, experiences, barriers and opportunities. [Online]. UK Data Service, Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom. Available from:

Van den Eynden, V, Knight, G and Anca, V. Open Research: practices, experiences, barriers and opportunities [Internet]. UK Data Service; 2016. Available from:

Van den Eynden, V, Knight, G and Anca, V (2016). Open Research: practices, experiences, barriers and opportunities. [Data Collection]. UK Data Service, Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom.


Description of data capture The study consisted of two components: an online questionnaire survey performed via Qualtrics, using a combination of structured, coded questions and open-ended exploratory questions, with a representative sample of Wellcome-funded researchers; and five semi-structured focus-group meetings with Wellcome-funded researchers, with attendees selected from the survey or by separate invitation. Three focus groups were held face-to-face in London and two via video conference. Discussions were audio recorded and transcribed. The Wellcome Trust provided us with a list of 2281 current grant holders, representing the various grant types and disciplines they fund. These are researchers holding pre-doctoral studentships, early-career fellowships (postdoctoral), intermediate fellowships, senior and principal fellowships, investigator awards, as well as those receiving project funding, strategic funding, centres and infrastructure funding, equipment and resources funding as well as other personal support. ESRC provided us with a list of 927 current holders of research grants and fellowships. No holders of studentships were included in the list. For both populations, all grant holders in the lists were invited to participate in the online survey, with two reminders sent. The survey questionnaire was designed based on extensive literature review and input from experts on the project’s advisory committee. This means that much targeted questions were asked, based on data and code sharing practices, barriers and motivations well reported in literature, in order to obtain quantifiable agreement or disagreement with this existing knowledge across our population of researchers. The questionnaire contains single-response and multiple-response multiple-choice questions and Likert scales with a 5-scale response mode (ranging from ‘not at all important’ to ‘extremely important’). Each question also provided the ability for respondents to add other options or choices with free text descriptions. The questionnaire also has four open questions, asking researchers to give their views on the future of publishing and actions Wellcome (or other funders) could take to advance open research so researchers can make more data and code available. The survey was available online for a month: the survey for Wellcome Trust grant holders from 14 July until 15 August 2016; the survey for ESRC grant holders from 8 August until 12 September 2016. After the initial invitation, two reminders were sent: one two weeks after the launch of the survey, and the second reminder 4 days before the closure of the survey. For the Wellcome survey we received 583 responses (25.6% response rate). For the ESRC survey we received 259 responses (27.9% response rate). During analysis, researchers were categorized according to career stage (early career researchers versus senior investigators), location (UK based versus those working in Major Overseas Programmes), and research discipline (biomedical, clinical, population health, humanities and social sciences).
Data capture method Interview: Face-to-face, Questionnaire: Interactive
Data Collection Period
15 June 201630 September 2016
Date (Published in a 3rd party system) 26 October 2016
Geographical area covered
North LatitudeEast LongitudeSouth LatitudeWest Longitude
Language(s) of written materials English
Data Creators Van den Eynden, V, Knight, G and Anca, V
Associated roles Radler, B (Other), Tenopir, C, Leon, D, Manista, F, Whitworth, J and Corti, L
LSHTM Faculty/Department Academic Services & Administration > Library
Participating Institutions University of Essex, Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
ProjectFunderGrant NumberFunder URI
Researcher attitudes and practices in relation to Open Science and how to overcome barriersWellcome TrustUNSPECIFIED
Date Deposited 27 Oct 2016 14:22
Last Modified 20 Apr 2022 16:31
Publisher UK Data Service



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