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Open Science

Engaging in Open Science

Preregistration or registered reports

Center for Open Science

"Registered Reports: Peer review before results are known to align scientific values and practices."

Registered reports peer review process (Center for Open Science)

Image from Center of Open Science

Stage 1 peer review: Reviewers assess importance of research question and rigour of the methodology according to specific criteria.

Stage 2 peer review: Reviewers assess compliance with study protocol, whether pre-specified quality checks were passed, and whether conclusions are evidence-based.

(From Chris Chambers, Cambridge-Chambers-2019b, 

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The Center for Open Science maintains a list of over 300 journals that currently publish registered reports formats.


Preprints are rapid (open access) communication among researchers prior to peer review and publication of articles. Preprints are a common practice in many fields, but not all fields. Since peer review can take, preprints can accelerate progress by increase early access to research findings. Keep in mind that some journals may not accept articles that have been posted to preprint services, so read journal guidelines.

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Best practice is to submit your preprints to a disciplinary-specific repository. Joe McArthur, co-founder of the Open Access Button maintains a list of preprint repositories.

Learn more from FOSTER's Sharing Preprints learning module.


Open peer review

An analysis of open peer review definitions by OpenAIRE identified seven characteristics of an open peer review process. These characteristics can work in any combination but do not all have to be present at once.

  • Open identities: Authors and reviewers are aware of each other's identity.
  • Open reports: Review reports are published alongside the relevant article.
  • Open participation: The wider community to able to contribute to the review process.
  • Open interaction: Direct reciprocal discussion between author(s) and reviewers, and/or between reviewers, is allowed and encouraged.
  • Open pre-review manuscripts: Manuscripts are made immediately available (e.g., via preprint servers like ArXiv) in advance of any formal peer review procedures.
  • Open final-version commenting: Review or commenting on final “version of record” publications
  • Open platforms: Review is de-coupled from publishing in that it is facilitated by a different organizational entity than the venue of publication.

(Ross-Hellauer, Tony (2016): OpenAIRE  Blog entry. Defining Open Peer Review (Parts 1&2). and

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Learn more from FOSTER's Open Peer Review learning module.

Open methods and protocols

Rigor, reproducibility, replication, and reuse rely on detail. Clear and detailed methods, workflows, and protocols are an essential to understanding the research process.

(image from PLoS. "How to Write your Methods"

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For Dos and Don'ts of writing your methods see PLoS "How to Write you Methods." is a secure platform for developing and sharing reproducible methods.

The Open Science Framework is a multipurpose free and open platform for sharing research processes, workflows, and outputs.

Open source software and code

"Open Code refers to custom, author-generated code used in a scientific research study—often during data collection, interpretation or analysis—and subsequently made publicly available under an Open Access license via a linked repository, or as Supporting Information." (

For code to be fully open it requires more than just access to the code, it also requires an open license - for a full definition see the Open Source Initiative's definition

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For help selecting the right open source license for your code or software, use this choose an open source licensing tool. The Open Source Initiative maintains a list of OSI-approved licenses.

Learn more about best practices for documenting code.

Learn more from FOSTER's Open Source Software and Workflows learning module.