Skills for open research? Vitae Member Poll

We asked researchers at a Vitae Member organisations to tell us if they have the knowledge and skills to thrive as an open researcher.

Open research is about accelerating the pace of research and engaging the public who are often the ultimate source of research funding. Individuals aspiring to a research career need the knowledge and skills to operate effectively in an open research environment.

Thanks to all who responded to our quick poll.

Congratulations to the winner of our prize draw, Dr S Fischer from the University of Liverpool!

While 29% respondents are confident in this area, 64% say that open research skills are something they could work on or mean to address.

Respondents at more senior career stages (established and leading researchers) are more confident than first stage and recognised researchers (including doctoral candidates and post-docs), with 55% saying they have the necessary knowledge and skills, compared to 26% for early career researchers. Even so, over a quarter of senior researchers recognise this as something they could work on and a further 12%  say that while they do not have the knowledge and skills, it’s something they mean to address.

Just 1 in 20 respondents say this is something they haven’t thought through and only 1 in 60 say they don’t think it affects them. We didn’t see notable differences in responses across disciplines.

Here are just a small selection of your free text responses:

The area still feels very new, and, ironically, examples of good practice often aren't made visible

I am confident within the humanities and social sciences but am less so when engaging with people from STEM areas

I think a mix of industry and academic experience has enabled me to gather the skills and knowledge required

Although I am confident in my ability to work in an open research environment, it will always be something I work on to improve, and I feel that part of the purpose of doing a PhD is to get better at exactly this

My belief is that the people with the problem will often have a good solution to it given a voice, so open research seems the right way to go

I will be using social media to present my work and ideas that I don't publish because I think knowledge exchange is crucial

I have good research skills, but am now developing trans-subject research skills.

I am tech-savvy and keen to use open-source software. I am also aware of the legal aspects of publishing and try to use this knowledge to fulfil my ambition to conduct open research

I feel I've been too focused on my own research and have given little time to my personal and academic development

I am working through the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and identifying skills to develop

A major challenge is how early career researchers can publish independently if the work is not funded by research grants and Universities are not willing to pay article processing charges 

I have some skills but lack experience and confidence

[I] have spent a lot of time developing my research skills by attending workshops, reading through all of vitae's articles, applying them to my research and I think it’s a learning process and the journey in mastering them is still on!

It would hugely help my research if others were more open

The benefits to the actual researcher in undertaking open research activities needs to be better communicated and understood.

The institute I work in is not a very open environment and it makes it hard to develop the required skills but I'm trying to change that with the help of fellow postdocs so we can be a more open research generation

The research landscape is changing so fast that I think even experienced researchers need continual updates and training