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8 Pillars of Open Science

The 8 pillars of Open Science are FAIR Data, Research Integrity, Next Generation Metrics, Future of Scholarly Communication, Citizen Science, Education and Skills, Rewards and Initiatives, and EOSC.

Open Science is underpinned by eight pillars and UCL is seen as a leader in Europe in Open Scholarship, undertaking activity in all 8 areas. Its work is formulated in line with the recommendations of the LERU Roadmap for Open Science, produced in 2018. Below we have summarised each pillar and provide links to internal teams and related resources for each.


The FAIR principles steward researchers in making outputs of research:

  • Findable – making research outputs discoverable by the wider academic community and the public,
  • Accessible – using unique identifiers, metadata and a clear use of language and access protocols,
  • Interoperable – applying standards to encode and exchange data and metadata and...
  • Reusable – enabling the repurposing of research outputs to maximise their research potential.

When combined, these four elements are designed to help lower barriers to research outputs and facilitate potential secondary researchers finding, understanding reusing and repurposing them to realise additional research opportunities and maximise existing resources.

For more information, see:

Contact: lib-researchsupport@ucl.ac.uk 

Research Integrity

This is the practice of researchers acting honestly, reliably, respectfully and are accountable for their actions. UCL is committed to maintaining the highest standards in research integrity in support of creating a working environment conducive to excellent research and reflective of the wider Open Science agenda.

For more information, see:

Contact: researchintegrity@ucl.ac.uk 

Next Generation Metrics

The next-generation metrics pillar of Open Science seeks to catalyse a shift in cultural thinking around the way in which bibliometrics are utilised in research, particularly when evaluating quality, and go beyond simply citation counts and journal impact. Appropriate metrics, drawn from different sources and describing different things, can help us gain a broader understanding of the significance and impact of research.

UCL has already taken action to support the appropriate use of metrics in academia:

For more information, see:

Contact: bibliometrics@ucl.ac.uk

Future of Scholarly Communication

The future of scholarly communication is one of the most prominent pillars of Open Scholarship given its intention to shift the current academic publishing model towards fully Open Access.

For more information, see:

Contact: open-access@ucl.ac.uk

Citizen Science

Movement towards members of the public having a greater role within research and recognising the invaluable role they play in providing insights a researcher may not typically have.

Harnessing the advantages of the internet, openly available software packages and local knowledge, citizen science brings about a change in the way research is conducted – no longer limited to academic researchers, it encourages collaboration from groups across society.

For more information, see: 

Education and Skills

This pillar focuses on identifying which are the training needs of researchers and sufficiently addressing any gaps in knowledge and skills around engaging with Open Science such as making publications openly accessible, managing research data in-line with the FAIR principles and acting with integrity. All researchers at all levels should have access to education and skills programmes to support their work and continued learning. Further, skill development programmes should be opened up to other stakeholders in research such as professional staff including librarians and data managers and members of the public to facilitate the undertaking of citizen science. 

UCL has:

  • introduced Open Science skills training into postgraduate training programmes
  • incentivised skills development in Open Science 
  • engaged with the UCL doctoral school to embed Open Science practices into early careers research programmes.

For more information, see: 

Rewards and Initiatives

Fostering engagement with the principle of Open Science requires reward and recognition of the efforts to do so – this pillar addresses barriers and champions best practice.

A perceived lack of reward and recognition for work undertaken to manage research data and make publications openly accessible discourages researchers from engaging with the principle of Open Science. Work falling under this pillar seeks to address these challenges and champion engagement with Open Science practices.

UCL has taken action to reward those engaged with Open Science by incorporating elements of open practice into the academic promotion framework. In particular, any researcher at grades 7-10 will ensure:

All research outputs are available through Open Access wherever possible.

For more information, see:

European Open Science Cloud

Links together existing interoperable infrastructures to enable even greater collaboration between researchers across the continent and research domains.

As a signatory of the EOSC declaration, UCL has taken action in the following areas:

  • Encourage researchers to make research outputs as openly accessible as possible
  • Instruct on applying the FAIR principles
  • Support researchers in writing data management plans
  • Engage with researchers through outreach and advocacy initiatives

For more information, see: