Oxford further commits to best research practice by joining UKRN

Friday 11th Mar 2022, 10.53am

The University of Oxford has become an institutional member of the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN), a national peer-led initiative that brings together researchers and stakeholders across the sector to ensure coordination of efforts to improve the quality of research and its trustworthiness. 

UKRN comprises local networks at 61 institutions across the UK (including Research Reproducibility Oxford), 23 institutional members, and 44 funders, publishers, learned societies, and other research-facing organisations. The network promotes training activities and disseminates best practice to ensure that the UK maintains its reputation for conducting research of the highest standard.

The ambitions of UKRN align closely with the University’s programme to enhance its research culture, focusing on three areas:

  1. Supporting researchers to conduct reliable, reproducible, and transparent research
  2. Recognising diverse contributions to excellence in research and impact
  3. Embedding the values for research practice in career pathways

A UKRN Institutional Lead for Oxford, Dr Laura Fortunato, has also been appointed. Dr Fortunato will oversee the strategic integration of activities that contribute to best research practice and also be involved in a new institutional-level Research Practice Group.

Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) said:

‘Our research culture should strive to embed the highest standards of research practice, and we can now benefit more fully through coordination with the sector. We are excited to work jointly with our new partners in the UKRN, as well as publishers, funders and learned societies, driving towards a consistent and stretching set of expectations, with appropriate incentives and support.’

Laura Fortunato, Associate Professor in Evolutionary Anthropology and UKRN Institutional Lead for Oxford, as well as a member of the UKRN Steering Group, said:

‘Research is a collective endeavour that is built on collaboration, openness, and trust. Oxford’s commitment to advance knowledge and benefit society depends on an environment that supports and values rigorous approaches, as well as the open sharing of research at all stages of its life cycle. Open research practices allow our research to be viewed, scrutinised, and built upon, by collaborators worldwide and by society at large. Membership of UKRN is one of many actions the University is undertaking to strengthen research culture at Oxford.’

Marcus Munafò, Chair of the UKRN Steering Group, said:

‘I’m delighted that Oxford is joining the growing family of UKRN institutional members. In many ways Oxford has already led the way through their support for Reproducible Research Oxford, which has been the UKRN local network at Oxford since UKRN was created. This institutional commitment cements and extends that support.’