Published: 24 November 2022

By Dr Catriona Manville, Director of Research Policy, AMRC

In traditional scientific publishing the results of vital research can take a long time to be published, confined behind expensive paywalls or in some cases failing to be published at all. Only by having a fuller picture of research findings can we understand what has already been tried, reduce waste, and hope to make inroads against diseases and conditions impacting so many lives.

That is why in 2018, we worked closely with 24 of our member charities and F1000 to develop and launch AMRC Open Research, offering an inclusive and accessible platform. We wanted to co-produce an alternative for our member charities, improving access to their research and data whilst using open review that keeps rigor and quality at its heart.

All the processes and results of charity funded research could be rapidly and widely shared, expanding and accelerating its reach and allowing it to be reused and built upon. Most importantly, sharing this knowledge brings benefits to patients at a more rapid pace and provides a tangible route to deliver vital research, as well as support and guidance on best practice. The new Health Open Research platform, launched today, is a continuation of this journey with F1000.

Transparency is key

Transparency is at the core of this initiative, making sure research is disseminated throughout the research community and beyond, increasing visibility of charity-funded studies to society, including those living with conditions or diseases, their loved ones and friends and those involved in practice and decision-making.

AMRC Open Research has allowed all researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and members of the public worldwide to freely access the primary literature and make use of cutting-edge research findings. It takes practical steps to increase reproducibility and reduce duplication, building trust in science and scientists. The platform also facilitates new insights and accelerates the translation of research into tangible improvements for people and society, maximising the value and impact of public donations.

Introducing Health Open Research

Since its launch in 2019, driven by our former Data and Impact Manager Jocelyn LeBlanc, a growing number of our charities engaged with AMRC Open Research. Encouraged, we opened it up to our entire membership in 2021. Now it’s time to take it further and make it available to researchers funded by organisations beyond UK medical research charities. 

What has been unique about AMRC Open Research is that it brings together different disease areas under one umbrella, which not only allows cross-discipline and disease content, but also paves the way to learning from other areas. This is already evident in some of our recently published content

Research doesn’t happen in a silo. This platform provides a vast range of fascinating materials across all stages of research in all areas of health and disease, encouraging innovative collaborations that will deliver benefits to us all. We have proven the principle with AMRC Open Research and look forward to involving others through Health Open Research, to drive the greater depth of information further, for maximum impact.

This blog is also published on Health Open Research.