NIHR opens up research to “accelerate benefits for patients and public”

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has launched a new research platform using the F1000 open access publishing model to help expedite the health benefits from publicly funded research, allowing researchers to quickly share and build on data and results. 

NIHR Open Research allows researchers to rapidly publish research information, supporting transparency, reproducibility, and impact from publicly funded research. Any NIHR research across clinical evaluation, technology development, health services, public health and social care can be published on NIHR Open Research. This approach means that researchers can put all information from their studies in the public domain, increasing the discoverability and reach of their research.

Making all research findings rapidly available on NIHR Open Research will mean that other researchers can build on new ideas straight away and avoid the risk of duplication, so that new treatments and interventions for patients will become available quicker. Research published on the platform also includes links to all supporting data, allowing reanalyses, replication, and reuse, as well as making it easier for researchers to collaborate. 

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR, said:

“Research is best undertaken openly, transparently, and with all aspects available, to reflect the collaborative, team science approach endorsed by the NIHR. 

“NIHR Open Research ensures that all types of findings from NIHR funded and supported research can be made freely available. Researchers will now be able to learn from the many small steps made by their peers as well as the big ones, and promising findings can be accelerated into benefits for patients and the public.”

NIHR-funded researchers can publish a broad range of research outputs on the Platform from more traditional research articles through to incremental findings, case reports and even negative/null findings, thus supporting the entire life cycle of research. 

F1000’s Managing Director, Rebecca Lawrence, commented:

“F1000 is delighted to partner with NIHR on this ground-breaking platform that has the opportunity to make a significant positive impact on health research in the UK. NIHR Open Research joins F1000’s other health and biomedical partnerships, including the Wellcome and Irish Health Research Board, and furthers our founding principles of empowering researchers and accelerating the publication of research for the public good.      

“F1000’s unique publishing and open review model ensures rigour and quality of research while bringing greater clarity to the fundamentals behind the research itself, showing how scrutiny and analysis is part and parcel of how research progresses, helping address public misconceptions and mistrust about scientific research.”

NIHR has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that NIHR-funded research findings are discoverable and reusable by all. For example, NIHR is the world’s first health research funder to publish comprehensive accounts of its commissioned research within its own publicly and permanently available journals via the NIHR Journals Library

Together, NIHR Open Research and the NIHR Journals Library ensure that findings from all NIHR-funded and supported research are publicly available, which, along with NIHR’s new open access policy that came into place this month, widen and enhance NIHR’s commitment to open access. The new threaded publication model introduced by the NIHR Journals Library will bring together relevant articles published on NIHR Open Research with other articles published in the NIHR Journals Library and elsewhere, to collate a full account of individual NIHR-funded research projects. 

Professor Christian Mallen, a member of the NIHR Open Research Advisory Board and an NIHR Research Professor, said:

“It is critical that research is easily accessible and available to all. Only then can we start to join together the different parts of the jigsaw that will allow us to improve outcomes for patients.”

Prof Mallen, who is also National Director of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, added:

“All NIHR researchers can now use this exciting new Platform to share any type of finding from their research, making their work visible not only to peers and potential collaborators but also to health and care professionals, policy makers, patients, and service users, increasing the reach and potential impact of their research”.