Here’s a live blog summary of Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams‘ presentation from Open Education 2015 on the progress of the ROER4D project (86 researchers across 26 countries). Cheryl began by describing the federated and distributed nature of their project, as well as some of the challenges faced by their researchers in the Global South (multilingualism, research capacity, differences in context, etc).

An interpretation of open research was offered that emphasised the following:

  • Ideological openness: the belief that openness in research can add value.  This was divided into ‘actual’ and ‘aspirational’ forms
  • Legal openness: use of appropriate licensing mechanisms; clearance of intellectual property; compliance with local laws
  • Technical openness: use of open software and file formats that support re-use through secure hosting, detailed metadata
  • Practical openness: application of the previous three criteria in open research practices, working openly and sharing work in progress

In summary, research in the open takes time and tenacity.  We may need to be a little more modest in our aspirations, but also need to consider situations where openness may not be the best approach.  Under what circumstances should research be ‘closed’?  This is something that we need to constantly engage with.

Here are Cheryl’s slides from the day.  A draft paper based on this material can be accessed at