Keele joins university consortium to help improve UK research quality

A new national network has been established to ensure that the UK retains and improves its place as a centre for world-leading research.

The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) will help investigate and promote the factors that contribute to robust, reproducible research as a key feature of a culture of research integrity. To this end, UKRN will seek to engage all stakeholders in the research ecosystem; from researchers, research organisations, funders and publishers.

UKRN works across all disciplines, ranging from the humanities and social sciences to the behavioural and physical sciences and biomedicine. It aims to ensure the UK retains its reputation for producing world-leading research by producing research that is rigorous, robust and of high quality. The network recognises that advances in science depend on research that is reproducible, and this is underpinned by high quality training and appropriate incentives for researchers.

Keele University joins other institutions from across the UK who have each created a senior academic role focused on research reproducibility and improvement. Initiatives will include developing common training across career stages, aligning promotion and hiring criteria to support open and reproducible research practices. Academic leads will liaise with grass-roots networks of researchers at their institutions and with UKRN stakeholders, including funders and publishers.

At Keele, Dr Jim Grange, School of Psychology, has been appointed as the Academic Lead for Research Integrity and Improvement. His strong commitment to the principles of reproducibility and open science will enable Keele play a key role in establishing, embedding and advancing the national research integrity agenda. Dr Grange will work closely with Professor David Amigoni, Keele’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, and Dr Tracy Nevatte, Head of Project Assurance, in shaping the University’s approach to research integrity and reproducibility.

Professor Amigoni said: “We are proud to join the UKRN and be part of a movement that will further enhance the UK’s reputation as a global research leader. I am looking forward to collaborating with other institutions to help to assure and sustain the reproducibility of UK academic research.”

Professor Marcus Munafò, chair of the UK Reproducibility Network steering group said: “Collective action by institutions can reform research culture and improve research quality. The commitment of so many universities to work together, and with the UK Reproducibility Network, represents an exciting and potentially transformative step.”