Does open research help break down old fashioned silos of information?

We value openness and reuse of data and insight over siloed stores of old research

Our first manifesto article is a reaction to the situation we have found in many clients and organisations.

Expensive research and stacks of core evidence are often hidden away within the commissioning organisations:

  • Evidence was gathered and then not used in the final thinking or report
  • One part of an organisation is not aware of the research commissioned by another team
  • Interviewees talked about interesting things that were not in the focus of that particular piece of work
  • Researchers develop great research insight that isn’t picked up for more general attention
  • Government and supra national organisations generate large amounts of data that is not necessarily well-defined or accessible

GitHub has shown how many organisations benefit from an open exchange of software. We believe the same can be true about the data, evidence and insights that come from research. As individual researchers you will be able to build your reputation and connections through publishing open insights. As business users you will have access to a much wider range of sources, opinions and evidence, enabling you to make decisions with confidence and an unimpeachable evidence base.

If you’re writing a report, imagine having access to well-structured and accessible nuggets of evidence or insight that are easy to find and easier to validate. Imagine having access to insights broken down to accessible chunks developed by a whole community of researchers and story tellers. Imagine having access to interviews and raw data collected from previous research.

This is the world we are describing in the first article of the Research Manifesto.

We’d love to hear your opinions about this and whether it’s important to you. Please let us know in the comments.

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