Open research is scientific research, conducted in the spirit of free and open source software. It extends upon the more common notion of open science, so as to encompass the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities.

Much like open source schemes are built around a source code that is made public, the central theme of open research is to make clear accounts of the methodology, along with data and results extracted therefrom, freely available via the internet. This permits a massively distributed collaboration.

Most open research is conducted in existing research groups. Primary research data are posted which can be added to/interpreted by anybody who has the necessary expertise and who can therefore join the collaborative effort. Thus the 'end product' of the project arises from many contributions rather than the effort of one group. Open research is therefore distinct from open access in that the output of open research is mutable.[1] Issues of copyright are dealt with by either standard copyright or by releasing the content under licenses such as the Creative Commons Licence or one of the GNU General Public Licenses.

Several early (2005) examples arose in the area of the search for new/improved treatments in neglected diseases.[2][3][4][5]

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