Westminster Higher Education Forum

Open research data in the UK - next steps for implementing the Plan S proposals

Morning, Thursday, 13th February 2020

Central London


This conference will consider the way forward for the implementation of open research data (ORD) policies in the UK.

It takes place in the context of Plan S - an international agreement of which the UK is part - which sets out a path for all publicly-funded research to be open access with effect from January 2021 and also calls for publishers and research institutions to adopt open research data policies that would extend open science principles to the publication of research data.

It also follows the publication of the UK Government’s Open Research Data Task Force’s final report - Realising the potential - which built upon the principles of the Concordat on Open Research Data and set out recommendations in the areas of:

  • Incentives - a stronger system to encourage researchers to create and use open data;
  • Leadership, coordination, and oversight of open data policy - and the role of UKRI;
  • Developing user-friendly services;
  • Data storage - clarification of expectations from stakeholders including funders, research organisations, learned societies, and publishers; and
  • Costs, funding, and business models.

We are delighted to include a keynote address from Professor Pam Thomas, Chair, Open Research Data Task Force and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Warwick.

There will also be a keynote contribution from Dr Kostas Glinos, Head of Unit for Open Science, DG RTD, European Commission setting out the latest developments in the Commission’s commitment to open science in Horizon Europe, and the international effort to promote open research.

Further speakers include: Grace Baynes, Springer Nature; Lauren Cadwallader, University of Cambridge; David Carr, Wellcome Trust; Professor Jonathan Grigg, Queen Mary University of London; Dr Mark Hahnel, Figshare; Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Public Library of Science; John Kaye, Jisc; Catriona MacCallum, Hindawi; Robin Rice, University of Edinburgh; Professor Susanna-Assunta Sansone, University of Oxford; Professor Elena Simperl, Southampton Data Science Academy and Drs Astrid Wissenburg, University of Exeter.

Overall, discussion will focus on progress, outstanding issues, and next steps in the UK for research data that is FAIR - findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable - in light of the UK Task Force’s proposals, the European Commission’s work in this area and Plan S more broadly.

The agenda

  • Driving forward UK progress on open data - progress following the recommendations from the Open Research Data Taskforce;
  • Designing research data infrastructure and services - guidance on data quality standards, safeguards to ensure interoperability, and user-friendly research software;
  • Priorities for funding open data - costs, transparency, and sustainability;
  • Incentivising and enabling researchers to make their data open - training, rewards, and specialist support;
  • UK leadership on open research data; and
  • Aligning policies on open data - coordinating the international effort to promote open research.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

Westminster Higher Education Forum conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: BEIS; DCMS; DHSC; Food Standards Agency; HMRC; IPO and the MoJ.

Keynote Speaker

Professor Pam Thomas

Chair, Open Research Data Task Force and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Warwick

Keynote Speakers

Professor Pam Thomas

Chair, Open Research Data Task Force and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Warwick

Dr Kostas Glinos

Head of Unit for Open Science, DG RTD, European Commission

Rachel Bruce

Open Science Lead, UKRI


Daniel Zeichner MP


Professor Jonathan Grigg

Deputy Dean of Research Integrity and Professor of Paediatric Respiratory and Environmental Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Mark Hahnel

Founder and CEO, Figshare

Robin Rice

Data Librarian and Head, Research Data Support Service, University of Edinburgh

David Carr

Programme Manager, Open Research, Wellcome Trust

Grace Baynes

VP, Research Data & New Product Development, Springer Nature

Professor Elena Simperl

Professor, Computer Science, University of Southampton and Director, Southampton Data Science Academy

Dr Lauren Cadwallader

Deputy Manager of Scholarly Communication (Research Data Management), University of Cambridge

Iain Hrynaszkiewicz

Publisher, Open Research, Public Library of Science

Professor Susanna-Assunta Sansone

Associate Director, Oxford e-Research Centre Senior representative, publishing

Catriona MacCallum

Director of Open Science, Hindawi

Drs Astrid Wissenburg

Director of Research, University of Exeter