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First in Australia: Griffith's Open Research Commitment

Griffith University is the first university in Australia to make an explicit commitment to creating a culture of open research. The following statement was endorsed unanimously by Griffith's Research Committee in November 2020.

Griffith Open Research Statement

Griffith University aims to make a major contribution to society through high quality, ground-breaking research. Griffith is making an explicit commitment to foster an Open Research culture within the University to help drive greater societal and economic impact from that research. Our research and scholarship will be accessible both within and beyond the academy so as to advance scientific knowledge and understanding, inform public debate, and provide access to the public who fund research through their taxes.

The University's Griffith Research Online (GRO) repository and other advisory and support services facilitate this commitment to the practice of Open Research. This aligns Griffith with national and international initiatives that foster open publication, as required by funding bodies such as the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council, as well as international funding bodies.

According to the CWTS Leiden Ranking, Griffith ranked 12th in Australia for open access to its research in 2020, and ranked at 281 internationally for open access–Griffith aspires to be in the top 200 by 2025. Collectively, GRO has registered more than 20 million downloads as of 2020. While more than 54 per cent of GRO records provide open access to full text outputs, Griffith can still improve.

The University recognises contributions from researchers at all career stages, working collaboratively across a wide range of disciplines. Across this spectrum, different cultural settings influence both the capacity for, and the appropriateness of, full Open Research. The University supports the academic freedom of researchers to pursue new knowledge, and to choose the best means of dissemination; but within that free choice, the University encourages researchers to make the outputs of their research and, where appropriate, the accompanying data, "as open as possible, as closed as necessary".

See the statement.To operationalise this statement, a reference group is being formed to develop the appropriate procedures, advice and guidelines. Please email Belinda Weaver ( if you are interested in being part of this group. Find out more about open research.

What's New

  • Meeting the challenges of sharing qualitative data
    This discussion paper arising from an ARDC funded project addresses some of the key challenges of archiving and sharing qualitative data, and why FAIR principles are not always useful or applicable. It includes examples of best practice along with suggested principles for future work. The paper was written by researchers from the University of Melbourne, the Australian Data Archive and La Trobe University.

  • How well do you know Sir Samuel Griffith?
    This episode of ABC Radio National's Late Night Live program features the Hon Justice Peter Applegarth AM of the Supreme Court of Queensland, and Andrew Fraser, a member of Griffith University's Council, discussing the complex life and work of Sir Samuel Griffith, including his drafting of Australia's Constitution.

  • Boost to external dataset availability
    The ARDC has invested in building a number of cross-institutional data projects in areas including health, political activity, animal care, and the environment. Examples of material now available includes data on invasive species, flora, and an Australian National Child Health and Development Atlas. Read more.

  • Academic writing
    Whether you are writing a research proposal, an article, a thesis or a scholarly blog post, your writing style matters. Our new guide helps explain how academic writing differs from ordinary communication, and provides tips for writing in a range of genres. See our new web pages on academic writing.

  • Data infrastructure improvements
    Increasingly researchers need platforms to work with massive data sets at scale. The ARDC has funded a number of infrastructure projects that will increase the availability of platforms for specific areas of research such as biosecurity, earth and environmental systems, HASS, and complex biology. The QUT-based Australian Digital Observatory was funded as was a platform for Australian coastal and ocean models.

Spotlight on ... Digital Dexterity

How digitally dextrous are you?

For many of us working and studying from home, technology has made that participation possible. However, some people face real barriers to full participation in an increasingly digital world, not least in the area of digital skills.

The Library has created the Digital Dexterity Self Assessment Quiz as a tool for Griffith staff and students to help them reflect on their digital capabilities across three key areas and identify skills they could improve. The three areas are:
  • Living in the digital space
  • Creating digital content
  • Working with data

The quiz should only take a few minutes. At the end, you will get feedback about your digital dexterity, and be provided with further information resources about these key areas. You can take the quiz as many times as you like.

The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) launched the Digital Dexterity project in 2018. Digital Dexterity encompasses basic digital and information literacies, but also includes ICT proficiency, collaborating digitally with others through virtual meetings and shared documents, and managing an increasingly complex digital identity. Media and data literacy are also part of it. Get more background on the initiative.

Hot Topics

HASS and Indigenous eResearch infrastructure

The Federal Government has invested $8.9 million over the next three years to help build a national HASS and Indigenous eResearch infrastructure, creating new tools and platforms to extend researcher capacity. HASS and Indigenous researchers will get easier access to data and analysis methods, enabling effective data mining and re-use. It will enhance research in a broad range of fields including education, Australian cultural studies, linguistics, history, economics, commerce, tourism, law and legal studies, and the creative arts. You can register to be part of the consultations on how the project will develop from here.

Opening up social science archive data

Sharing and reusing qualitative research data is not as prevalent in the humanities and social sciences as it could be. Reuse of these materials can raise logistical and ethical concerns, especially around participant consent and anonymity.

The SOCEY Dataverse, supported by the Australian Data Research Commons (ARDC), has curated a network of qualitative research data collections and is strengthening researcher engagement through a linked community of practice (CoP). The team developed a new archival repository for qualitative research data collections in the Australian Data Archive (ADA). They also created a new website, the Studies of Childhood, Education & Youth (SOCEY), to support the CoP.

The project has already captured a number of important data sets, including Making Futures, a qualitative study of young people's journeys through the senior years of secondary schooling and into the world beyond. Another, Childhood Maltreatment and Public Inquiries, examines the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in relation to previous inquiries. Read more.

Top Tip

A file naming system is key

From the outset of any project, name your files consistently and logically to protect yourself from misplaced or lost data. Establishing a consistent file naming convention from the start will ensure files are easier to find, process, identify, manage, and version control. A good, basic convention includes standard order, date formats, vocabulary, numbers and punctuation, e.g.


A worked example might be:


Find out more about file naming and other reproducible research practices.

What you might have missed on the blog

  • Beyond the library catalogue
    Library guides, specialised databases, and other useful tools can turbo charge your research. Find out what tools you can use for researching.

  • Griffith Review, no. 70
    Generosities of Spirit, the latest edition of Griffith Review is a treasure trove of literary gems that explore inner lives, resilience and potential. It features work from a selection of writers and poets, both established and emerging, including the recipients of the Griffith Review Queensland Writing Fellowships. Find out more.
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