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The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has today announced it has joined the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN), in collaboration with nine other leading UK universities - Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Keele, Newcastle, Oxford Brookes, Sheffield, Surrey, and UCL – with the aim of improving the quality of research.

The group of institutional leads within UKRN will be made up of senior academic roles from each institution. The RVC is represented by Professor Dominic Wells, who currently leads the Comparative Physiology and Clinical Sciences Research Theme at the RVC. Together, the universities will collaborate through the Network to ensure the world-leading standards and quality of UK academic research output remains at the highest level.

Whilst the UK is a world leader of research, the Network has been set up because of a recognition that universities must constantly strive to improve in order to retain the country’s global standing.

The UK is already driving continuous improvement through policy initiatives, including the UUK Research Integrity Forum and the UKRN’s informal network of over 40 research institutions. By investigating the factors that contribute to robust research, developing common training across career stages, aligning promotion and hiring criteria to support open and reproducible research practices, and sharing best practice, the Network will add to this and ensure the UK retains its place as a centre for world-leading research. Grass-roots networks of researchers within the universities and UKRN stakeholders, including funders and publishers, will also be consulted.

Professor Dominic Wells, theme leader for Comparative Physiology and Clinical Sciences Research and who will represent the RVC at UKRN, said:

“At the RVC, we are proud to produce world-leading research alongside our peers at universities across the UK. We must always strive to produce research that is rigorous, robust and of high quality, to ensure that the UK retains its reputation for producing world-leading research. Advances in science depend on research that is replicable, and this is underpinned by high quality training and appropriate incentives for researchers. We look forward to working closely with the Network to ensure that we continue to innovate, and the UK retains its global standing.”

Professor Jonathan Elliot, Vice-Principal for Research and Innovation said:

“The RVC considers this initiative hugely important for UK Science and is delighted to play a role in its initiation. We look forward to working within the network to share best practice across the sector.”

Professor Marcus Munaf˛, 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.”

Anne-Marie Coriat, Head of UK and Europe Research Landscape at the Wellcome– one of the stakeholders that supports UKRN – said:

“This is an exciting commitment from institutional senior leadership and a key step in supporting a positive research culture.”